Sustainable Transitions to Peace Need Women's Groups and Feminists: Questioning Donor Interventions in Bosnia and Herzegovina


Isaković, Nela Porobić, and Gorana Mlinarević. 2019. "Sustainable Transitions to Peace Need Women's Groups and Feminists: Questioning Donor Interventions in Bosnia and Herzegovina." Journal of International Affairs 72 (2): 173-90.

Authors: Nela Porobíc Isaković, Gorona Mlinarević


This paper argues that women’s groups and feminists should be engaged, supported, and integrated into peacebuilding processes to ensure a sustainable and just transition from war to peace. By reflecting on the experiences of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the country’s post-conflict reconstruction and recovery processes, which took on a neoliberal character, the article shows how international politics within the framework of peacebuilding and development were exclusionary in their understanding of gendered experiences of war. At the same time, international politics intervened in a post-war conceptualization of gender equality. By analyzing the interventions, the paper argues that the failure to recognize the importance of addressing gendered experiences of war, as well as patriarchal and structural inequalities, immediately within the peace process and as an integral part of post-conflict recovery strategies, has impaired the building of a sustainable peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We argue that the sustainability and quality of the peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina would have benefited from interventions that engaged, supported, and integrated a grassroots feminist movement. A grassroots feminist movement that puts patriarchal and structural inequalities at the center would have been able to formulate contextualized strategies in response to the challenges that are posed before a country coming out of war.

Keywords: gender equality, feminism, women's rights, nongovernmental organizations, peace negotiation, peace treaties, peacemaking

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, NGOs, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2019

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