Sexism, reproductive health, gender-based violence—these are a few topics that often come up under the subject of “women’s issues.” Although a buzzword, the term “women’s issues” is regularly used without precise definition, and often has slighting, divisive undertones. When referring to women’s equal rights and participation, gender-based violence, or reproductive health, the use of “women’s issues” is well-intentioned.

At the same time, it presents a paradox as it can create barriers to men’s involvement, when in fact each of these issues require men’s full participation to resolve.

At another event, when confronted with a question on women’s active participation in peace processes, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström paralleled this remark, saying that women’s participation “is not just a women’s issue, [it’s] a peace and security issue.”

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