Bridging the gap: Early warning, gender and the responsibility to protect

Sara E. Davies, Sarah Teitt, Zim Nwokora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Women, Peace and Security (WPS) scholars and practitioners have expressed reservations about the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) principle because of its popular use as a synonym for armed humanitarian intervention. On the other hand, R2P’s early failure to engage with and advance WPS efforts such as United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution 1325 (2000) has seen the perpetuation of limited roles ascribed to women in implementing the R2P principle. As a result, there has been a knowledge and practice gap between the R2P and WPS agendas, despite the fact that their advocates share common goals in relation to the prevention of atrocities and protection of populations. In this article we propose to examine just one of the potential avenues for aligning the WPS agenda and R2P principle in a way that is beneficial to both and strengthens the pursuit of a shared goal – prevention. We argue that the development and inclusion of gender-specific indicators – particularly economic, social and political discriminatory practices against women – has the potential to improve the capacity of early warning frameworks to forecast future mass atrocities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-249
Number of pages22
JournalCooperation and Conflict
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Early warning
  • gender
  • prevention
  • R2P

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