Empowering women? An assessment of international gender policies in Bosnia


Pupavac, Vanessa. 2005. “Empowering women? An assessment of international gender policies in Bosnia.” International Peacekeeping 12 (3): 391-405.

Author: Vanessa Pupavac


International policy-making promises to empower women in Bosnia through encouraging their participation in the political process, giving them a voice in civil society and providing enhanced opportunities for economic independence. This essay challenges these claims, suggesting that while a narrow echelon of young middle-class urban professionals have benefited from international gender approaches, the prospects for ordinary Bosnian women have not improved. First, the essay considers international attempts to promote the political empowerment of women through quota mechanisms and support for women’s organizations operating in civil society. Secondly, it considers international policies intended to further the economic empowerment of women and how these relate to broader neo-liberal prescriptions for the post-war state. It concludes that international policies, in both the political and economic realms, contain fundamental limitations which look likely to frustrate the long-term advancement of women in Bosnia.

Topics: Civil Society, Class, Economies, Gender, Women, Political Participation, Post-Conflict Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2005

© 2023 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.