Feminist Roadmap for Sustainable Peace Knowledge-building Workshop: Gendering Public Finance and Peacebuilding

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The Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights, in partnership with the Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution (NOREF), held an international knowledge-building workshop on Gender, Public Finance and Peacebuilding in Oslo, Norway on January 12-14, 2017.

The workshop convened an international array of 17 distinguished experts from fields including feminist economics, post-war reconstruction, and gender and security, as well from international organizations and national ministries of finance and planning. Their goal was to integrate gender analysis into public finance and peacebuilding theory and praxis.

The Consortium has identified the management of public finance as a critical, if often overlooked, factor in advancing more equitable, just and sustainable peace. The manner in which states raise revenue, manage expenditures and make budget allocations determines which aspects of peacebuilding are prioritized and which are neglected. Those decisions, in turn, can either have the effect of reinforcing pre-existing gender inequalities in a war-affected country, or of transforming them. Unfortunately, despite the 16 years that have passed since United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) officially recognized that gender equality is inextricably linked with peace, to date post-war reconstruction investments and programs have largely continued to deepen, rather than ameliorate, gendered structural inequalities. This means that the rare opportunities for promoting gender equality which follow peace agreements are being lost, as are important economic recovery opportunities for women, their households and the country writ large.

In the workshop, participants mapped and analyzed current public finance processes and institutions, and identified critical leverage points for organizational change. In the process, they also identified research gaps, and generated innovative approaches to public finance that transform gender relations and foster sustainable, gender-just peace. In order to foster the radical collaboration necessary to overcome the siloed approaches common to post-war policies, we focused on productive methods for bringing people together across multiple sectors, including international financial institutions (IFIs), academia, government and the UN. Among the participants, for example, were: 

  • Cecilia López Montaño, economist, former Colombian Senator, former Minister of Agriculture and Director of National Planning Department
  • 'Funmi Olonisakin, founding Director of the African Leadership Centre (ALC)
  • Marta Ruedas, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan
  • Janet Stotsky, former International Monetary Fund economist, now a Visiting Scholar
  • Kade Finnoff, Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Boston and Associate Professor of Economics at Azim Premji University
  • Awino Okech, involved for the last 12 years in social justice transformation work in Eastern Africa, the Great Lakes region and South Africa

This was the first thematic workshop of the Consortium’s wider “Feminist Roadmap for Sustainable Peace” project, which explores how to address the unequal, deeply gendered political, economic and social power relations that underpin wars and undermine post-war efforts to build sustainable peace. It builds on an inaugural workshop that took place in Oslo June 10-12, 2015 (organized in partnership with NOREF), along with a series of consultations at CSW59, WILPF’s Women’s Power to Stop War Conference (2015), the International Feminist Journal of Politics Conference (2014), the International Studies Association Conference (2013), as well as on the Consortium’s International Speaker Series at UMass Boston.

Preliminary findings from the workshop were presented  at an event hosted by the PRIO Centre on Gender, Peace and Security, which drew a substantial number of international ambassadors, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs staff and members of the Norwegian peacebuilding community.   

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