Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) forms part of the United Nations approach to international peacebuilding. Whereas the resolution has been critiqued in terms of its implementation, there is a gap in the existing analysis concerning a deeper critical understanding of gender and the significant link between the constructions of gender and cultures of violence and peace. Grounded in a theoretical framework of a gendered analysis of peacebuilding theory, the empirical research combines policy analysis and qualitative interviews in order to examine how the concept of gender is understood within peacebuilding policy and how this impacts on implementation. Using the principle themes that emerge from SCR 1325 - gender mainstrearning, participation, and protection - this thesis presents an analysis of the different understandings of gender found in the policy making arena and locates these within perspectives for building more sustainable and positive peace. It is argued that, in order to overcome the inertia in implementing gender aware perspectives and policies in the security arena, the focus of analysis must be broadened from a focus on women to include the relational nature of constructions of gender. It is thus necessary to examine the related issues of power, and the roles of femininities and masculinities, patriarchy and militarization in the field of peacebuilding policy. This involves moving beyond the confines of the prevailing liberal peace thesis towards a more transformative approach to building sustainable peace.

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