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The WPS agenda: Constitutional reform


Written by Clare Castillejo


This paper examines how post-conflict constitutional reform can be used to advance gender equality goals, the ways in which women activists mobilise to influence constitutional reform, and how international actors support such mobilisation. It explores how the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda can potentially be an important framework for promoting women’s participation in constitutional reform processes, framing women’s demands in relation to constitutional content, and pressing for implementation of constitutional commitments on gender equality and women’s rights.

The paper finds that, while international actors do frequently support women’s participation and gender equality content within constitutional reforms, they do not sufficiently connect this support to wider work on WPS in ways that could strengthen their overall engagement and reinforce its impact. A more coherent approach to support for WPS and constitutional reform could begin with the identification of common goals, entry points, and opportunities for traction across these two areas. This requires a broader definition of the WPS agenda, as well reaching out beyond thematic silos to explore interconnections and opportunities for coordinated action by those working on WPS and on wider reform processes.

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