Having established that massive human rights violations in armed conflict constitute a threat to peace and that women are the most severely affected by the scourge of war, the Security Council has since 1999 adopted a number of resolutions intended specifically for this group. These instruments contribute to the development of humanitarian law applicable to women and acknowledge the value of active participation by women in peace efforts. The following article first analyses the foundations on which the Council has been able to assume responsibility for protecting women in situations of armed conflict, and then considers the actual protection it provides. It concludes that the Council has had varying success in this role, pointing out that the thematic and declaratory resolutions on which it is largely based are not binding and therefore, they are relatively effective only as regards their provisions committing United Nations bodies. The author proposes that the Council’s role could be better accomplished through situational resolutions than through resolutions declaratory of international law.