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Consortium Lectures

Consortium Lectures are edited transcripts and video recordings from the Consortium’s International Speaker Series. Our Speaker Series brings an international roster of frontline practitioners, reflective activists and engaged scholars. Their talks address the complex realities of women’s and men’s lives and livelihoods in conflict-affected areas, the challenges of trying to bring feminist commitments into security policy and humanitarian practice, and the ways in which gender analysis can and must transform resolutely “gender-blind” paradigms of conflict resolution and peacebuilding.

  • Paternalism & Women's Political Participation in Sri Lanka

    Feminist activism with regard to women's political participation in Sri Lanka has primarily focused on quotas to increase their numerical strength within political institutions. This emphasis on “bodies” has however precluded a deeper discussion on the lack of “voice.”


    • Malathi de Alwis
      Consultant Socio-Cultural Anthropologist, Colombo, Sri Lanka
    March 5, 2014
  • Women's Economic Empowerment in Conflict and Post-Conflict Societies

    Women continue to face significant barriers to full participation in peace processes during and after conflict. Although the post-conflict moment creates a window of opportunity for redressing structural economic inequalities, the opportunity is often squandered.  Only a multi-sectoral approach that closely links women's economic empowerment to political and social empowerment can translate national and international policy frameworks into real change for women in conflict and post-conflict societies.


    • Joy Ada Onyesoh
      President of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom Nigeria
    November 21, 2013
  • Maternal Protest in Argentina: Transforming the Global Human Rights Landscape

    When a handful of women first gathered to protest the disappearance of their children at the hands of the Argentine military government, they could not have predicted that their actions would change the global landscape of human rights. Why did the mobilization of mothers and grandmothers spur the formation of a powerful human rights movement in Argentina? Under what conditions will an appeal to motherhood generate a powerful political response?

    • Lisa Baldez
      Dartmouth College
    April 17, 2012
  • Between Gender and Ethnicity: Women’s Rights and Identity Politics in the Andes

    In the Andean region, indigenous groups have become an important political force, even participating in rewriting constitutions. On gender issues, indigenous demands raise important issues for feminists, as women’s rights are understood within a cultural context of gender complementarity rather than gender equality. Jane Jaquette discusses the content of these debates and explores their implications for women’s rights. 

    • Jane Jaquette
      Occidental College
    December 1, 2011
  • Leapfrog Feminism: Learning about Human Rights Institution- Building from Local Actors

    Drawing on 25 years of experience working with a host of governmental and nongovernmental human rights organizations, Julie Mertus explores the mistakes and successes in over two decades of human rights advocacy. 

    • Julie Mertus
      American University
    November 8, 2011
  • Gentle Invasions: NGO Funding and the Manipulation of Civil Society within Transitional States

    Denise Horn discusses the development of a new international regime in which hegemonic states have used funding for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to manipulate the development of civil society in transitional states. Through an examination of US funding strategies for women's NGOs within a sample of transitional states (Estonia, Moldova, and Thailand), Horn assesses the power of such strategies and the long-term effects they have had on the development of democratic norms within these states and regions.

    • Denise Horn
      Northeastern University
    February 19, 2008
  • One Mandate, Many Policies: Lessons on Gender Mainstreaming in the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Food Programme, and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations

    The UN is mandated to apply gender mainstreaming in its work. In late 2006, the UN Secretary-General released two reports calling for greater synergy on such efforts. One report, "Delivering as One" places mainstreaming in the context of broader UN reforms; the other "Report on Progress of Implementing Resolution 1325" considers the peace and security agenda. In this talk Ramina Johal compares the ways that gender mainstreaming is operationalised in the UN World Food Programme, the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, and explores ways to enhance their synergy from the context of refugee and displaced populations.

    • Ramina Johal
      Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children
    March 5, 2007
  • Gendering the War in Iraq

    How have men and women been represented in Iraqi war discourses?  Laura Sjoberg examines the discourses used by national leaders, the media, and individual soldiers. Identifying the appearance of gendered stereotypes of men and women, she interrogates the role of these stereotypes in public understandings of the war.

    • Laura Sjoberg
      Duke University
    February 13, 2007
  • Working to Promote 1325 in Israel: Opportunities and Challenges Facing Activist Women and Isha L’Isha

    Paula Mills explores the strategies used by activist women from the Isha L'Isha Haifa Feminist Center in Israel to create an environment for the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. UNSCR 1325, which was passed in October 2000, specifically addressed the impact of war on women and women's contributions to conflict resolution and sustainable peace. Activists have faced complex challenges when working to promote changes in the government and its policies. Awareness-raising work on 1325 has also had an impact upon the delicate fabric of cooperation between feminist activists, privileged Jewish women, marginalized Palestinian women, and citizens of Israel.

    • Paula Mills
      Haifa Feminist Center
    November 29, 2006
  • Women and Political Participation in Post-Saddam Iraq: A Test Case for Democratic Transition?

    Policymakers and practitioners are often keen to ensure women’s political participation in post-conflict transition processes. In recognition that women are differentially placed within social and political systems, policymakers are more and more adopting specially-designed measures to ensure women’s participation. In the case of Iraq, women’s political participation has been held up as one of the most important symbols of the transition from authoritarianism to democracy. In this talk Nicola Pratt examines and evaluates the different activities and strategies pursued by both internal and external actors to increase women’s political participation in post-Saddam Iraq.

    • Nicola Pratt
      University of East Anglia
    November 20, 2006
  • ‘We Have to Do All the Pushing’: UN Gender Adviser Strategies for Implementing Gender Mainstreaming Policy in Peacekeeping Missions

    Drawing on in-depth interviews with full-time UN gender advisers responsible for implementing UN gender mainstreaming in peacekeeping missions, Colleen Keaney-Mischel, outlines the various approaches the advisers take to their task and explores how they interpret their role within the missions. The discussion focuses on how advisers negotiate their relative lack of power in this setting and the potential for success that their actions have on the gender mainstreaming mandate.

    • Colleen Keaney-Mischel
      Northeastern University
    April 24, 2006
  • Gender and Accountability: Challenges for Reform in Developing States

    • Anne-Marie Goetz
    April 10, 2006
  • A Conversation with Women Peacebuilders: Leymah Gbowee and Shobha Gautam

    • Leymah Roberta Gbowee
      Coordinator for Women in Peacebuilding Network/ West African Women for Peacebuilding (WIPNET/WANEP)
    • Shobha Gautam
      Institute of Human Rights Communication in Nepal (IHRICON)
    March 8, 2006
  • Must Boys Be Boys? Ending Sexual Exploitation & Abuse in UN Peacekeeping Missions

    On October 18, 2005, Refugees International released a new report, “Must Boys Be Boys? Ending Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in UN Peacekeeping Missions.” The report charges that a culture has evolved within UN peacekeeping missions that breeds a tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, and argues that the misconduct of peacekeepers compromises the UN’s ability to transform conflict and bring about stable peace. Sarah Martin, the report’s author, discusses the scope of this problem and what can be done to resolve it.

    • Sarah Martin
      Refugees International
    February 1, 2006
  • Militarism and the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor: Consequences for Women

    In August 1999, the East Timorese voted overwhelmingly to end 25 years of brutal Indonesian rule and to become an independent nation. For the next two and half years, the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) functioned as the de facto government, overseeing reconstruction, governance and the building of institutional capacity. In this climate East Timorese women's groups found UNTAET both an ally and an adversary to their organizing around women's issues. Drawing on frameworks as diverse as feminist international relations, post-conflict studies, and social movement theory, this talk explores the consequences for women's organizing when the UN plays the role of government.

    • Vijaya Joshi
      University of Melbourne
    March 28, 2005
  • Women’s Contributions to Peace Processes: What Does the New Research Tell Us?


    In 2002, Women Waging Peace launched an ambitious field-based research program with the goal of producing 10-15 stand alone case studies on women's contributions to peace processes and post-conflict reconstruction, drawing on key themes including conflict prevention, peacemaking, and post conflict reconstruction. The cases range from women's roles in peacemaking to their influence on the ICTY, their role in shaping security sector reform in South Africa, contributions to disarmament programs in Sierra Leone, and governance in Rwanda. Sanam Naraghi Anderlini will present an overview of this research project, including its goals, lessons learnt in developing and conducting the research, key findings from the thematic case studies, the advocacy objectives and achievements of the venture, and future steps. 


    • Sanam Naraghi Anderlini
      Director, Policy Commission, Women Waging Peace
    February 9, 2005
  • Failing to Secure the Peace: Practical Gendered Lessons from Haiti & Iraq

    Nadine Puechguirbal – Senior Gender Advisor, UN Peacekeeping Mission in Haiti 
    Nadine Peuchguirbal has worked in the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) in New York, and as a Gender Affairs Officer to the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  She comes to us directly from Haiti to reflect on the challenges of mainstreaming a gender perspective in the Haiti peacekeeping mission.

    Cynthia Enloe – Research Professor of Women's Studies and International Development at Clark University
    Cynthia Enloe is the author of many ground-breaking books, including Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics (2001), Maneuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women's Lives (1999), and The Morning After: Sexual Politics at the End of the Cold War (1993). She will explore gendered questions that have been absent from the public discussion of the Abu Ghraib scandal, and their impact on the US’s ability to secure the peace in Iraq.

    • Nadine Puechguirbal
      Senior Gender Advisor, UN Peacekeeping Mission in Haiti
    • Cynthia Enloe
      Research Professor of Women's Studies and International Development at Clark University
    October 26, 2004
  • Working in the Field: Practitioners Discuss UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security

    • Carol Cohn
      Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights
    • Nadine Puechguirbal
      Humanitarian Affairs Officer at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    • Nathalie Gahunga
      Boston Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights
    • Angela Raven-Roberts
      Tufts University and Feinstein International Famine Center
    April 26, 2004
  • Feminist Peace Activism in Sri Lanka

    Malathi de Alwis discusses trends in feminist peace activism in Sri Lanka, commenting on the strategies used and the influence of international donor agencies on the agendas of local peace activists.

    • Malathi de Alwis
      International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Colombo, Sri Lanka
    February 23, 2004
  • U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325, Three Years On: Gender, Security and Organizational Change

    Felicity Hill, Carol Cohn, and Cynthia Enloe discuss the impact of UNSC Resolution 1325. Recognizing that 1325 breaks new ground by putting women squarely in the center of efforts to end armed conflicts and create sustainable peace, the speakers address questions such as: to what degree is this merely a rhetorical shift? To what degree has it resulted in a transformation of United Nations' policies and practices? What are the barriers to institutional change at the United Nations? 

    • Felicity Hill
      Peace and Security Adviser to the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)
    • Carol Cohn
      Boston Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights
    • Cynthia Enloe
      Clark University
    January 20, 2004


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