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Women, the State, and War: Considering Feminist Navigation of Security Open Access Deposited

Despite feminists’ progress in advocating for the legitimization of women’s security in the international relations sphere, institutional impediments reveal that masculine structures continue to regulate a patriarchal status quo in discourse, policy, and law. Inconsistency in the United Nations’ Women, Peace, and Security agenda and in the United Nations’ policies on women’s security during conflict signifies that the legitimacy of feminist approaches to war and peace remains unestablished by the United Nations Security Council. Discourse condemning sexual violence as a tactic of war in UN Resolution 1820 serves as a case study for understanding the discrepancy between the Security Council’s intent to protect states and its intent to protect women. By parsing out the relationship between the reigning theory of realism and a feminist interpretation of security, this paper analyzes the extent to which feminists in international relations have been able to navigate women’s security within an innately patriarchal field and proposes recommendations to further improve the discourse, policy, and laws surrounding women's security during war and peace.

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