This conference forms part of an ERC funded project, titled Gendered Peace, led by Professor Christine Chinkin. This grant takes an interdisciplinary approach to provide new understandings of the spectrum of peace and conflict, while centring a gender analysis.
Peace remains undefined within international law. Despite this there are numerous references to peace within international legal documents, with the UN Charter assigning the UN Security Council with responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and to this end mandating peace operations.
The right to education was enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948. Specifically, Article 26 of the UDHR establishes that the individual has the right to education. Within the text of Article 26 there is a direct link to peace, it states:
Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) in 1966 provided the right to education, Articles 13 and 14, with more detail.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization was established in 1945, as the primary international legal institution currently charged with the dissemination and articulation of peace education throughout the world. UNESCO’s current work stresses the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals, which lists ‘gender equality’ and ‘peace, justice and strong institutions’ as two of its interlinked goals. From an institutional perspective gender has been utilised as a category in order to assess education equality and as a tool of analysis within the peace education field. Gender has also been used as a focal point for discussions on women’s peace education initiatives and women’s personal education achievements.
This brief introduction suggests that the concepts of peace, education, international law and gender are related to, and rely on, each other in varying ways. But are there other ways these areas interact, or could interact? How can a robust gender analysis shift understandings of peace education within international law and thus even that of peace itself? How is peace education understood and put into practice differently in local and international spaces? What does it mean to say there is a right to peace education? Does or should such a right exist?
These are just a few of our many questions. We are therefore proposing a symposium where participants can think through the linkages between the complex and nuanced areas of gender, peace, education (peace education) and international law and what might flow from making such linkages.
We invite abstracts from a range of disciplines for presentation at the conference. Papers might address peace, education, gender and international law or only touch on a combination of two or three, but adopting a feminist approach. Some areas of inquiry might include: historical examples of peace education, ‘Education in Emergencies’, education in refugee camps, the nexus between human rights education and peace education, the work of UNESCO, theoretical approaches to peace education, the Women, Peace and Security agenda, ‘women and girls’ in peace education and domestic vs international peace education perspectives.
Questions for discussion:
1) What are some untold histories of peace education?
2) How do we teach peace? And why?
3) Is there such a thing as feminist peace education?
4) If we used the UN Security Council Women, Peace and Security Resolutions as a textbook, what would it teach us about peace?
5) What is the relevance of this topic for the feminist international legal scholar?
Deadline: Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be sent by 18 June 2021 to Dr Sheri Labenski at firstname.lastname@example.org with the email subject heading ‘Gender, Peace and Education’. Symposium participants will be notified by 3 September 2021.
Suggested Outputs: We invite participants to write a blog post for publication on the LSE WPS Blog. Further outputs potentially could include a special issue of a journal.
Download the call for abstracts here.
Header image credit: Rashaad Jorden (CC BY 4.0)