Weaving Post-War Reconstruction in Bosnia? The Attractions and Limitations of NGO Gender Development Approaches


Pupavac, Vanessa. 2010. “Weaving Postwar Reconstruction in Bosnia? The Attractions and Limitations of NGO Gender Development Approaches.” Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 4(4): 475–93.

Author: Vanessa Pupavac


The article discusses NGO gender development approaches in Bosnia, which seek to empower women and promote peace through handicraft microenterprise. NGO handicraft projects complement consumer capitalism's attractions towards handicrafts and alienation from the industrial production which underpins its conditions. Post-feminist advocacy of handicrafts contrasts with women's writing which historically rebelled against needlework. The article highlights the difficulties faced by the NGO handicraft project Bosfam to realize its income generation and advocacy aims. The article questions whether the NGO approach emancipates women and observes how the NGO vision excludes the male industrial working classes. The article concludes that NGO approaches address the needs of alienated Westerners rather than addressing ordinary Bosnians’ economic needs and aspirations.

Topics: Economies, Gender, Livelihoods, NGOs, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2010

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