Conflict Prevention

The Role of Women in Peacebuilding


Schirch, Lisa, and Manjrika Sewak. 2005. "The Role of Women in Peacebuilding." Working Paper, Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict.


Authors: Lisa Schirch, Manjrika Sewak


In the last ten years, a powerful and expanding network of women began to strategize and articulate a global agenda for including women in conflict prevention and peacebuilding.  This paper gives a brief history of that network, examines the current concerns and tensions around women’s roles in peacebuilding, and provides examples, lesson’s learned, recommendations, and resources for civil society, government, and UN actors involved in conflict prevention and peacebuilding.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Conflict Prevention, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender Mainstreaming, Peacebuilding, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Asia, South Asia, Europe, Balkans Countries: India, Liberia, Rwanda, Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2005

Weakest “P” in the 1325 Pod? Realizing Conflict Prevention through UN Security Council Resolution 1325


Confortini, Catia Cecilia, and Soumita Basu. 2011. ‘Weakest “P” in the 1325 Pod? Realizing Conflict Prevention through UN Security Council Resolution 1325’. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association Annual Conference, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Authors: Catia Cecilia Confortini, Soumita Basu


Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1325 is often described in terms of three ‘Ps’ – Protection, Prevention and Participation. With two follow-up resolutions (SCRs 1820 and 1888) focused on sexual and gender-based violence, Protection has emerged as the strongest component of 1325. Increasing participation of women in peace processes and post-conflict negotiations also fits comfortably – if not without challenges – into liberal UN policymaking. Participation is addressed in SCR 1889, the fourth SCR on Women and Peace and Security. Of the three ‘Ps’ – Prevention appears to have received the least attention in efforts to realize 1325.The proposed paper will examine the trajectory of the conflict prevention mandate of 1325 in UN policymaking during the period 2000-2010. The analysis will have two components: 1. Identify the ways in which the mandate of conflict prevention has been interpreted within the women, peace and security network (including member states, NGOs and UN agencies) in and around the UN Headquarters in New York. 2. In relation to 1325, discuss relevant policy recommendations (e.g. early warning mechanisms) and measures undertaken for implementation. The 1325 experience is investigated also with respect to parallel advocacy and policy mechanisms that include conflict prevention such as Responsibility to Protect and SCRs on conflict prevention in Africa. The aim of the paper is to highlight the challenges in translating conflict prevention into policy and practice. Further, drawing out the theoretical implications of this discussion on 1325, it is argued that effective incorporation of women’s experiences and gender analysis would require transformation of the concepts and processes associated with conflict prevention. This is particularly relevant in view of the exclusion of women's experiences in traditional conflict analysis scholarship.

Keywords: UNSCR 1325, gender-based violence, sexual violence, United Nations, political participation, conflict prevention

Topics: Conflict Prevention, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, International Organizations, Political Participation, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Africa

Year: 2011

Development at the Crossroads


Mosse, Julia C. 1993. “Development at the Crossroads.” In Half the World, Half a Chance: An Introduction to Gender and Development, 140–51. Oxford, England: Oxfam.

Author: Julia C. Mosse

Topics: Conflict Prevention, Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Environment, Gender, Women, Men, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Globalization, Health, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Rights, Sexual Violence

Year: 1993

Reform or More of the Same? Gender Mainstreaming and the Changing Nature of UN Peace Operations


Barnes, Karen. 2006. “Reform or More of the Same? Gender Mainstreaming and the Changing Nature of UN Peace Operations”. YCISS Working Paper 41, Department of International Relations, London School of Economics, London.

Author: Karen Barnes

Topics: Conflict Prevention, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Violence

Year: 2006

Approaches to Gender Conflicts on Land Ownership in the Courts of Anglophone Cameroon: Human Rights Implications


Sone, Patience Munge. 2013. “Approaches to Gender Conflicts on Land Ownership in the Courts of Anglophone Cameroon: Human Rights Implications.” The International Journal of Human Rights 17 (4): 567–83. doi:10.1080/13642987.2013.793084.

Author: Patience Munge Sone


This article examines the Cameroonian legal system on land ownership. It discusses the general underlying principles of the right to land ownership, highlighting land registration as the main determinant. It seeks to find out why there are recurrent gender land-related conflicts and evaluates court approaches in curbing gender conflict over land ownership. The study analyses the existing legislations and case laws relating to land ownership and gender conflict, and a descriptive analysis of findings on the existing registered land is employed to determine whether equal land ownership, which is an inherent right, is respected and protected in the courts of Anglophone Cameroon. Based on the findings, the article argues that the recurrent gender land-related conflicts have their roots in the customary practices influenced by patriarchy. Also, the discriminatory application of the statutory land laws by the common law judges has played a major role in the unequal land ownership in Anglophone Cameroon. The article argues for the institution of comprehensive and harmonized land reform and other machineries that may guide judges in addressing these incessant land-related gender conflicts.

Topics: Conflict Prevention, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Justice, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2013

Conflict Prevention


Anderlini, Sanam Naraghi, and Victoria Stanski. 2004. “Conflict Prevention.” In Conflict Prevention, Resolution and Reconstruction. Inclusive Security, Sustainable Peace: A Toolkit for Advocacy and Action, 3-17. International Alert & Women Waging Peace. London: Hunt Alternatives Fund and International Alert.

Authors: Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, Victoria Stanski

Topics: Conflict Prevention, Gender, Women

Year: 2004

Deepening Security: Towards Human, Gender and Environmental Security: A HUGE Concept


Spring, Úrsula Oswald. 2008. “Deepening Security: Towards Human, Gender and Environmental Security: A HUGE Concept.” Paper presented at International Studies Association’s 49th Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA, March 26-29.

Author: Úrsula Oswald Spring


HUGE suggests as a deepening security concept to integrate Human, Gender and Environmental Security (HUGE). It combines a wider understanding of gender (including children, elders, indigenous and other vulnerable groups) with a human-centered focus on environmental security and peace challenges. The HUGE concept analyzes the patriarchal, violent and exclusive structures within the family and society questioning the existing process of social representation-building and traditional role assignation between genders searching for processes responsible for thousand of years of discrimination. It assesses the human security approach with equity and development concerns, where survival strategies, social organization, specific governmental policies, private ethical investments and legal reinforcements could stimulate sociopolitical participation of the socially vulnerable. As a holistic concept, HUGE includes environmental security concerns where a healthy environment, integral management of natural resources, prevention and remediation practices reduce vulnerability from hazard impacts. Hazard-prone countries are enabled to develop technical, economic and human support to reduce social vulnerability, to foster progress in internal organization and to stimulate resilience-building, supporting themselves and other regions affected by social and natural disasters. It enables especially the socially vulnerable people such as women and exposed groups to reinforce their own resilience-building through bottom-up internal organization combined with top-down policies and institution building. As nonviolent conflict resolution represents a central part of personal and social identity in a world where processes of unification and diversification are occurring quicker than ever in history. Human beings have a basic necessity to simplify and to put order into complex realities through social comparison. The upcoming systems of values, ideas and practices creates simultaneously processes of living together offering persons and groups the possibility to get familiarized with the social and material world, on behalf of contradictory messages and behaviour. Finally HUGE includes reflections on the consolidation of participatory democracy and governance through conflict prevention, nonviolent conflict resolution processes and peace-building; in summary a huge solidarity process of sustainable and equal nonviolent development.

Topics: Conflict Prevention, Democracy / Democratization, Development, Environment, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Patriarchy, Governance, Nonviolence, Peace Processes, Peacebuilding, Security, Human Security

Year: 2008

Transforming Conflict: Some Thoughts on a Gendered Understanding of Conflict Processes


El-Bushra, Judy. 2000. “Transforming Conflict: Some Thoughts on a Gendered Understanding of Conflict Processes.” In States of Conflict: Gender, Violence and Resistance, edited by Susie Jacobs, Ruth Jacobson, and Jennifer Marchbank. London: Zed Books.

Author: Judy El-Bushra

Topics: Armed Conflict, Conflict Prevention, Development, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Peace Processes Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda, Somalia, Uganda

Year: 2000

From Combat to Community: Women and Girls of Sierra Leone


Mazurana, Dyan, and Khristopher Carlson. 2004.From Combat to Community: Women and Girls of Sierra Leone. Cambridge, MA: Women Waging Peace Policy Commission.

Authors: Dyan Mazurana, Khristopher Carlson


Wars and internal conflicts do not end simply with the signing of peace agreements. To avoid a resurgence of violence, it is necessary to develop and support measures for strengthening the governance, security, justice, and socioeconomic capacities of a state. This is a complex task in any society, but daunting in post-conflict situations. While the international community can provide assistance and valuable resources, the local population, which has no “exit strategy,” has the greatest commitment to building sustainable peace. It is therefore essential to draw on the assets, experiences, and dedication at the local level and among all sectors of society. One sector often overlooked and underestimated is women. In most post-conflict societies women are more than 50 percent of the population and are actively engaged in peace building while addressing the basic survival needs of their families and communities. Yet they are often portrayed as passive victims, and little regard is given to their actual and potential roles in fostering security. In October 2000, for the first time in its history, the United Nations Security Council acknowledged that women have a key role in promoting international stability by passing Resolution 1325 on women, peace, and security. It called on all parties to ensure women’s participation in peace processes, from the prevention of conflict to negotiations and post-war reconstruction. The Women Waging Peace Policy Commission was established to examine peace processes with a particular focus on the contributions of women. Drawing on qualitative field-based research and quantitative survey data, “From Combat to Community: Women and Girls of Sierra Leone” assesses how consideration of gender issues can improve disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) processes and documents the contributions of women in official and civil society-based reintegration programs.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, Combatants, Female Combatants, Conflict Prevention, DDR, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender Mainstreaming, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance, Justice, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2004

Land Reform for Peace? Rwanda’s 2005 Land Law in Context


Pottier, Johan. 2006. “Land Reform for Peace? Rwanda’s 2005 Land Law in Context.” Journal of Agrarian Change 6 (4): 509-37.

Author: Johan Pottier


A decade ago, Rwanda embarked on a major land reform programme. The government envisaged a new land law, supported by a land policy, and claimed that the new tenure system would contribute to enhancing food production, social equity and the prevention of conflict. The Land Law was finally passed in the summer of 2005. The UK Department for International Development (DFID) has taken on significant responsibility for monitoring the reform programme. This article provides a contextualized reading of the new Law. It argues that its emphasis on the obligation to consolidate fragmented family plots and register them will exacerbate social tension, but that some of the potential for social strife may be reduced because the state will allow flexibility in how the Land Law is implemented. 

Keywords: land reform, social inequality, new elites, land scarcity, local government, aid policy



“While the inheritance law is undeniably a positive step towards institutionalizing gender parity, three caveats must be noted. Firstly, in the absence of proper marriage contracts (legal or customary), children are deemed illegitimate. Since the majority of unions in Rwanda are common law unions ‘not legally registered,’ young women and girls are easily labelled illegitimate, which disqualifies them from the new-style inheritance provision…many rural women, including repatriates say they are confused about the legislation.” (519)

“Secondly, the Inheritance Law cannot be applied retrospectively. The Law does not apply to the tens of thousands of so-called legitimate daughters whose fathers and husbands died in the genocide.Thirdly, whoever controls the family council can decide whether or not a woman inherits land."  (519-520)

"[Article 4 of the 2005 Land Law] addresses gender imbalances in customary land tenure and connects with the Inheritance Law (1999), confirming that any form of discrimination in matters of land ownership, including gender discrimination, is prohibited. Further in the text, however, the Land Law reminds us that only legally married women and their children can inherit (Article 36). Although written some five years after the new legislation on inheritance was passed, neither the Land Policy nor the Land Law offer any reflections on gender above and beyond what the Inheritance Law (1999) has proclaimed.” (521)

“Authors of the National Land Policy and Land Law may have overlooked that the cultural aspects of land access are highly significant from a conflict prevention point of view.” (526)

“Threatens to make a vast number of Rwandans landless, either because they have insufficient land to consolidate or because they cannot meet the registration fee, or because in one way or other they risk being labelled unworthy farmers. If expropriation is extensive, the army of landless people thus created will have the potential for generating significant conflict, especially when, as is most likely, alternative livelihood strategies are not forthcoming.” (527)

“Today, land scarcity also has a strong gender dimension. Although the Land Law refers to the Inheritance Law, it does not spell out what women can expect to gain from the new law and tenure system. The sceptical answer – women should not expect anything – seems borne out in Article 87 of the Land Law, which declares in rather lofty fashion that the state has a duty to pass on confiscated lands ‘to those who have been deprived of their right to land.’ The absence of an explicit reference to the social categories the Law has in mind will make many Rwandans fear that Tutsi 59-ers are the preferred social category […].” (528)

“Finally, it remains to be seen whether the pro-women inheritance legislation (1999) will find champions – among politicians and administrators – willing and able to take on the full force of the language of public morality; a discourse condemning those ‘not properly’ married. This may not happen. Although the Land Law declares a commitment to gender equity with regard to land ownership (Article 4), the rest of the Law is silent on gender and land.”(531)

“Their [international actors'] attention will need to focus on the plight of women farmers. While women’s rights in land may seem guaranteed by the Inheritance Law (1999), women continue to face serious struggle when attempting to actualize their rights. The 2005 Land Law is not offering women any relief or reassurance in this matter, and may in fact be making them once again more invisible.” (533) 

Topics: Conflict Prevention, Gender, Women, Girls, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Land Tenure, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Peacebuilding, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2006


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