Gender, conflict and peace-building: Lessons from the conflict in the former Yugoslavia

Citation:

Korac, Maja. 2006. “Gender, conflict and peace-building: Lessons from the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.” Women's Studies International Forum 29: 510-20.

Author: Maja Korac

Abstract:

This article explores the importance of gender sensitive analysis of conflict constructed as ethnic strife for conceptualising and developing new and more effective ways of intervening in this type of war. It points out that because most of the physical violence and suffering in these conflicts occur at the community level, they generate massive refugee movements, causing not only physical and material devastation, but also the destruction of social networks and local communities. This critically affects the prospects for refugee return, which is central to any sustainable peace agreement and post-conflict democratic development. In searching for an answer to the question of how to address effectively the issue of reconciliation in such a context, the discussion highlights the centrality of acknowledging gender dimensions and dynamics of this type of war, as a way of uncovering and recognising a reconciliatory potential of women as women organising and activism that often occurs in these conflicts. By focusing specifically on the initiatives of some women's groups during the war in the former Yugoslavia, which aimed at rebuilding trust and broken social networks at a communal level, the article examines the reasons why women as women often opt for alternative forms of political mobilisation. It argues that this type of activism has an important potential for conflict resolution and should be recognised in a fundamental way in any attempt to build peace in conflict zones.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Democracy / Democratization, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Violence Regions: Europe, Balkans Countries: Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2006

© 2017 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.