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President's Ponderings - March 2021

Welcome to the WIIS NL community! We are excited to be launching our newsletter in the week we celebrate International Women's Day.

In 2021 we will be hosting a series of speaker events online on key issues in women peace and security [WPS] which I hope you can attend.  We will also be launching networking events as soon as we are able to hold live events. These will be exclusive to our members and provide an opportunity to meet other WIIS NL members as well as listen to a keynote speaker on important topics on women in international security.  I encourage you to sign up to join WIIS NL and remind you that student membership is free.

In 2000 the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1325 recognising the disproportionate effects that war and conflict have on women and the need for women’s inclusion in peace and security measures.  Since then the WPS agenda has expanded to include ten resolutions and the idea that feminism may have a different perspective on peace and security is increasingly gaining recognition.  At the national level, several states have announced they are adopting a feminist foreign policy to incorporate feminist thinking on international peace and security. Thus far Sweden, Canada, France and Mexico have announced they wish to adopt a feminist approach in their foreign policy. While there is much still to discuss on what feminist foreign policy is and should be, we’re excited to see that the spread of feminist policy thinking now extends beyond global north states.

This month at WIIS we're asking how a feminist foreign policy might be applied to national security thinking in an age where domestic terror threats are becoming a reality.  The recent attacks on the US capitol and news reports on the discovery of far right extremism in Germany suggests that the next big security challenge will be framed by security experts as the need to implement measures to counter domestic threats.  Here at WIIS NL we want to open a discussion on what national security might look like using a feminist lens. We’re thrilled to have three experts from across the globe speaking at our virtual roundtable on Wednesday 17 March. 

My take is this: if countering domestic threats are going to become ‘the next big thing’ in security discourse then it’s imperative we start talking now about what feminism can offer national security thinking to ensure diverse voices are included from the outset.

The views expressed in this President’s Message are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company.  As I am a critically thinking human being my views will always be subject to change, revision and re-thinking.

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