Women, Gender and Peacebuilding


Pankhurst, Donna T. 2000. "Women, Gender and Peacebuilding." Centre for Conflict Resolution Department of Peace Studies Working Paper 5, University of Bradford, Bradford. 

Author: Donna T. Pankhurst


"Any policy paper on peacebuilding comes up against the problem that we understand far more about how to promote conflict than even how to conceive of peace, let alone build it. To many people, peace is an inverse, or even a mere corollary, of conflict, but such a vague notion does not lead to clear understandings or definitions of what it is that people are trying to promote or achieve in peace building. This paper therefore begins by setting out a framework for concepts and understandings of conflict and peace, which can assist in formulating peacebuilding policies.

Most approaches to peacebuilding have either ignored or marginalised issues of gender and women.Women consistently remain a minority of participants in peacebuilding projects; receive less attention than men in peacebuilding policies; and gender analysis rarely informs peacebuilding strategies. This is in spite of the fact that there have been many United Nations and European Commission resolutions which, for more than a decade, have criticised such marginalisation and neglect, and which have called for gender issues and women's needs to be given much more serious attention in all policies relating to conflict and peace.  Such resolutions were not drawn out of thin air, but built on at least two decades of practical experience in, and evaluation of, gender and women-focused policies in the area of development.

This paper charts a path for concrete, peacebuilding policies which take their key from these international resolutions and recommendations, and which would begin to redress this persistent gender inequality and widespread failure to tackle issues relating to women. It is founded on the view that groups of women often have a stronger commitment to the ending of violence and the maintenance of long term peace than groups of men, and thus often constitute a highly motivated and able group of stakeholders for peacebuilding, who nonetheless are often ignored.

By way of background, the paper also reviews the range of women's experiences during conflict; the usefulness of a gender analysis of conflict; and a gender analysis of peacebuilding, before drawing out the recommendations for future peacebuilding policies" (Pankhurst 2000, 1).

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Post-Conflict, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes

Year: 2000

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