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Post-conflict Governance

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

The Meaning and Practice of Women's Empowerment in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone

Citation:

Abdullah, Hussaina J., and Aisha Fofana-Ibrahim. 2010. “The Meaning and Practice of Women’s Empowerment in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone.” Development 53 (2): 259–66.

Authors: Hussaina J. Abdullah, Aisha Fofana-Ibrahim

Abstract:

Hussaina J. Abdullah and Aisha Fofana-Ibrahim address the meaning and practice of women's empowerment in Sierra Leone's post-conflict reconstruction and peace consolidation processes from the perspectives of the Government of Sierra Leone and the UN system in Sierra Leone. These two institutions illustrate how women's empowerment has been pursued in two institutions with key roles and positions in Sierra Leone's post-war renewal processes.

Keywords: peacebuilding, gender, violence, justice, democracy, empowerment-lite

Topics: Gender, Women, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction 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

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

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

Navigating Consociationalism's Afterlives: Women, Peace and Security in Post-Dayton Bosnia-Herzegovina

Citation:

Deiana, Maria-Adriana. 2018. “Navigating Consociationalism’s Afterlives: Women, Peace and Security in Post-Dayton Bosnia-Herzegovina.” Nationalism and Ethnic Politics 24 (1): 33–49.

Author: Maria-Adriana Deiana

Abstract:

This article revisits the gendered implications of the Dayton peace settlement in Bosnia-Herzegovina and assesses possibilities for the meaningful integration of the Women, Peace and Security agenda into the consociational structures and post-conflict political agenda. This article outlines how the reification and legitimization of ethno-nationalist power over two decades of Dayton has restricted the terrain for gender activism. A critical assessment of post-Dayton governance reveals an unanticipated stratification of the agreement. International pressure for the stability of the peace settlement further constrains the complex task of addressing the gendered legacies of conflict and conflict transformation. In this context, local and international efforts to navigate Dayton's afterlives through gender activism act as a powerful reminder that Bosnia-Herzegovina's unfulfilled peace must remain a priority in research, activist and policymaking agendas.

Topics: Ethnicity, Gender, Women, conflict, peace and security, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, International Organizations, Nationalism, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2018

Implementing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda? Somali Debates on Women's Public Roles and Political Participation

Citation:

Horst, Cindy. 2017. "Implementing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda? Somali Debates on Women's Public Roles and Political Participation." Journal of Eastern African Studies 11 (3): 389-407.

Author: Cindy Horst

Abstract:

In conflict and post-conflict settings, the international community operates with the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda supporting gender equality. During and after war, gender roles are often deeply contested as part of larger societal transformations and uncertainties. In Somalia since the 1960s, gender identities and roles have undergone substantial changes, influenced by contemporary political systems, the women’s movement, civil war and religious transformations. The international community’s role in these societal transformations should not be over-estimated. Life history research with Somali women shows that debates on women’s roles in the public sphere are taking place irrespective of the international agenda. Somali women have, at least since the 1960s, held civil-political leadership positions, despite substantial disagreements on the public role of women in Somalia. Furthermore, the “international”and “local” are difficult to disentangle. The Somali female elite have often spent years abroad and introduced new gender perspectives from places as divergent as Egypt, Russia and the United States. Global cultural and religious trends are influencing post-war Somalia, Somaliland and Puntland. In this complex socio- cultural landscape, the international WPS agenda can support –but also risk delegitimizing – Somali processes and perspectives. The article illustrates the gap that exists between global norms and local realities by focusing on Somali discourse on women’s public roles and political participation.

Keywords: gender, Somalia, women, civil war, social change, diaspora, statebuilding, nation-building, peace, security

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, peace and security, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Religion, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Somalia

Year: 2017

Sex and World Peace

Citation:

Hudson, Valerie, Ballif-Spanvill, Bonnie, Caprioli, Mary, and Emmett, Chad F. 2012. Sex and World Peace. New York City: Columbia University Press.

Authors: Valerie Hudson, Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Mary Caprioli, Chad F. Emmett

Annotation:

Summary:

Sex and World Peace unsettles a variety of assumptions in political and security discourse, demonstrating that the security of women is a vital factor in the security of the state and its incidence of conflict and war. The authors compare micro-level gender violence and macro-level state peacefulness in global settings, supporting their findings with detailed analyses and color maps. Harnessing an immense amount of data, they call attention to discrepancies between national laws protecting women and the enforcement of those laws, and they note the adverse effects on state security of abnormal sex ratios favoring males, the practice of polygamy, and inequitable realities in family law, among other gendered aggressions. The authors find that the treatment of women informs human interaction at all levels of society. Their research challenges conventional definitions of security and democracy and shows that the treatment of gender, played out on the world stage, informs the true clash of civilizations. In terms of resolving these injustices, the authors examine top-down and bottom-up approaches to healing wounds of violence against women, as well as ways to rectify inequalities in family law and the lack of parity in decision-making councils. Emphasizing the importance of an R2PW, or state responsibility to protect women, they mount a solid campaign against women's systemic insecurity, which effectively unravels the security of all. (Summary from WorldCat)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Conflict Prevention, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction

Year: 2012

The Participation of Women in Peace Processes. The Other Tables

Citation:

Villellas Ariño, María. 2010. "The Participation of Women in Peace Processes. The Other Tables." Barcelona: Institut Catalá Internacional per la Pau.

Author: María Villellas Ariño

Abstract:

This paper argues that women’s absence in peace processes cannot be explained by their alleged lack of experience in dialogue and negotiation, but by a serious lack of will to include them in such important initiatives of change. Women have wide ranging experience in dialogue processes including many war and post-war contexts, but there has been a deliberate lack of effort to integrate them in formal peace processes. After introducing the research framework, the paper addresses women’s involvement in peace, and analyzes the role played by women in peace processes, through the cases of Sri Lanka and Northern Ireland. The paper concludes that peace processes are as gendered as wars, and for that reason gender has to be a guiding line for including women in peace processes. (Abstract from original)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Gender Roles, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict Regions: Asia, South Asia, Europe, Northern Europe Countries: Sri Lanka, United Kingdom

Year: 2010

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