GI425      Half Unit
Introduction to Gender, Peace and Security

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Aiko Holvikivi


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Gender, Peace and Security. This course is available on the MSc in Gender, MSc in Gender (Rights and Human Rights), MSc in Gender (Sexuality), MSc in Gender, Development and Globalisation, MSc in Gender, Policy and Inequalities, MSc in Human Rights, MSc in Human Rights and Politics, MSc in Inequalities and Social Science, MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies and MSc in Media, Communication and Development. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

This course provides a critical examination of gender, peace and security issues in conflict and post-conflict contexts.  Specifically, the course focuses on the international Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda, which originated in UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000), followed by a series of subsequent resolutions to date. The course covers the main pillars of the WPS agenda, namely participation; protection from gendered violence; the prevention of conflict and violence; and gendered approaches to relief and recovery in conflict and post-conflict settings. The course examines a range of issues through a gender and feminist lens.

Topics include: gendered perspectives on war and peace; the socio-legal context of the Women, Peace and Security agenda; the history of Women, Peace and Security laws and policies; definitions and scope of gender-based and sexual violence in conflict; peace processes, peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance; and evaluation of a range of different critiques of the Women, Peace and Security agenda.


This course runs in the Autumn Term. 

Students will have a reading week in Week 6 in line with departmental policy. 

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the AT.

Indicative reading

  • Basu, S., Kirby, P. & Shepherd, L.J. (eds) (2020) New Directions in Women, Peace and Security, Bristol University Press
  • Cohn, C. (ed.) (2013) Women and Wars, Polity Press 
  • Coomaraswamy, R. (ed.) (2015) Preventing Conflict, Transforming Justice, Securing the Peace: Global Study on the Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, UN Women
  • Davies, S.E. & True, J. (eds) (2018) The Oxford Handbook of Women Peace and Security, Oxford University Press
  • Enloe, C. (2010), Nimo’s War, Emma’s War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War, University of California Press
  • Olonisakin, F., Barnes, K., & Ikpe, E. (eds) (2010) Women, Peace and Security: Translating Policy into Practice, Routledge
  • Otto, D. and Heathcote, G. (eds) (2014) Rethinking Peacekeeping, Gender Equality and Collective Security, Palgrave


Essay (100%, 3000 words) in the WT.

Student performance results

(2019/20 - 2021/22 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 19.5
Merit 66.4
Pass 14.1
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Gender Studies

Total students 2022/23: 43

Average class size 2022/23: 14

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (MT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills