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Peacebuilding

Advancing Women's Empowerment or Rolling Back the Gains? Peace Building in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone

Citation:

Abdullah, Hussaina J. 2014. “Advancing Women’s Empowerment or Rolling Back the Gains? Peace Building in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone.” In Feminisms, Empowerment and Development: Changing Women’s Lives, edited by Andrea Cornwall and Jenny Edwards. London: Zed Books.

Author: Hussaina J. Abdullah

Annotation:

Summary: 
“Sierra Leone’s reconstruction and peace consolidation policies and programmes are pursued within the post-conflict peace-building framework (UN 1992). Within this framework, women and gender issues have been articulated through a series of UN Security Council resolutions, such as 1325 (in 2000), 1820 (in 2008), 1888 and 1889 (in 2009), 1960 (in 2010) and 2106 and 2122 (in 2013). These resolutions specifically address women’s rights in post-conflict societies, their participation in reconstruction processes, their protection from violence, and the strengthening of justice systems. For instance, resolution 1325, the premier declaration on Women, Peace and Security, clearly links sexual violence as a weapon of war with the pursuit of peace and security, and outlines a legal structure for addressing these concerns at various levels” (Abdullah 2014, 67-68).
 
“To further consolidate the Women, Peace and Security agenda, the UN released two reports – ‘Report of the Secretary- General on Women, Peace and Security’ and ‘Report of the Secretary-General on Women’s Participation in Peacebuilding’ – on the tenth anniversary of the adoption of resolution 1325. The outstanding element in the latter report, which looked at women’s needs and participation in post-conflict reconstruction and transformation and peace-building processes, was the stipulation that 15 per cent of all UN-managed post-conflict financing funds should support projects that ‘address women’s specific needs, advance gender equality or empower women’ (UN 2010). While this framework has a transformatory edge, it does not go far enough to ensure women’s empowerment. Its application in post-conflict Sierra Leone is disjointed and full of loopholes that can be used to roll back whatever gains women have achieved. This chapter explores and reflects on this outcome” (68-69).

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, peace and security, Justice, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, UNSCR 1820, UNSCR 1888, UNSCR 1889, UNSCR 1960, UNSCR 2106, UNSCR 2122, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2014

Women and the African Peace and Security Architecture

Citation:

Abdullah, Hussaina J. 2017."Women and the African Peace and Security Architecture." African Peacebuilding Network Working Paper 12, Social Science Research Council, New York.

Author: Hussaina J. Abdullah

Annotation:

Summary: 
"The objective of this study is to provide a comprehensive overview and analysis of how women’s rights in situations of armed conflict and post-conflict contexts have been mainstreamed into various mechanisms, structures, and instruments of the AU’s African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). As part of this exercise, this study conducts a critical examination of the links between APSA’s goal of promoting peace and security and the AU’s Gender Equality Architecture’s (GEA) goal of promoting and protecting the rights of women on the continent.
 
"This paper argues that while the AU has shown its commitment to the issues of peace and security and gender equality through the creation of various structures and the adoption of legal instruments to push through its agenda, the lack of a well-coordinated organizational strategy integrating these two sectors has resulted in limited success in achieving its goals and actualizing its vision. Furthermore, although the AU’s peace and security and gender equality agendas are closely linked to the global women, peace, and security (WPS) discourse, there is very little synergy in the institution’s engagement with and articulation of the global framework. As a result, the expected transformation in the lives of African women in conflict and post- conflict settings has not been realized. Women are still subjected to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and other human rights violations and marginalized in peace negotiations and post-war reconstruction processes; simultaneously, impunity for SGBV and other crimes is still rife in these societies. To move the institution’s gender equality agenda forward, a comprehensive gender-responsive organizational strategy and culture are needed to strengthen inter-departmental cooperation at all levels. This will encourage programs and policies that are in sync with the institution’s broad vision of a continent where women and men have equal access to opportunities, rights, and resources.
 
"This paper outlines the significant progress made at the country level as well as the gaps regarding women’s safety and security during and after armed conflict, including their participation in peace processes and post- conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding. It provides an assessment of the achievements and limitations of the gender mainstreaming process,2 particularly in relation to practical measures for promoting gender equality in the APSA, alongside those for implementing policies for the promotion of peace and security within the framework of the Gender Equality Architecture (GEA). It concludes with a set of recommendations for AU policymakers and civil society practitioners" (Abdullah 2017, 1-2).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, conflict, peace and security, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: Africa

Year: 2017

Gender, Peacebuilding, and Reconstruction

Citation:

Sweetman, Caroline, ed. 2005. Gender, Peacebuilding, and Reconstruction. Oxfam Focus on Gender. Oxford: Oxfam GB.

Author: Caroline Sweetman

Abstract:

This collection of articles examines the impact of armed conflict on women, men, and gender relations. Gender stereotypes of conflict depict women and children as powerless victims, while men are presented either as saviours of the weak and powerless, or as agents of violence and destruction. Reality is more complex. Women, girls, and boys also wage war as soldiers, often against their will. Atrocities committed against them give rise to desperate physical, mental, and material need, which reconstruction and peace initiatives must recognise and address. In addition, women need to be involved as decision makers in peace and reconstruction processes. These must founded on a vision of equality in governance and everyday social interactions, if a sustainable peace is to come about. Case studies included here come from India, Kosovo, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, and Uganda.

Keywords: conflict, Disasters, protection, reconstruction

Annotation:

Table of Contents:
1. Editorial
Caroline Sweetman
 
2. Counter-revolutionary women: gender and reconciliation in post-war Nicaragua
Julie Cupples
 
3. Reconstructing fragile lives: girls’ social reintegration in northern Uganda and Sierra Leone
Susan McKay
 
4. Post-conflict programmes for women: lessons from the Kosovo Women’s Initiative
Agnes Kalungu-Banda
 
5. Mainstreaming gender in conflict reduction: from challenge to opportunity
Jasmine Whitbread
 
6. Promoting a gender-just peace: the roles of women teachers in peacebuilding and reconstruction
Jackie Kirk
 
7. Gender, participation, and post-conflict planning in northern Sri Lanka
Simon Harris
 
8. The gender dimensions of post-conflict reconstruction: an analytical framework for policymakers
Elaine Zuckerman and Marcia Greenberg
 
9. Building capacity to resolve conflict in communities: Oxfam experience in Rwanda
Rosemarie McNairn
 
10. Sustaining peace, re-building livelihoods: the Gujarat Harmony Project
Sara Ahmed

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Americas, Central America, Asia, South Asia, Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: India, Kosovo, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Uganda

Year: 2005

Defying Victimhood : Women and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding

Citation:

Schnabel, Albrecht, and Anara Tabyshalieva, ed. 2012. Defying Victimhood : Women and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding. Tokyo: UNU Press.

Authors: Albrecht Schnabel, Anara Tabyshalieva

Abstract:

Women are among the most competent, yet marginalized, unnoticed and underutilized actors in efforts to rebuild war-torn societies. Opportunities for sustainable peacebuilding are lost - and sustainable peace is at risk - when significant stakeholders in a society's future peace and conflict architecture are excluded from efforts to heal the wounds of war and build a new society and a new state. The contributors to this book draw on comparative case and country studies from post-conflict contexts in different parts of world to offer their insights into frameworks for understanding women as both victims and peacebuilders, to trace the road that women take from victimhood to empowerment and to highlight the essential partnerships between women and children and how they contribute to peace. The authors examine the roles of women in political and security institutions.

Annotation:

Table of Contents:
1. Forgone opportunities: The marginalization of women’s contributions to post-conflict peacebuilding
Albrecht Schnabel and Anara Tabyshalieva
 
2. Framework for understanding women as victims and peacebuilders
Lisa Schirch
 
3. Mass crimes and resilience of women: A cross-national perspective
Krishna Kumar
 
4. Victimization, empowerment and the impact of UN peacekeeping missions on women and children: Lessons from Cambodia and Timor-Lesta
Sumie Nakaya
 
5. Frontline peacebuilding: Women’s reconstruction initiatives in Burundi
Rose M. Kadende-Kaiser
 
6. Women and children in the post-Cold War Balkans: Concerns and responses
Zlatko Isakovic
 
7. Emerging from poverty as champions of change: Women and children in post-war Tajikistan
Svetlana Sharipova and Hermine De Soto
 
8. Young mothers as agents of peacebuilding: Lessons from an early childcare and development project in Macedonia
Deborah Davis
 
9. Gender and transitional justice: Experiences from South Africa, Rwanda and Sierra Leone
Lyn S. Graybill
 
10. Empowering women to promote peace and security: From the global to the local – Securing and implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1325
Ancil Adrian-Paul
 
11. State-building or survival in conflict and post-conflict situations? A peacebuilding perspective on Palenstinian women’s contributions to ending the Israeli occupation
Vanessa Farr
 
12. Women’s participation in political decision-making and recovery processes in post-conflict Lebanon
Kari H. Karamé
 
13. Combating stereotypes: Female security personnel in post-conflict contexts
Kristin Valasek
 
14. Defying victimhood: Women as activists and peacebuilders
Anara Tabyshalieva and Albrecht Schnabel

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, conflict, peace and security, International Organizations, Justice, Transitional Justice, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325

Year: 2012

Hybrid Clubs: A Feminist Approach to Peacebuilding in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Citation:

Martin de Almagro, Maria. 2018. “Hybrid Clubs: A Feminist Approach to Peacebuilding in the Democratic Republic of Congo.” Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, July, 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1080/17502977.2018.1482125.

Author: Maria Martin de Almagro

Abstract:

Critical approaches to peacebuilding have achieved a local turn wherein alienated indigenous experiences are the cornerstone of emancipatory practices – yet this emancipation of the ‘different’ risks perpetuating the discrimination and normalization of the challenged liberal peace. Using the case study of a feminist campaign to elect more women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), this article’s feminist approach to critical peacebuilding utilizes storytelling to develop a conceptual grid that reveals the complexities of the politics of difference, and proposes the concept of the ‘hybrid club’ as a cluster of local and international actors coalescing to develop peacebuilding initiatives.

Keywords: hybridity, gender, Democratic Republic of Congo, space, embodiment, experience, peacebuilding

Topics: Feminisms, Gendered Power Relations, Peacebuilding Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2018

The (In)Security of Gender in Afghanistan’s Peacebuilding Project: Hybridity and Affect

Citation:

Partis-Jennings, Hannah. 2017. “The (In)Security of Gender in Afghanistan’s Peacebuilding Project: Hybridity and Affect.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 19 (4): 411-25.

Author: Hannah Partis-Jennings

Abstract:

In this article I draw on a feminist approach to hybridity to explore interview data and observations from my field research in Afghanistan. I argue that there is a logic of masculinist protection influencing the affective environment of the peacebuilding project there. The combination of a perceived patriarchal context in Afghanistan and security routines protecting civilian internationals (and Afghan elites), which rely on hypermasculine signifiers, help to create and perpetuate the conditions in which the female (for both internationals and Afghans) is marked with insecurity. I point to hybridity between the foreign and female experience, as well as resistance and reflexivity within my research. Throughout I explore fragments of power hierarchies that cut through the meaning of gender, rendering the female state a disempowering one, always referenced in some uncertain, hybrid way as protected or in need of protection.

Keywords: peacebuilding, Afghanistan, hybridity, Affect, masculinist protection

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Hierarchies, Peacebuilding Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan

Year: 2017

The Power of Mixed Messages: Women, Peace, and Security Language in National Action Plans from Africa

Citation:

Hudson, Heidi. 2017. “The Power of Mixed Messages: Women, Peace, and Security Language in National Action Plans from Africa.” Africa Spectrum 52 (3): 3-29.

Author: Heidi Hudson

Abstract:

Against the backdrop of global and continental women, peace, and security discourses, this contribution analyses the gender and women-focused language of national action plans from four African countries (Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, and Uganda), which were drafted with a view to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. I argue that national action plans have the potential to transcend the soft-consensus language of Security Council resolutions because they create new spaces for feminist engagement with policy and practice. The analysis reveals three discursive themes – namely, the making of “womenandchildren,” women civilising war, and making women responsible for preventing gender-based violence. The themes relate to the construction of, respectively, gender(ed) identities, security, and violence. To varying degrees, the plans reflect a combination of predominantly liberal-feminist language interspersed with some examples of critical insight. I conclude that the ambiguous nature of the messages sent out by these plans serves as a reminder that discourses are fragmented and therefore offer an opening for nuanced contextual analyses and implementation.

Keywords: Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda, peace and conflict research, women, women's politics, action programmes/action plans, UN Security Council Resolution (2000-10-31)

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Discourses, Gender-Based Violence, peace and security, Peacebuilding, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda

Year: 2017

Gendering Agency in Transitional Justice

Citation:

Björkdahl, Annika, and Johanna Mannergren Selimovic. 2015. “Gendering Agency in Transitional Justice.” Security Dialogue 46 (2): 165-82.

Authors: Annika Björkdahl, Johanna Mannergren Selimovic

Abstract:

Mainstream transitional justice and peacebuilding practices tend to re-entrench gendered hierarchies by ignoring women or circumscribing their presence to passive victims in need of protection. As a consequence we have limited knowledge about the multifaceted ways women do justice and build peace. To address this lacuna we conceptualize and unpack the meaning of gendered agency, by identifying its critical elements and by locating it in space and in time. The conceptual work that we undertake is underpinned by empirical mapping of the transitional justice spaces in post-conflict Bosnia-Herzegovina, where we point out instances of critical, creative, and transformative agency performed by women that challenge or negotiate patterns of gendered relations of domination. We collect women’s oral narratives and explore new sets of questions to capture women’s unique experiences in doing justice. Such research enables us to engage with the subjects of post-conflict peacebuilding and transitional justice processes directly and in their own spaces. This article thus renders women’s agency visible and attempts to grasp its contributions and consequences for transformations from war to peace.

Keywords: agency, Bosnia-Herzegovina, gender, peacebuilding, transitional justice

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Justice, Transitional Justice, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2015

Victims, Soldiers, Peacemakers and Caretakers: The Neoliberal Constitution of Women in the EU's Security Policy

Citation:

Muehlenhoff, Hanna L. 2017. “Victims, Soldiers, Peacemakers and Caretakers: The Neoliberal Constitution of Women in the EU’s Security Policy.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 19 (2): 153–67.

Author: Hanna L. Muehlenhoff

Abstract:

Feminist scholars praise and criticize the UNSC Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security for its considerations of women and gender in conflicts. Poststructuralist feminists show how gender is constructed in the UN’s security policies and how these constructions reproduce gendered dichotomies between women and men and representations of women as victims, part of civil society and neoliberal subjects. Although the UNSC Resolutions 1325 and 1820 are implemented by the EU, there is no literature on how the EU is taking up the UN’s discourse. Scholars studying gender policies in and of the EU mainly analyze the (in)effectiveness of EU gender mainstreaming but rarely interrogate its discursive foundations. Using a governmentality perspective, I argue that on the one hand the EU produces a binary and stereotypical understanding of gender, and on the other hand constitutes women as neoliberal subjects responsible for their own well-being, ignoring broader structures of (gender) inequality and war and making gender equality solely an instrument to achieve more security and development.

Keywords: governmentality, EU, gender, security, neoliberal

Topics: Civil Society, Development, Economies, Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, peace and security, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, UNSCR 1820

Year: 2017

Reevaluating Peacekeeping Effectiveness: Does Gender Neutrality Inhibit Progress?

Citation:

Karim, Sabrina. 2017. “Reevaluating Peacekeeping Effectiveness: Does Gender Neutrality Inhibit Progress?” International Interactions 43 (5): 822–47.

Author: Sabrina Karim

Abstract:

Since the adoption of UNSCR 1325, more female peacekeepers are participating in peacekeeping missions than ever before. Nevertheless, the current literature on peacekeeping effectiveness is largely gender neutral, discounting the unique role female peacekeepers may play in peacekeeping operations. This article addresses this missing piece in the literature by assessing how female peacekeepers and locals view the role of women in peacekeeping operations. Using interviews and focus groups conducted with peacekeepers in the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and original surveys conducted in Liberian communities, it finds that there is an “access gap” that prevents female peacekeepers from fully contributing to the mission’s operations and therefore prevents the peacekeeping mission from reaching its full potential. The findings have broader implications for how to improve peacekeeping missions’ effectiveness moving forward.

Keywords: gender, Liberia, peacekeeping, UNMIL, UNSCR 1325

Topics: Gender, Women, peace and security, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia

Year: 2017

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