The LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security (WPS) is an academic community dedicated to research, knowledge exchange and policy impacts. Its goal is to work across disciplines to produce scholarship that helps enhance gender-based human rights and economic security in war and peace; increase the participation of women in preventing and resolving conflict around the world; and prevent sexual and gender-based violence. Its core aims are:
- to continue to be a global leader in research on women, peace and security within international law, global diplomacy, and foreign policy relating to women and girls’ human rights and gender-based sexual violence in conflict
- to provide a world-leading education programme that will inform students, policymakers and practitioners, and inspire the next generation
- to respond to region-specific crises and current conflicts from Afghanistan to Ukraine, to Africa beyond, through focused and immediate research and analysis that will produce new thinking and approaches
- to enhance strategies that can effectively reduce sexual violence, misogyny and gender-based abuse in peacetime using innovative methods
- to support the increased presence of women in peace-making, foreign policy and diplomacy
- to work bring academics, policymakers and practitioners together to help reduce gender-based discrimination in the economic, social and political spheres; and intersectional discrimination such as racism, sexuality, gender identity, disability, age, class and indigeneity
The cooperation with the Centre has been instrumental in complementing the support we provide to human rights mechanisms... It has allowed us to rely on leading expertise to unpack complex human rights issues and ensure the experts receive top quality advice on the latest normative developments and related research.
Veronica Birga, Chief, Women's Human Rights and Gender Section, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
The Centre for Women, Peace and Security is grounded in two initiatives:
- The United Nations women, peace, and security agenda, which began in 2000 with the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1325 recognises the gendered impacts of conflict and post-conflict situations on women and girls. The resolution acknowledged the importance of gender perspectives and the representation of women in preventing, managing, and resolving conflicts around the world.
- The Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative was launched by William Hague, then UK Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and Angelina Jolie, then UN High Commission for Refugees Special Envoy. The PSVI focuses on ending sexual violence in armed conflict, achieving accountability, and ending impunity for perpetrators’ crimes against women.
The Centre for Women, Peace and Security was launched in 2015 with the support of the UK Government via the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative and joined the Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa in 2023.
WPS quickly established itself as a world-leading academic space under the Directorship of Professor Christine Chinkin.
One of the many prestigious research grants awarded to the Centre included funds to establish a Database on National Action Plans (NAPs), reports on Twenty Years of WPS NAPs, and on The Future of the UK’s Women, Peace and Security Policy. It developed online resources and education tools including an A-Z dictionary of landmark legal cases dealing with sexual violence and a practical guide to tackling violence against women and girls.
The Centre set up a two-day training course for middle-career professionals for participants from the police force, Defence Academy, the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, Ministry of Defence, and NGOs, as well as a one-year master’s degree in Gender, Peace and Security run by the Gender Institute. It hosts the prestigious Commonwealth Women Mediators network. It has benefited from the presence of world-leading academics as visiting professors and scholars. It has developed cross-institutional academic links, and networks and hosted conferences, seminars and keynote lectures.
The Centre became home to one of LSE’s largest research grants. The UKRI GCRF Gender, Justice and Security Hub is a £17 million, five-year multi-partner research network working with civil society, practitioners, governments, and international organisations to advance gender, justice and inclusive peace. It brings together 125 researchers, activists and practitioners from multiple disciplines and practices and will result in a sustainable body of work and impact when it comes to an end in 2024.
LSE hosted the former Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Rt Hon William Hague and UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie to launch the UK’s first academic Centre on Women, Peace and Security.
Mr Hague and Ms Jolie announced the establishment of the ground-breaking initiative to students and academic colleagues alongside former LSE Director Professor Craig Calhoun and Professor Christine Chinkin, the Centre’s first director.
Professor Craig Calhoun said at the time:
“This Centre is a remarkable opportunity for us to bring together academic and policy experts and those in the front line of tackling violence against women. LSE has always had at the heart of its mission the goal of translating education – research and teaching – into solving real-world problems. This new initiative represents precisely that aim. I am delighted to have worked with William Hague and Angelina Jolie in bringing this project together, and I am very excited about the possibilities it brings.
Rt Hon William Hague said:
“By founding this Centre LSE is setting an impressive example to other universities in the UK and around the world. I'm delighted that as we take forward the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative we'll be able to work with the UK’s first academic centre on Women, Peace and Security at the LSE, providing the ideas and rigorous academic understanding needed to expand equal rights, equal freedom and equal opportunity for women everywhere.”
Ms Angelina Jolie said:
“I am excited at the thought of all the students in years to come who will study in this new Centre. There is no stable future for a world in which crimes committed against women go unpunished. We need the next generation of educated youth with inquisitive minds and fresh energy, who are willing not only to sit in the classroom but to go out into the field and the courtrooms and to make a decisive difference."
Professor Christine Chinkin said:
“I am honoured to be the inaugural Director of such a ground-breaking initiative. I look forward to working with colleagues across and beyond the academic world in helping to make the world a better place for women.”
Find out more information about the launch here.
We welcome the support and engagement of partners, allies and funders who share our commitment to promoting gender equality and enhancing women’s security and economic, social, and political participation. For more information on how you can support the Centre, visit our Support Us page.
The list of the Centre's current and past funders include:
- Arts and Humanities Research Council
- Economic and Social Research Council
- European Research Council
- Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust
- The Libor Fund
- LSE Annual Fund
- LSE IGA / Rockefeller Resilience Fund
- LSE Knowledge Exchange Fund
- Dr Nina Ansary
- The UK Department for International Development
- UKRI Global Challenges Research Fund
- The Wellcome Trust