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Civil Society

Gender Mainstreaming of the Security Sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina: From the Policy Papers to Reality


Tomić, Ankica. 2015. “Gender Mainstreaming of the Security Sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina: From the Policy Papers to Reality.” Connections 14 (3): 87-102.

Author: Ankica Tomić


"Gender mainstreaming of the security sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) twenty years ago was perceived as a “foreign” syntagma and proved very difficult to translate into the three official languages (Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian). The challenge was not only translation but also the transposition of that concept into reality. The link between the concept of gender mainstreaming and security sector tasks and responsibilities was a new topic for BiH society as well as globally. As a post-conflict country, in the last twenty years Bosnia and Herzegovina has gone through reforms in different areas such as police, intelligence, justice, etc. Those reforms were intensified in the period from 2003 until 2008 in the framework of the BiH integration process into the European Union and NATO. At that time, neither the BiH political elite nor representatives of the international community were aware of the benefits of the integration of the gender concept in those nor in other reforms in the country. It was women’s organizations that started familiarizing the BiH public with the importance of including and applying the concept of gender in security sector reforms, namely to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR 1325). They first gained financial support from the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and other UN organizations in order to implement different programs and projects. Those efforts, commitments, and the influence of these women’s organizations led to the government at all levels in Bosnia and Herzegovina establishing in 2003 official gender mechanisms such as the Gender Center of Government of Federation, the Gender Center of Government of Republic Srpska and, in 2004, the Gender Equality Agency at the national level. Their establishment came at a crucial moment for the institutionalization of gender mainstreaming in all areas of public and private life in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Only a few years after those gender mechanisms were established they were applied in the drafting of two strategic documents, the Gender Action Plan (GAP) for the period 2006-2013 and an Action Plan for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 in Bosnia and Herzegovina (AP 1325) for a period of three years (2010- 2013). Those two documents were not imposed or drafted externally, which was the case with many other documents in Bosnia and Herzegovina from that period. They were produced by the representatives of BiH institutions together with the representatives of NGOs according to local priorities and needs, an important precondition for local ownership and sustainability of the whole process. Because of this, many were hopeful that enacting these documents would have a real and positive effect on the lives of men, women, and children throughout the country. In this article I first give a brief overview of the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina before those national policy documents were adopted and of the post-adoption period. Second, my intention is to analyze the reasons why the adoption of AP 1325 was perceived as a big success in the country as well as the region and at a global level. Third, because I was personally involved in the implementation of the first AP 1325 on behalf of the Ministry of Security and in the drafting of the second AP 1325, my focus will be on the achievements of the Ministry of Security in the implementation process of AP 1325 as well as my personal experience with gender mainstreaming of the security sector in BiH. Finally, in my conclusion I examine the main lessons learned, current challenges, and present my personal view of how the envisaged goals from the documents can bring meaningful and real change to the daily lives of all people in Bosnia and Herzegovina" (Tomić 2015, 87 -89).

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance, NGOs, Post-Conflict, Security Sector Reform, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2015

Everyone Wants (a) Peace: The Dynamics of Rhetoric and Practice on ‘Women, Peace and Security.’


True, Jacqui, and Antje Wiener. 2019. “Everyone Wants (a) Peace: The Dynamics of Rhetoric and Practice on ‘Women, Peace and Security.’” International Affairs 95 (3): 553–74.

Authors: Jacqui True, Antje Wiener


‘Women, Peace and Security’ (WPS) is not just any normative agenda: everyone wants a piece of it. WPS is characterized by unprecedented recognition by states at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the presence of multiple stakeholders, including its own transnational NGO network focused on the first Resolution, 1325. The high degree of participation from civil society in framing the norm from the outset—driving their own access to contestation—makes WPS relatively unique among global normative agendas. It is therefore a good case in which to examine the ‘dynamics of dissent’ and test the effects of discursive and behavioural contestation on normative change. The article seeks to advance the thriving literature on the UN WPS agenda and to further develop the exploratory approach to contestation, which evaluates normative progress based on increased access of all those affected by the norm to practices of norm validation. It maps norm contestation at distinct sites, reflecting a sequence of WPS events referenced at the 2015 UNSC open debate on WPS. It evaluates practices of contestation with regard to affected WPS stakeholders' access to political agency and assesses ‘whose practices’ affect norm change and transformative change in the WPS agenda. The authors conclude that the relative access of the wide range of stakeholders to the different repertoires and constellations of contestation affects the outcomes of WPS. They suggest that scholars should evaluate diverse practices of contestation and identify expanding spaces and choices for a variety of local, national and regional perceptions of gender-equal peace and security.

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Women, Peace and Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325

Year: 2019

The Australian Foreign Policy White Paper, Gender and Conflict Prevention: Ties that Don’t Bind


Agius, Christine, and Anu Mundkur. 2020. “The Australian Foreign Policy White Paper, Gender and Conflict Prevention: Ties that Don’t Bind.” Australian Journal of International Affairs 74 (3): 282-300.

Authors: Christine Agius, Anu Mundkur


After a 14-year gap, Australia’s 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper advanced a ‘comprehensive framework to advance Australia’s security and prosperity in a contested and competitive world’ (Australian Government 2017a, “2017 Foreign Policy White Paper.”, v). Focused on regional stability, partnerships and global cooperation, it identifies ‘risks and opportunities’ in an altered external environment. In this article, we argue that the neglect of gender and conflict prevention in the White Paper has implications for its stated aspirations with regard to peace and security. This is striking considering the attention that gender—particularly in the context of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda—has received in other policy areas and documents. Building on feminist security scholarship, conflict prevention approaches, and bringing in civil society voices, we argue that the White Paper contains a gendered, masculinist logic, separating domestic and international issues and paying insufficient attention to the structural and systemic causes of conflict. This article pursues a gender analysis in order to illuminate the gaps present in the White Paper and its limited vision of security and makes the case that conflict prevention from a gender perspective is key to sustainable peace, security and national interests.

Keywords: conflict prevention, Foreign Policy White Paper, Australia, gender, foreign policy, women, peace and security (WPS)

Topics: Civil Society, Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Peace and Security, Security Regions: Oceania Countries: Australia

Year: 2020

Nosotras somos de la tierra, de la Pachamama.” Estado de situación sobre tierras y mujeres indígenas


Núñez L., Ana María. 2009. “Nosotras somos de la tierra, de la Pachamama.” Estado de situación sobre tierras y mujeres indígenas. La Paz: UNIFEM Región Andina y Género, Raza y Ethnia en los Programas de Lucha contra la Pobreza. 

Author: Ana María Núñez L.


"La relación de las mujeres, especialmente indígenas, con la tierra es una analogía que reviste su particularidad. Desde muy niñas, el hábitat y el medio representan no solamente la provisión de alimentos y condiciones para reproducir su vida sino que, más tarde, se convierte en un medio patrimonial para asegurar la reproducción de su familia. Es en este punto donde las mujeres “resienten” una sociedad discriminadora y poseedora de la patria potestad. Son los varones, hermanos, esposos, quienes tienen más derechos que ellas al heredar la tierra y ostentar la titularidad sobre las mismas. Parece ser que el proceso de saneamiento también es “adverso” y son pocas las mujeres que pueden tener títulos saneados y contar con la titularidad de las tierras. ¿Por qué nos interesa la titularidad? ¿Estamos mercantilizando las relaciones familiares? ¿Estamos cuestionando la paridad y dualidad de la familia indígena? Nada más lejos de nuestra intención; solo retomamos las palabras cotidianas de dirigentas y dirigentes que reconocen que tanto hombres como mujeres, a la par de sus derechos colectivos, también tienen el derecho de ostentar derechos individuales de titularidad. En este sentido,la gestión del territorio, que en algunos casos es parte exclusiva del rol de la mujer, es también eficaz en la medida en que se combina la titularidad y la gestión y participación activa en la producción de recursos y sobre la tierra. Esta investigación así nos lo refleja" (Núñez L. 2009, 5).
Tabla de Contenidos:
1. Presentación
2. Introducción General 
3. Objetivo general de la investigación 
4. Situación de las mujeres indígenas
5. Tenencia de tierras
6. Acceso a la tierra por las mujeres indígenas
7. Titulación a nombre de las mujeres
8. Saneamiento
9. Organizaciones de mujeres indígenas
10. Conclusiones
11. Algunas propuestas
12. Bibliografía

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Women, Land Tenure, Rights, Indigenous Rights

Year: 2009

Igualdad de género para el desarrollo territorial: experiencias y desafíos para América Latina


Cortínez, Valentina. 2016. “Igualdad de género para el desarrollo territorial: experiencias y desafíos para América Latina.” Serie documentos de Trabajo 180, Programa Inclusión Social y Desarrollo de RIMISP: Centro Latinoamericano para el Desarrollo Rural, Santiago, Chile.

Author: Valentina Cortínez


El análisis de las dinámicas territoriales desde un enfoque de género, muestra que las oportunidades de las mujeres de participar en el desarrollo de sus territorios y beneficiarse de aquello no se distribuye de manera homogénea al interior de los países, pues no solo se relaciona con sus características, sus activos o dotaciones, sino con factores propios del territorio tales como la estructura productiva, las instituciones formales e informales -que norman la participación de las personas en las distintas esferas-, y los agentes presentes.
Con base en la revisión de literatura, se observa que distintos territorios configuran de manera diferente la participación de las mujeres en los componentes de la dinámica territorial (estructura productiva, instituciones formales e informales, agencia de los actores). Ciertas configuraciones territoriales favorecen o restringen dinámicas de inclusión para las mujeres, las que a su vez abren o cierran oportunidades de desarrollo territorial.
En todos los territorios se observan arraigados estereotipos de género en desmedro del trabajo femenino, su reconocimiento y su valor. Incluso el desarrollo de cierto tipo de industrias en los territorios ha profundizado esta tendencia, cristalizando la división del trabajo para hombres y para mujeres.
Por el contrario, en aquellos territorios en proceso de reconversión productiva, se observan más espacios para la participación económica de las mujeres, oportunidades que han sido aprovechadas por ellas, gracias a su capacidad de agencia. Algunas experiencias dan cuenta que cuando las mujeres han tenido acceso a activos, ya sea crédito, tierra, asesorías u otros, promueven una mayor diversificación de las economías locales, movilizando nuevas oportunidades para los territorios y sus habitantes.
Las políticas de desarrollo territorial que han sido exitosas en aminorar las brechas entre hombres y mujeres se caracterizan por ser flexibles y abiertas a la articulación con los actores locales, especialmente con las organizaciones de mujeres. Emergen de un claro interés de la sociedad civil que encuentra en las instituciones la voluntad y los recursos para potenciarlo.
El texto concluye que para lograr un desarrollo territorial dinámico, inclusivo y sostenible, es necesario reconocer y valorar una gama más amplia de actividades productivas y reproductivas en el territorio, así como a quienes las realizan. Así mismo, ampliar el espectro de actores puede abrir espacio para la mayor participación de las mujeres en el desarrollo de los territorios, haciendo factible promover e incentivar su acceso a los canales de influencia y diálogo, como también a los activos que necesitan para contribuir mejor a este tipo de dinámicas territoriales. 


The analysis of territorial dynamics from a gender approach, shows that women’s opportunities to take part in territorial development and benefit from it, are unevenly distributed within the countries. Due to that, inequality of gender is not only related to women’s characteristics, assets or resource endowments, but also with factors in the territories, such as the productive structure, formal and informal institutions, and agents present in the territory. 


Based on literature review, it has been observed that the participation of women in the components of the territorial dynamics (productive structure, formal and informal institutions, and agency) is configured in different ways in the different territories. Some territorial configurations promote or restrict the dynamics of inclusion for women, and also open or close opportunities for territorial development. 


All countries have ingrained gender stereotypes which undermine the value and recognition of women’s labour. Furthermore,, the development of certain types of industries in the territories, has deepened this trend, solidifying the division of labour between men and women. 


By contrast, in territories which are undergoing/in the process of productive restructuring, more space has been observed for the economic participation of women, who have been able to take the benefits attributed to its agency’s capacity. Some reviewed cases highlight that when women have access to assets, whether credit, land, advice or other, they promote greater diversification of local economies, mobilizing new opportunities for the territories and their inhabitants. 


The territorial development policies that have been successful in reducing the gaps between men and women, are characterized by flexibility and openness to articulation with local actors, especially women's organizations. Also, these successful policies emerge from those institutions which have a clear interest in civil society, and the will and resources to promote it. 


The paper concludes that in order to achieve a dynamic, inclusive and sustainable territorial development, it is necessary to recognize and add value to a broader range of productive and reproductive activities in the territory, as well as those who make them. Likewise, broadening the range of actors can open up space for increased participation of women in the development of territories, making it possible to promote and encourage access to channels of influence and dialogue, as well as the assets they need to better contribute to these types of territorial dynamics. 

Keywords: desarrollo territorial, gênero, políticas de inclusión, estereotipos, capacidad de agencia, políticas de género, territorial development, gender, inclusion policies, stereotypes, agency, gender policies

Topics: Civil Society, Development, Economies, Gender, Women, Livelihoods Regions: Americas, Central America, South America

Year: 2016

Making Space for Women: Civil Society Organizations, Gender and Hydropower Development in the Mekong Region


Lebel, Phimphakan, Louis Lebel, Darunee Singphonphrai, Chatta Duangsuwan, and Yishu Zhou. 2019. “Making Space for Women: Civil Society Organizations, Gender and Hydropower Development in the Mekong Region.” International Journal of Water Resources Development 35 (2): 305-25.

Authors: Phimphakan Lebel, Louis Lebel, Darunee Singphonphrai, Chatta Duangsuwan, Yishu Zhou


Large-scale hydropower development disrupts local livelihoods and resource access. Adverse impacts are often greater for women than men, but also large for children, the elderly, poorer households and ethnic minorities. Burdens of resettlement often fall disproportionately on already disadvantaged individuals. The purpose of this study was to evaluate how international, national and local civil society organizations (CSOs) have addressed gender in hydropower development in the Mekong Region. Four CSO orientations are distinguished: communitarian, environmentalist, knowledge-based and feminist. Common activities of CSOs were to share information, to expand participation and to mobilize development. The extent to which these activities were promoted and appear to be making space for women depended on the types of CSOs and women and men targeted or otherwise involved. 

Keywords: civil society organizations, gender, hydropower, Mekong

Topics: Age, Youth, Civil Society, Displacement & Migration, Development, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam

Year: 2019

Women's Leadership in Renewable Transformation, Energy Justice and Energy Democracy: Redistributing Power


Allen, Elizabeth, Hannah Lyons, and Jennie C. Stephens. 2019. “Women’s Leadership in Renewable Transformation, Energy Justice and Energy Democracy: Redistributing Power.” Energy Research & Social Science 57 (November).

Authors: Elizabeth Allen, Hannah Lyons, Jennie C. Stephens


As women take on more leadership roles in the United States advancing social and political change, analysis of women’s contributions to the transformation occurring within the energy sector is critically important. Grassroots movements focused on energy justice and energy democracy focus on: (1) resisting the power of large multinational fossil fuel energy companies that exacerbate inequities and disparities in energy, (2) reclaiming the energy sector with more community and public control to redisitrbute benefits and risks, and (3) restructuring the energy sector to prioritize equity and justice with community ownership and distributed governance. This research analyzes women’s leadership by focusing on how two women-led, non-profit organizations are advancing the renewable energy transition, operationalizing the concept of energy democracy and contributing to the energy justice movement. The two organizations are Grid Alternatives, a solar installation and workforce training organization, and Mothers Out Front, an advocacy organization focused on addressing climate change by promoting a transition to renewable energy. These organizations differ in their mission and approaches, yet both intentionally link climate and energy action with other forms of social justice activism, by expanding community engagement, strengthening participation, and fundamentally redistributing power to promote a transition to more equitable, resilient and sustainable energy systems. This paper contributes to the theoretical understanding of gender in energy justice and energy democracy movements, and to the practical consideration of the role that women’s leadership is playing in accelerating energy system change and advancing the principles of energy justice and energy democracy. 

Keywords: gender, energy, renewable energy, fossil fuels, energy justice, energy democracy, power

Topics: Civil Society, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Energy, Justice, Multi-National Corporations, Political Participation Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2019

The Struggles for Land Rights by Rural Women in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Tanzania


Massay, Godfrey. 2019. "The Struggles for Land Rights by Rural Women in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Tanzania." African Journal of Economic and Management Studies 11 (2): 271-283.

Author: Godfrey Massay


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to provide examples of how rural women in Tanzania have addressed land rights challenges, showcasing three interventions implemented by Tanzanian Civil Society Organizations. It demonstrates that women have used both legal and traditional systems to negotiate and mediate their claims to land. Although the interventions featured have been greatly shaped by the work of civil society organizations, they have equally been influenced by rural women movements and individual rural women. The cases selected provide understanding of women’s land rights issues in both privately and communally held property/land.
Design/methodology/approach: This paper presents literature review of the existing secondary data on the subject coupled with the interviews.
Findings: Informal and formal approaches have been used by rural women to negotiate their claims on both communal and private lands. CSOs have equally shaped the approaches employed by rural women.
Research limitations/implications: This research was mainly based on the secondary data and few key interviews. There is a need to conduct further analysis of the issues.
Practical implications: This paper highlights the role of CSOs in improving the participation of women in decision-making bodies. The wave of large-scale land-based investments has caused insecurity of land tenure for women. The paper shows some ways to address the problem in communal lands.
Social implications: Socially, the papers shows the power relations involved in the struggles over land, as well as the role of traditional systems and bylaws in protecting the rights of women.
Originality/value: The paper provides dynamics of gendered approach used by women to negotiate their claims in communally held lands. It also highlights the role and space of local and international CSOs in shaping the local context of resistance on land rights. It is a very useful paper for academics and practitioners working on land rights.

Keywords: land, rural women, land rights, civil society organizations, communal land, struggle

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Women, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Tanzania

Year: 2019

Gender in Development Discourses of Civil Society Organisations and Mekong Hydropower Dams


Lebel, Louis, Phimphakan Lebel, Kanokwan Manorom, and Zhou Yishu. 2019. “Gender in Development Discourses of Civil Society Organisations and Mekong Hydropower Dams.” Water Alternatives 12 (1): 192–220.

Authors: Louis Lebel, Phimphakan Lebel, Kanokwan Manorom, Zhou Yishu


'Gender in development' discourses are used to justify interventions into, or opposition to, projects and policies; they may also influence perceptions, practices, or key decisions. Four discursive threads are globally prominent: livelihoods and poverty; natural resources and the environment; rights-based; and managerial. Civil society organisations (CSOs) have been vocal in raising awareness about the adverse impacts of large-scale hydropower developments on the environment, on local livelihoods, and on vulnerable groups including women. This discourse analysis first examines how CSOs engaging in hydropower processes in the Mekong Region frame and use gender in development discourses, and then evaluates the potential of these discourses to empower both women and men. Documents authored by CSOs are examined in detail for how gender is represented, as are media reports on CSO activities, interview transcripts, and images. The findings underline how CSOs depend on discursive legitimacy for influence. Their discursive strategies depend on three factors: the organizations’ goals with respect to development, gender, and the environment; whether the situation is pre- or post-construction; and, on their relationships with the state, project developers and dam-affected communities. The implications of these strategies for empowerment are often not straightforward; inadvertent and indirect effects, positive and negative, are common. The findings of this study are of practical value to CSOs wishing to be more reflexive in their work and more responsive to how it is talked about, as it shows the ways that language and images may enhance or inadvertently work against efforts to empower women.

Keywords: civil society organisations, gender in development, discourse, representation, hydropower

Topics: Civil Society, Development, Environment, Gender, Infrastructure, Energy, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam

Year: 2019

Old Ties and New Binds: LGBT Rights, Homonationalisms, Europeanization and Post-War Legacies in Serbia


Gabbard, Sonnet D’Amour. 2017. “Old Ties and New Binds: LGBT Rights, Homonationalisms, Europeanization and Post-War Legacies in Serbia.” PhD diss., The Ohio State University.

Author: Sonnet D’Amour Gabbard


My dissertation examines the historic links between the anti-war activists in Serbia with the current efforts and work for LGBT justice and rights. As an interdisciplinary scholar, my work integrates a variety of epistemologies across disciplines by putting anti-war and LGBT activists' experience in Serbia into conversation with one another to address unique vulnerabilities. Drawing from transnational feminist and queer critiques of governance, (homo)nationalism, and transnational sexuality studies, I consider how new nonheterosexual identity politics—with roots in anti-war activism—have surfaced in Serbia since the Kosovo War. I argue that it is at the intersection of anti-war and LGBT organizing that new and conflicting identity politics have emerged, in part as a reaction to a pro-war hyper-nationalism and neoliberal globalization.

Keywords: LGBT, Balkans, sexuality studies, feminism, transnational, global studies, international relations, development, Serbia, Yugoslavia, post-conflict, Transgender, lesbian, gay, pride parade, gentrification, Slavic studies, queer

Topics: Civil Society, Feminisms, Governance, Globalization, Justice, LGBTQ, Nationalism, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Sexuality Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Serbia

Year: 2017


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