Participation vs Protection : A quantitative content analysis of ‘Women, Peace and Security’ in the Swedish statements in the United Nations Security Council 2017-2018
Abstract: This paper takes its point of departure in the skewed attention towards the ‘protection’ of women rather than the ‘participation’ of women when talking about ‘Women, Peace &Security’ (WPS) in the UN Security Council. Given the centrality of Sweden, as the first country in the world with a feminist foreign policy, this thesis fills a gap in the current research as it investigates whether this skewed attention was reflected during Sweden’s time as a non-permanent member in the UNSC 2017-2018 or not. A quantitative content analysis of 318 Swedish statements in the UNSC 2017-2018 conducted in this paper shows an overall result where Sweden mentions women in the context of participation more frequently than protection. This outcome is further explained by three Government Officials active during Sweden’s time in the UNSC, as resulting from the Swedish strategy and the feminist foreign policy. Furthermore, the results of this study indicate a change in how frequently Sweden refers to participation over protection between 2017 and 2018; the strategy of attaching larger focus to participation is significantly clearer the second year. The interviewees explain that this was due to the increased experience in the UNSC and increased credibility for Sweden among the other member states. The current stage of the conflict or peacekeeping operation in question, i.e. in the country of discussion in the UNSC, was also considered as a large part of the strategy, suggesting the nature of the conflict to be of importance for the results and hence relevant to analyze in future research on the attention payed to participation versus protection in the UNSC.
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