Gender and Post-Conflict Statebuilding


Jennings, Kathleen M. 2010. Gender and Post-Conflict Statebuilding. New York: Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies.

Author: Kathleen M. Jennings


This synthesis focuses on one of the missing links in the theory and practice of post-conflict statebuilding: gender. After this introduction, it is divided into four parts. The first section briefly introduces the interaction (or lack thereof) between the theory and practice of post-conflict statebuilding and gender. The following section outlines two arguments, one instrumentalist and the other normative, for why gender should matter to statebuilding. The final sections consist of a short conclusion and some implications for policy.

Keywords: post-conflict, statebuilding



“Post-conflict statebuilding concentrates on the goals of the multilateral actors leading state reconstruction, mainly oriented towards economic liberalization and growth.” (1)

“Studies of statebuilding tend to either ignore or seriously under-conceptualize gender, by failing to integrate a gendered approach or acknowledge that gender is a viable issue for analytical consideration.” (2)

“Statebuilding practice related to gender encompasses such things as: institutional reform, including establishing a gender ministry or creating quotas for women’s representation in political parties, government, and the police and armed forces; targeting women in voter registration drives; supporting civil society groups run by or focused on women and their needs; funding health interventions targeted to women...drafting laws against gender-based and domestic violence....” (2)

“Statebuilding activities relating to gender may be based less on a normative agenda for gender equality, and more on the assumption that women’s inclusion in social and political life will help consolidate peace and/or improve representation and the quality of governance in preformed state institutions.” (3)

Topics: Economies, Gender, Women, Governance, Health, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction

Year: 2010

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