Prevention is the goal of R2P. The realisation of R2P has greater resonance when it galvanises states and partner institutions to take responsibility to protect and empower populations at risk. R2P is always relevant, but it has particular significance in highlighting situations where there are populations facing inequality and risk of violence due to their unequal position. Acts of sexual and gender based violence in conflict and non-conflict situations that are widespread and systematic are international crimes that fall under the R2P principle. Furthermore, the 1998 Rome Statute and UN Security Council have detailed the types of crimes and situations in which these acts pose a threat to international peace and security. Women and girls remain most at risk of being targeted for these crimes. The targeting of women and girls, as well as men and boys, is attributable to the particular forms of gender discrimination and gender inequality pervasive in politically unstable and conflict situations.
The PSV program at the University of Queensland Asia Pacific Centre for Responsibility to Protect works closely with collegues at Griffith University Centre for Governance and Public Policy, and Monash University’s Gender Peace and Security Initiative, and aims to promote a gendered approach to R2P in identifying who is responsible for promoting approaches and programs that reduce these inequalities, and in turn this violence. The PSV program directly engages the Women, Peace and Security agenda, which promotes the participation of women to protect populations, prevent conflict and end cycles of violence and impunity. The PSVU has three focus areas that will be delivered over 2016-2018 period to promote and highlight the importance of mainstreaming gender equality in atrocity prevention. All programs have been developed to enhance and inform the Australian Government’s aid investment priorities, Gender Equality and Empowering Women and Girls and Building Resistance.