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The 2022 invasion of Ukraine by Russia represents a logical step in the Russian war against women, minorities, and “Western values.” The discussion aims to better understand the complexity and fragility of the contemporary security environment by presenting an effective frame for correctly analyzing women’s influence and experience as both agents and subjects of change. The panelists explore the conflict through the weaponization of gender in the global information war against the U.S., NATO, and Ukraine. Furthermore, they highlight the correlation between the weaponization of gendered narratives and its relationship to fostering societal resilience and networks of resistance. The discussion introduces the conceptual framework of information warfare, narrative warfare, and civilizational confrontation, and its linkages with resilience and resilient societies. It provides an analysis of the deeper meaning of WPS in the macro context of the assault on democracy, human rights, and rule of law – to include the role of women in building resilient societies. Information and cognition have impacted the war-fighting experience in the current conflict and its marked role in gendered narratives, which have been utilized by both the Russians and Ukrainians. Lessons learned and policy recommendations for developing a more effective and robust WPS agenda for U.S. (and allied and partner) foreign policy and information operations, especially in advancing new notions of integrated deterrence, while expanding the development of resilience are brought to the fore. Achieving unity of effort is crucial because there can be disjuncture between the declaratory level and WPS policies.
U.S. Naval War College
Newport, Rhode Island
Ukraine, Russia, women’s influence, weaponization of gender, information warfare, gendered narratives, WPS
Chiriac, Dr. Olga R. and Matisek, Dr. Jahara “FRANKY”, "Russo-Ukraine War and Gendered Approaches to Strategic Competition" (2023). Women, Peace, and Security. 16.