The Nordic Africa Institute


Shattering glass: How elected members of the UN Security Council fight for women, peace and security

Started • 01 January 2021

This project aims to build our understanding of the relationships between key dynamics affecting the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). We explore power within the UNSC; working processes of the Council; non-permanent state capacities; and politics and external WPS alliances and influences - and the WPS work of the Council.

The project seeks to produce insights that contribute to more responsive, agile and effective engagement within and by the UNSC, and implementation of WPS in a time of global turbulence.

The project’s specific objectives are to:

  • Develop theoretical understanding about the behaviors and capacities of the non-permanent elected member states (E10) in relation to the demands of the Council and WPS objectives.
  • Identify the processes and options undertaken by E10 states for the implementation of women, peace and security.
  • Understand the potential differences and similarities of UNSC states in their execution of WPS strategies.

Comparative case study research will focus on the terms of five E10 states: Ethiopia (2017-2018), Germany (2019-2020), Rwanda (2013-2014), South Africa (2019-2020) and Sweden (2017-2018) to examine UNSC impact.

We will use a qualitative approach, collecting documentary evidence, undertaking semi-structured interviews and carrying out structured-focused comparison about the strategies, capacities and levers that may be necessary for advancing the WPS agenda by the E10.

The project is funded by a three-year research grant from the Swedish Research Council (VR).

Project leader: Angela Muvumba Sellström

Project participants: Louise Olsson (Co-leader, the Peace Research Institute Oslo), Sithembile Mbete (University of Pretoria)