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Post-Conflict

Advancing Women's Empowerment or Rolling Back the Gains? Peace Building in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone

Citation:

Abdullah, Hussaina J. 2014. “Advancing Women’s Empowerment or Rolling Back the Gains? Peace Building in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone.” In Feminisms, Empowerment and Development: Changing Women’s Lives, edited by Andrea Cornwall and Jenny Edwards. London: Zed Books.

Author: Hussaina J. Abdullah

Annotation:

Summary: 
“Sierra Leone’s reconstruction and peace consolidation policies and programmes are pursued within the post-conflict peace-building framework (UN 1992). Within this framework, women and gender issues have been articulated through a series of UN Security Council resolutions, such as 1325 (in 2000), 1820 (in 2008), 1888 and 1889 (in 2009), 1960 (in 2010) and 2106 and 2122 (in 2013). These resolutions specifically address women’s rights in post-conflict societies, their participation in reconstruction processes, their protection from violence, and the strengthening of justice systems. For instance, resolution 1325, the premier declaration on Women, Peace and Security, clearly links sexual violence as a weapon of war with the pursuit of peace and security, and outlines a legal structure for addressing these concerns at various levels” (Abdullah 2014, 67-68).
 
“To further consolidate the Women, Peace and Security agenda, the UN released two reports – ‘Report of the Secretary- General on Women, Peace and Security’ and ‘Report of the Secretary-General on Women’s Participation in Peacebuilding’ – on the tenth anniversary of the adoption of resolution 1325. The outstanding element in the latter report, which looked at women’s needs and participation in post-conflict reconstruction and transformation and peace-building processes, was the stipulation that 15 per cent of all UN-managed post-conflict financing funds should support projects that ‘address women’s specific needs, advance gender equality or empower women’ (UN 2010). While this framework has a transformatory edge, it does not go far enough to ensure women’s empowerment. Its application in post-conflict Sierra Leone is disjointed and full of loopholes that can be used to roll back whatever gains women have achieved. This chapter explores and reflects on this outcome” (68-69).

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, peace and security, Justice, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, UNSCR 1820, UNSCR 1888, UNSCR 1889, UNSCR 1960, UNSCR 2106, UNSCR 2122, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2014

Women and the African Peace and Security Architecture

Citation:

Abdullah, Hussaina J. 2017."Women and the African Peace and Security Architecture." African Peacebuilding Network Working Paper 12, Social Science Research Council, New York.

Author: Hussaina J. Abdullah

Annotation:

Summary: 
"The objective of this study is to provide a comprehensive overview and analysis of how women’s rights in situations of armed conflict and post-conflict contexts have been mainstreamed into various mechanisms, structures, and instruments of the AU’s African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). As part of this exercise, this study conducts a critical examination of the links between APSA’s goal of promoting peace and security and the AU’s Gender Equality Architecture’s (GEA) goal of promoting and protecting the rights of women on the continent.
 
"This paper argues that while the AU has shown its commitment to the issues of peace and security and gender equality through the creation of various structures and the adoption of legal instruments to push through its agenda, the lack of a well-coordinated organizational strategy integrating these two sectors has resulted in limited success in achieving its goals and actualizing its vision. Furthermore, although the AU’s peace and security and gender equality agendas are closely linked to the global women, peace, and security (WPS) discourse, there is very little synergy in the institution’s engagement with and articulation of the global framework. As a result, the expected transformation in the lives of African women in conflict and post- conflict settings has not been realized. Women are still subjected to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and other human rights violations and marginalized in peace negotiations and post-war reconstruction processes; simultaneously, impunity for SGBV and other crimes is still rife in these societies. To move the institution’s gender equality agenda forward, a comprehensive gender-responsive organizational strategy and culture are needed to strengthen inter-departmental cooperation at all levels. This will encourage programs and policies that are in sync with the institution’s broad vision of a continent where women and men have equal access to opportunities, rights, and resources.
 
"This paper outlines the significant progress made at the country level as well as the gaps regarding women’s safety and security during and after armed conflict, including their participation in peace processes and post- conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding. It provides an assessment of the achievements and limitations of the gender mainstreaming process,2 particularly in relation to practical measures for promoting gender equality in the APSA, alongside those for implementing policies for the promotion of peace and security within the framework of the Gender Equality Architecture (GEA). It concludes with a set of recommendations for AU policymakers and civil society practitioners" (Abdullah 2017, 1-2).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, conflict, peace and security, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: Africa

Year: 2017

Forging Ahead without an Affirmative Action Policy: Female Politicians in Sierra Leone's Post‐War Electoral Process

Citation:

Abdullah, Hussaina J. 2010. “Forging Ahead without an Affirmative Action Policy: Female Politicians in Sierra Leone's Post‐War Electoral Process.” IDS Bulletin 41 (5): 62-71.

Author: Hussaina J. Abdullah

Abstract:

In contemporary post-conflict Sierra Leone, women have managed to secure 13.5 per cent of seats in parliament – without affirmative action in place, thanks to women’s groups’ and coalitions’ mobilisation and activism. While the political resistance to Sierra Leone having a quota was high, the women’s movement has succeeded in forcing the political parties and the government to recognise that it is no longer politically viable to sidestep women’s rights, should they wish to capitalise on women’s voting power. As women’s organisations, in particular the 50/50 group, continue the struggle to introduce a quota, the challenge for Sierra Leonean women is how to ensure that the quota project is not hijacked by the male-dominated political establishment. To this aim, this article examines the ongoing efforts to politically consciencise women parliamentarians, society and political parties.

Topics: Gender, Governance, Quotas, Elections, Post-conflict Governance, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2010

Gender and Post-War Relief: Support for War-Widowed Mothers in Occupied Japan (1945-52)

Citation:

Takenaka, Akiko. 2016. “Gender and Post-War Relief: Support for War-Widowed Mothers in Occupied Japan (1945-52).” Gender & History 28 (3): 775–93. 

Author: Akiko Takenaka

Abstract:

This article analyses the gender implications that emerged through welfare support for the war‐bereaved in post‐Asia‐Pacific War Japan. It follows the foundation, activities and dissolution of the Federation of Bereaved War Victims, the first support group for the war‐bereaved that initially began as an organisation for military widows. After its dissolution, members of the Federation went on to create two separate groups – the Victims’ Federation and Widows’ Federation – whose members, scope and objectives presented stark gendered divisions. By examining this divide, and by analysing the earlier histories of the organisations, this article explores the relationships among gender, military, death and bereavement, and post‐war relief. The article pays particular attention to the tensions and negotiations among various interest groups, including military widows, women widowed from other causes, feminist activists, male lawmakers, bereaved fathers and the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers. I place the dissolution of the Federation in its social and political contexts and analyse its relationship to the contemporaneous discussions on female citizenship. In particular, I focus on two areas mobilised by Japanese feminist activists since the early twentieth century: suffrage and motherhood. The short history of the Federation provides a means to examine the reconfiguration of the connection between gender and citizenship during the demilitarisation and democratisation processes that occurred in occupied Japan.

Topics: Citizenship, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Post-Conflict Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 2016

Gender, Peacebuilding, and Reconstruction

Citation:

Sweetman, Caroline, ed. 2005. Gender, Peacebuilding, and Reconstruction. Oxfam Focus on Gender. Oxford: Oxfam GB.

Author: Caroline Sweetman

Abstract:

This collection of articles examines the impact of armed conflict on women, men, and gender relations. Gender stereotypes of conflict depict women and children as powerless victims, while men are presented either as saviours of the weak and powerless, or as agents of violence and destruction. Reality is more complex. Women, girls, and boys also wage war as soldiers, often against their will. Atrocities committed against them give rise to desperate physical, mental, and material need, which reconstruction and peace initiatives must recognise and address. In addition, women need to be involved as decision makers in peace and reconstruction processes. These must founded on a vision of equality in governance and everyday social interactions, if a sustainable peace is to come about. Case studies included here come from India, Kosovo, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, and Uganda.

Keywords: conflict, Disasters, protection, reconstruction

Annotation:

Table of Contents:
1. Editorial
Caroline Sweetman
 
2. Counter-revolutionary women: gender and reconciliation in post-war Nicaragua
Julie Cupples
 
3. Reconstructing fragile lives: girls’ social reintegration in northern Uganda and Sierra Leone
Susan McKay
 
4. Post-conflict programmes for women: lessons from the Kosovo Women’s Initiative
Agnes Kalungu-Banda
 
5. Mainstreaming gender in conflict reduction: from challenge to opportunity
Jasmine Whitbread
 
6. Promoting a gender-just peace: the roles of women teachers in peacebuilding and reconstruction
Jackie Kirk
 
7. Gender, participation, and post-conflict planning in northern Sri Lanka
Simon Harris
 
8. The gender dimensions of post-conflict reconstruction: an analytical framework for policymakers
Elaine Zuckerman and Marcia Greenberg
 
9. Building capacity to resolve conflict in communities: Oxfam experience in Rwanda
Rosemarie McNairn
 
10. Sustaining peace, re-building livelihoods: the Gujarat Harmony Project
Sara Ahmed

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Americas, Central America, Asia, South Asia, Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: India, Kosovo, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Uganda

Year: 2005

Defying Victimhood : Women and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding

Citation:

Schnabel, Albrecht, and Anara Tabyshalieva, ed. 2012. Defying Victimhood : Women and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding. Tokyo: UNU Press.

Authors: Albrecht Schnabel, Anara Tabyshalieva

Abstract:

Women are among the most competent, yet marginalized, unnoticed and underutilized actors in efforts to rebuild war-torn societies. Opportunities for sustainable peacebuilding are lost - and sustainable peace is at risk - when significant stakeholders in a society's future peace and conflict architecture are excluded from efforts to heal the wounds of war and build a new society and a new state. The contributors to this book draw on comparative case and country studies from post-conflict contexts in different parts of world to offer their insights into frameworks for understanding women as both victims and peacebuilders, to trace the road that women take from victimhood to empowerment and to highlight the essential partnerships between women and children and how they contribute to peace. The authors examine the roles of women in political and security institutions.

Annotation:

Table of Contents:
1. Forgone opportunities: The marginalization of women’s contributions to post-conflict peacebuilding
Albrecht Schnabel and Anara Tabyshalieva
 
2. Framework for understanding women as victims and peacebuilders
Lisa Schirch
 
3. Mass crimes and resilience of women: A cross-national perspective
Krishna Kumar
 
4. Victimization, empowerment and the impact of UN peacekeeping missions on women and children: Lessons from Cambodia and Timor-Lesta
Sumie Nakaya
 
5. Frontline peacebuilding: Women’s reconstruction initiatives in Burundi
Rose M. Kadende-Kaiser
 
6. Women and children in the post-Cold War Balkans: Concerns and responses
Zlatko Isakovic
 
7. Emerging from poverty as champions of change: Women and children in post-war Tajikistan
Svetlana Sharipova and Hermine De Soto
 
8. Young mothers as agents of peacebuilding: Lessons from an early childcare and development project in Macedonia
Deborah Davis
 
9. Gender and transitional justice: Experiences from South Africa, Rwanda and Sierra Leone
Lyn S. Graybill
 
10. Empowering women to promote peace and security: From the global to the local – Securing and implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1325
Ancil Adrian-Paul
 
11. State-building or survival in conflict and post-conflict situations? A peacebuilding perspective on Palenstinian women’s contributions to ending the Israeli occupation
Vanessa Farr
 
12. Women’s participation in political decision-making and recovery processes in post-conflict Lebanon
Kari H. Karamé
 
13. Combating stereotypes: Female security personnel in post-conflict contexts
Kristin Valasek
 
14. Defying victimhood: Women as activists and peacebuilders
Anara Tabyshalieva and Albrecht Schnabel

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, conflict, peace and security, International Organizations, Justice, Transitional Justice, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325

Year: 2012

Using Life Histories to Explore Gendered Experiences of Conflict in Gulu District, Northern Uganda: Implications for Post-Conflict Health Reconstruction

Citation:

Ssali, Sarah N., and Sally Theobald. 2016. “Using Life Histories to Explore Gendered Experiences of Conflict in Gulu District, Northern Uganda: Implications for Post-Conflict Health Reconstruction.” South African Review of Sociology 47 (1): 81-98.

Authors: Sarah N. Ssali, Sally Theobald

Abstract:

The dearth of knowledge about what life was like for different women and men, communities and institutions during conflict has caused many post-conflict developers to undertake reconstruction using standardised models that may not always reflect the realities of the affected populations. There is a need to engage with and understand the life experiences, transformations and social concerns of people affected by conflict before, during and after the conflict in order to develop appropriate and context embedded post-conflict reconstruction strategies. This article discusses how life histories were deployed to explore how the 20-year conflict in northern Uganda transformed people's lives. It presents how 47 men and women lived, experienced and remembered the war in northern Uganda, and the implications for health care reconstruction. By focusing on what the respondents considered major life events in their narratives of war experiences, the article shows how through using life histories, the respondents were empowered to narrate in their own voices their experiences of war; how gender and power(lessness) shaped their experiences and their ‘situatedness’ within the conflict and thereafter; and the implications this has for post-conflict health reconstruction. The life history method enabled the researchers to surmount the subjective nature of narratives of war and its after effects, permitting the researchers to construct a picture of how experiences and challenges to well-being, health and health care seeking changed through time and what needs to be done to ensure post-conflict development prioritises the multiple health care needs of those most impoverished by the war.

Keywords: Uganda, conflict, life histories, gender, health

Topics: Development, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, conflict, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Health, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2016

Gendering Agency in Transitional Justice

Citation:

Björkdahl, Annika, and Johanna Mannergren Selimovic. 2015. “Gendering Agency in Transitional Justice.” Security Dialogue 46 (2): 165-82.

Authors: Annika Björkdahl, Johanna Mannergren Selimovic

Abstract:

Mainstream transitional justice and peacebuilding practices tend to re-entrench gendered hierarchies by ignoring women or circumscribing their presence to passive victims in need of protection. As a consequence we have limited knowledge about the multifaceted ways women do justice and build peace. To address this lacuna we conceptualize and unpack the meaning of gendered agency, by identifying its critical elements and by locating it in space and in time. The conceptual work that we undertake is underpinned by empirical mapping of the transitional justice spaces in post-conflict Bosnia-Herzegovina, where we point out instances of critical, creative, and transformative agency performed by women that challenge or negotiate patterns of gendered relations of domination. We collect women’s oral narratives and explore new sets of questions to capture women’s unique experiences in doing justice. Such research enables us to engage with the subjects of post-conflict peacebuilding and transitional justice processes directly and in their own spaces. This article thus renders women’s agency visible and attempts to grasp its contributions and consequences for transformations from war to peace.

Keywords: agency, Bosnia-Herzegovina, gender, peacebuilding, transitional justice

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Justice, Transitional Justice, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2015

War, Sex and Justice: Barriers to Gender Justice in Post-Conflict Liberia

Citation:

Bamidele, Seun. 2017. “War, Sex and Justice: Barriers to Gender Justice in Post-Conflict Liberia.” International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences 12 (1): 69-82.

Author: Seun Bamidele

Abstract:

The literature on the sexual violence (SV) in many arms-ravaged countries offers a gruesome and horrific narrative of how the feminine sex has become a victim of such conflict. The literature relates how women were both victims and weapons of war in both physical and psychological ways. However, the literature contains very little relating to the issues of sexual justice for victims as well as perpetrators. In Liberia, years of conflict and abuses against women have been given great attention, but little has been said about regimes of reparation, rehabilitation, and compensation for the victims of war. While there were attempts to ensure that victims of war be systematically compensated and rehabilitated as in Rwanda, the Liberian experience left much to be desired in this respect. The reason for this deserves investigation. Although there are traditional and contemporary barriers barring access to sexual justice in many developing countries, Liberia included, efforts to achieve sexual assault justice in post-conflict societies remain very sensitive for the reason that they may inadvertently lead to stigmatization. The social deficit resulting from this failure has yet to be analyzed in many states. Similarly, a systemically dysfunctional judicial process cannot serve as an agency of remedy. This system is usually expensive to service and maintain. This is coupled with a loss of faith in government and its institutions by the victims. As a combination of weak judicial institutions and social and economic impediments limits the prospects of a sexual justice, this study assesses sexual justice in post-conflict Bahn and Nimba County in Liberia. It examines the broader implications, as it raises questions about the relevance of the regime of justice on the Bahn and Nimba County victims and the perpetrator and draw lessons from this experience.

Keywords: conflict, sexual violence, Sexual Justice, women, Liberia

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Justice, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, SV against women, Weapons /Arms Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia

Year: 2017

From Guns to God: Mobilizing Evangelical Christianity in Urabá, Colombia

Citation:

Theidon, Kimberly. 2015. “From Guns to God: Mobilizing Evangelical Christianity in Urabá, Colombia.” In Religious Responses to Violence: Human Rights in Latin America Past and Present, edited by Alexander Wilde, 443–76. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.

Author: Kimberly Theidon

Annotation:

Summary:
“This chapter draws on field research with former combatants from the paramilitaries Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) and Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN). Since January 2005 I have been conducting anthropological research on the individual and collective demobilization programs. To date my Colombian colleague Paola Andrea Betancourt and I have interviewed 236 male and 53 female former combatants. In addition, we have interviewed representatives of state entities and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) as well as the military, the Catholic and Evangelical churches, and various sectors of the 'host communities' to which former combatants are sent or to which they return. I sought to understand the local dynamics between victims and victimizers and the experiences of those individuals and communities the UNDPKO rightly describes as lying somewhere in between" (Theidon 2015, p. 445). 
 
“I begin with an overview of Colombia’s current DDR program and its impact on Urabá, located in the region with the highest concentration of demobilized combatants. I then explore how evangelical pastors manage memory and the past, issues of great relevance in the lives of former combatants and those around them. This leads to a discussion of repertoires of justice and the elaboration of local theologies of redemption and reconciliation. I conclude by analyzing the role these churches play in providing a space for the development of alternative masculinities and the much-desired personal transformations that may allow these former combatants to forge una nueva vida” (p. 446).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, DDR, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Justice, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Paramilitaries, NGOs, Post-Conflict, Religion Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2015

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