Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Human security, a people-centered approach to security, typically seeks to examine vulnerabilities and identify ways of protecting people from threats. However, people are not perennial victims—they also have agency and are capable of acting on their own. This study looks at how the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda has created both the discursive and actual spaces for women's agency, particularly in the case of women's civil society organizations (CSOs), as illustrated by their work on the ground. This chapter investigates how the Gaston Z. Ortigas Peace Institute (GZOPI), Sulong Peace, and Women Engaged in Action on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (WE Act 1325) have been able to shift their strategies from vertical empowerment to horizontal empowerment based on their experiences of assisting grassroots women's groups in peacebuilding work during the COVID-19 pandemic.