The Missing Piece: Lessons from Ukraine for Integrating Masculinities in Women, Peace and Security

Article here. Excerpt:

'One of the key objectives of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda is to integrate a gender perspective into all peace and security efforts. Yet, discussions on gender tend to focus on issues relating to women and girls, neglecting the broader spectrum of gender dynamics. This omission is palpable in the ten resolutions adopted by the United Nations (UN) Security Council in the context of the WPS agenda, where there are only three references to men and boys.1 This limited representation fails to acknowledge the multifaceted roles that men can play in conflict situations, whether in perpetuating or resolving them.

While the changes to Ukraine’s NAP in 2022 demonstrated a willingness to adapt quickly to changing realities, the war has brought into stark relief areas where gender and gender identity are strong determinants of one’s lived experience in conflict. In February 2022, Ukraine declared martial law and banned men aged between 18 and 60 from leaving the country, as they might be called upon for mandatory military service. Women were not subject to the draft; however, a new conscription law now mandates that women with medical or pharmaceutical education register at enlistment offices.

This divergence in gender-based conscription rules has led to several noteworthy developments for men. First, civilian men who have not yet joined the military forces or received formal military training have seen their freedom of movement considerably restricted. Additionally, since a considerable number of women have been internally displaced or left the country, many men find themselves separated from their loved ones. Men also constitute a significantly higher share of casualties. As of August 2023, estimates indicate that nearly 70,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed, and around 120,000 have been wounded since the beginning of the conflict.'

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