Interrogating Women’s Peace Work: Community-Based Peacebuilding, Gender, and Savings’ Co-Operatives in Post-Conflict Nepal

Citation:

Ramnarain, Smita. 2015. “Interrogating Women’s Peace Work: Community-Based Peacebuilding, Gender, and Savings’ Co-Operatives in Post-Conflict Nepal.” Community Development Journal 50 (4): 677–92. doi:10.1093/cdj/bsu065.

Author: Smita Ramnarain

Abstract:

Recent trends towards community-based and participatory approaches to peacebuilding and acknowledgment of the greater need to incorporate women's voices have resulted in experiments devolving responsibilities for building peace to women's organizations at the grassroots level in post-conflict situations. This article discusses one such experiment that women's savings and credit cooperatives in Nepal have undertaken to mediate conflict and build peace at the local levels. Using women's narratives emerging from interviews and focus group discussions, the gendered assumptions behind women's community-based peacebuilding activities, and implications for women's sustained participation in peace work, are examined. The findings reveal that this model of peacebuilding relied on educating and training women but neglected to explore the structural inequalities that cause violence. Indeed, the expectation placed on women's savings and credit co-operative members to perform unremunerated and sustained peace work in their communities may itself reflect inequalities of power that community-based peace models need to address.

Topics: Economies, Education, Gender, Women, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2015

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