The SDGs and Prevention for Sustaining Peace: Exploring the Transformative Potential of the Goal on Gender Equality


Mechoulan, Delphine, Youssef Mahmoud, Andrea Ó Súilleabháin, and Jimena Leiva Roesch. 2016. The SDGs and Prevention for Sustaining Peace: Exploring the Transformative Potential of the Goal on Gender Equality. New York: International Peace Institute.

Authors: Delphine Mechoulan, Youssef Mahmoud, Andrea Ó Súilleabháin , Jimena Leiva Roesch

Keywords: gender equality, peacetime, women's rights, sustainable development, working women, peacefulness, sustainable economic development, violence, peacemaking, civil wars


With the adoption of the General Assembly and Security Council resolutions on sustaining peace and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a multilateral policy consensus is emerging around a common vision for peaceful societies. These global frameworks treat prevention as an integral part of effective and participatory governance and view peace as both an enabler and an outcome of sustainable development. To illustrate the preventive potential of the SDGs, this issue brief focuses on Target 5.5, which aims to “ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making in political, economic, and public life.” Evidence compiled with contributions from the Institute for Economics and Peace and the McKinsey Global Institute shows that investment in Target 5.5 could unleash the potential of women, facilitate their meaningful participation in decision making, and thus advance sustainable peace and development. This issue brief is part of the International Peace Institute’s (IPI) attempt to reframe prevention for the purpose of sustaining peace through a series of conversations from October 2016 to May 2017. (Summary from International Peace Institute)

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Peace Processes, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Year: 2016

Women in Post-Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction in Africa


Scanlon, Helen, 2019. "Women in Post-Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction in Africa." In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History, edited by Thomas Spear. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Author: Helen Scanlon

Keywords: post-conflict resolution, post-conflict reconstruction, transitional justice, peace-building, gender-based human-rights violations, truth seeking, security sector reform, sexual violence in conflict (SVAC)


Women’s experiences of conflict have been the subject of increased international attention since the end of the Cold War and this has been accompanied by a concomitant growth in attention to the role of women in peace and security initiatives in Africa. Alongside the rise of humanitarian interventions, new trends have emerged in the realms of conflict resolution, accountability, and post-conflict transformation. As a result, post-conflict experiences in Africa in the 21st century have revealed numerous opportunities for the advancement of gender justice. Experiences from countries emerging from conflict on the continent provide some important examples of promoting women’s rights through accountability mechanisms, furthering access to government, producing gender-sensitive reform, challenging discriminatory laws, and advancing economic opportunities. However, while women’s needs and rights have been increasingly recognized through international and national commitments, women continue to face widespread gender-based violence as well as socioeconomic challenges in the aftermath of conflict. Thus, understanding intersectional experiences of conflict and the role of enduring gender power relations are critical to revisiting how transitions might be transformative. (Summary from Oxford Research Encyclopedias)

Topics: Economies, Conflict, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Justice, Transitional Justice, Peace and Security, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Peacebuilding, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Security Sector Reform Regions: Africa

Year: 2019

Nuclear (In)Security in the Everyday: Peace Campers as Everyday Security Practitioners


Eschle, Catherine. 2018. "Nuclear (In)Security in the Everyday: Peace Campers as Everyday Security Practitioners." Security Dialogue 49 (4): 289-305.

Author: Catherine Eschle


This article extends the emergent focus on ‘the everyday’ in critical security studies to the topic of nuclear (in)security, through an empirical study of anti-nuclear peace activists understood as ‘everyday security practitioners’. In the first part of the article, I elaborate on the notion of everyday security practitioners, drawing particularly on feminist scholarship, while in the second I apply this framework to a case study of Faslane Peace Camp in Scotland. I show that campers emphasize the everyday insecurities of people living close to the state’s nuclear weapons, the blurred boundaries between ‘us’ and ‘them’, and the inevitability of insecurity in daily life. Moreover, campers’ security practices confront the everyday reproduction of nuclear weapons and prefigure alternative modes of everyday life. In so doing, I argue, they offer a distinctive challenge to dominant deterrence discourse, one that is not only politically significant, but also expands understanding of the everyday in critical security studies.

Keywords: Anti-nuclear, critical security studies, the everyday, (in)security, feminism, peace movement

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Peace and Security, Peacebuilding, Security, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Regions: Europe, Northern Europe Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 2018

Gender, Conflict and Security: Perspectives from South Asia


Singh, Shweta. 2017. "Gender, Conflict and Security: Perspectives from South Asia." Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs 4 (2): 149-57.

Author: Shweta Singh


This article provides an overview to this special issue of JASIA, entitled ‘Gender, Conflict and Security: Perspectives from South Asia’. Gender intersects with conflict and security and yet remains at the margins of academic theorizing, policy priority and practitioner perspectives in South Asia. This special issue puts forth fresh insights into how and why the lived experiences of women in South Asia (particularly from areas of protracted conflict such as Nepal, India and Sri Lanka) are different? And how and why these impinge on the global discourse on security? It argues that this analysis is pertinent not just from the standpoint of academic theorizing on security but also from the perspective of international security policy like the United Nations led Women, Peace and Security Agenda. This is the 17th year of the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, and only Nepal and Afghanistan in South Asia have a National Action Plan. This special issue also critically examines the key gaps in the international policy on Women, Peace and Security Agenda and how it ‘speaks’ or ‘not speaks’ to the contextual reality of South Asia.

Keywords: gender, conflict, security, South Asia, women peace and security, UNSCR 1325

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Women, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Peace and Security, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka

Year: 2017

Las Farianas: Reintegration of Former Female FARC Fighters as a Driver for Peace in Colombia


Barrios Sabogal, Laura Camila, and Solveig Richter. 2019. Las Farianas: Reintegration of Former Female FARC Fighters as a Driver for Peace in Colombia. 78. Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá. 

Authors: Barrios Sabogal, Laura Camila, Solveig Richter


The 2016 peace agreement includes comprehensive prescriptions for the so-called "reincorporation" of former combatants into the social, economic, and political life of Colombia. However, the literature is somewhat skeptical regarding the reintegration of female fighters, since they are usually either neglected or are facing intense stigmatization by the society. Nevertheless, based on empirical data from field research in 2018, we argue that both former FARC ex-combatants and conflict-affected communities largely support the reintegration process. This acceptance offers not only prospects for peace but a unique opportunity to promote peace in the traditional Colombian society. 

El acuerdo de paz de 2016 incluye disposiciones integrales para la llamada "reincorporación" de excombatientes en la vida social, económica y política de Colombia. Sin embargo, la literatura es bastante escéptica con respecto a la reintegración de las excombatientes, pues generalmente son excluidas o enfrentan una fuerte estigmatización por parte de la sociedad. Ahora bien, con base en datos empíricos de la investigación de campo realizada en 2018, encontramos que tanto los excombatientes de las FARC como las comunidades afectadas por el conflicto apoyan en gran medida el proceso de reintegración. Esto ofrece no solo perspectivas de paz, sino también una oportunidad única para promover la igualdad de género en la sociedad tradicional colombiana.

Keywords: Colombia, FARC, DDR, reintegration, gender, former female FARC combatants, Acuerdo de paz, reintegración, gênero, mujeres excombatientes de las FARC, peace agreement

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, DDR, Gender, Women, Governance, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Peace Processes Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2019

Women and Natural Resources Unlocking the Peacebuilding Potential


United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office, and United Nations Development Programme. 2013. Women and Natural Resources Unlocking the Peacebuilding Potential. United Nations .

Authors: Adrienne Stork, Cassidy Travis, Silja Halle



“Women’s diverse experiences in times of conflict have powerful implications for peacebuilding. Their capacity to recover from conflict and contribute to peace is influenced by their role in the conflict, whether directly engaged in armed groups, displaced, or forced to take on additional responsibilities to sustain their livelihoods and care for dependents. In spite of efforts by the international community to recognize and better address these multiple roles through agreements such as United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, the dominant perception of women as passive victims in conflict settings continues to constrain their ability to formally engage in political, economic and social recovery, and thereby contribute to better peacebuilding.

One of the unexplored entry points for strengthening women’s contributions to peacebuilding relates to the ways in which they use, manage, make decisions on and benefit from natural resources. Coupled with shifting gender norms in conflict-affected settings, women’s roles in natural resource management provide significant opportunities to enhance their participation in decisionmaking at all levels, and to enable them to engage more productively in economic revitalization activities.

As the primary providers of water, food and energy at the household and community levels, women in rural settings are often highly dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods, and are therefore particularly susceptible to changes in the availability and quality of these resources during and after conflict. In particular, lack of access to land – which underpins rights to all other natural resources and is a key asset for securing productive inputs – can force them into increasingly vulnerable situations and expose them to higher levels of physical and livelihood risk, with trickle-down impacts on community welfare. The structural discrimination that women face regarding resource rights and access also limits their political participation and economic productivity.

At the same time, conflict often leads both women and men to adopt coping strategies that challenge traditional gender norms. To meet the needs of their households and compensate for loss of revenue usually provided by male family members, women may assume new natural resource management roles, either by taking up alternative income-generating activities or by moving into traditionally male sectors. In the aftermath of conflict, capitalizing on these shifting roles can contribute to breaking down barriers to women’s empowerment and enhancing women’s productivity in sectors that are often critical to economic revitalization.

Failure to recognize the challenges and opportunities awarded to women in conflict-affected settings by their various roles in natural resource management also risks perpetuating inequalities and deepening grievances linked to natural resource rights, access and control, which have proven to be powerful catalysts for violence. Addressing issues of inequality related to resource access and ownership, participation in decision-making and benefitsharing early on in the peacebuilding process is therefore a critical condition for lasting peace and development.

To strengthen peacebuilding outcomes by enhancing women’s engagement and empowerment in conflictaffected contexts through sustainable natural resource management, this report recommends that national
governments and the international community take the following action:

  1. Promote women’s participation in formal and informal decision-making structures and governance processes related to natural resource management in peacebuilding: Working with natural resource management authorities can help increase women’s participation in decision-making at the sub-national and national levels. However, targeted support is needed for overcoming the structural, social and cultural barriers to women’s formal and informal political participation in conflict-affected settings. This can be achieved by including women and gender specialists early on in peace negotiations in a variety of positions – as negotiators, as expert advisors and as civil society observers – and in mediation support teams, as well as supporting their capacity to engage effectively in these processes. It also requires ensuring that women are represented in relevant decision-making bodies, including through the use of quotas and soliciting inputs from a broad range of women’s groups and networks when elaborating natural resource management policies. In addition gender experts should be part of teams charged with developing policies and other governance tools around natural resource management in peacebuilding contexts, including in supply-chain certification mechanisms, benefit-sharing schemes, and transparency initiatives. Finally, it is essential to provide training and capacity-building and to support the advocacy efforts of women’s organizations and networks.
  2. Adopt proactive measures to protect women from resource-related physical violence and other security risks early in the peacebuilding period: Women in conflict-affected settings routinely experience physical insecurity, including sexual violence, when carrying out daily tasks linked to the collection and use of natural resources. Moreover, while the impacts of environmental contamination and pollution adversely affect all, women are particularly vulnerable, due to heightened exposure in their gendered roles and responsibilities. Protecting women from these risks is not only important to their health, but also key to ensuring that they are able to safely carry out economic and social activities linked to natural resource management. Among other measures, addressing these risks can involve: conducting assessments to identify specific resource and environment-related security and health threats for women in conflict-affected contexts; ensuring that women have safe access to key resources, such as fuel wood and water, in internally displaced persons and refugee camps; supporting the dissemination of innovative technologies, such as improved cook stoves, that protect women from adverse health impacts in carrying out their roles; increasing women’s participation in security sector institutions and conflict resolution  processes; and supporting awareness-raising and training on women’s rights among the staff of government institutions and the national security sector, as well as at the community level, in order to increase gender-sensitive operational effectiveness and security service delivery by the army and police.
  3. Remove barriers and create enabling conditions to build women’s capacity for productive and sustainable use of natural resources: Access to credit, technical support and benefits from natural resource exploitation is essential to improving women’s economic productivity, which in turn is key to their empowerment. Likewise, legal support for the enforcement of land rights and other resource rights underpins women’s ability to productively use natural resources for their recovery. Achieving this can include: identifying women’s specific roles in key natural resource sectors and how those roles may have been affected during conflict, establishing regular consultative mechanisms with a variety of women’s groups and networks on the development of basic service infrastructure in their communities, prioritizing land negotiation and reform processes that improve women’s rights to land. In addition, providing legal aid, conflict management, negotiation and mediation services to women can enable them to enforce their resource-related rights and access dispute resolution mechanisms. Prioritizing access to finance, inputs and skills training for women and men equally, upholding human rights and minimum labor standards for women’s involvement in the extractive sectors and ensuring private companies operating in the extractive sectors engage both men and women during environmental and social impact assessments, as well as throughout the project cycle can further improve women’s productive and sustainable use of natural resources. Finally, women’s representation on commissions established for wealth-sharing and national and sub-national level and the provision of gender expertise for such bodies, should be prioritized and efforts made to ensure that women are included in community based natural resource management initiatives in conflict-affected settings.
  4. Within the United Nations, increase inter-agency cooperation to pursue women’s empowerment and sustainable natural resource management together in support of more effective peacebuilding: Existing inter-agency mechanisms at the global and country levels should be tasked to address the risks and opportunities presented to women by natural resource management in peacebuilding contexts more systematically in their work, including by: conducting pilot programmes to learn lessons on how to integrate the linkages between women, natural resources and peacebuilding in joint assessments and country programming; ensuring that 15 percent of all funding towards UN-supported natural resource management programmes in peacebuilding is allocated to women’s empowerment and gender equality; requiring the collection of sex and agedisaggregated data on peacebuilding and recovery programmes that address and/or have an impact on natural resource management; developing specific targets related to the participation of women and gender experts in natural resource management in post-conflict countries, in line with the priorities and goals set in the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States and the goals for the post-2015 development agenda; supporting further research on the nexus of women, natural resources and peacebuilding, particularly in areas where significant knowledge gaps remain; and integrating gender equality and women’s empowerment issues in meetings of actors working on addressing the linkages between natural resources, conflict and peacebuilding.” (Stork, Travis, and Halle 2013, 7-8)

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, International Organizations, Livelihoods, Peacebuilding, Peace and Security, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Land Rights, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Violence

Year: 2013

Insurgent Women: Female Combatants in Civil Wars


Darden, Jessica Trisko, Alexis Henshaw, and Ora Szekely. 2019. Insurgent Women: Female Combatants in Civil Wars. Washington, D.C: Georgetown University Press.

Authors: Jessica Trisko Darden, Alexis Henshaw, Ora Szekely


Why do women go to war? Despite the reality that female combatants exist the world over, we still know relatively little about who these women are, what motivates them to take up arms, how they are utilized by armed groups, and what happens to them when war ends. This book uses three case studies to explore variation in women's participation in nonstate armed groups in a range of contemporary political and social contexts: the civil war in Ukraine, the conflicts involving Kurdish groups in the Middle East, and the civil war in Colombia. In particular, the authors examine three important aspects of women's participation in armed groups: mobilization, participation in combat, and conflict cessation. In doing so, they shed light on women's pathways into and out of nonstate armed groups. They also address the implications of women's participation in these conflicts for policy, including postconflict programming. This is an accessible and timely work that will be a useful introduction to another side of contemporary conflict. (Summary from Georgetown University Press)
Table of Contents:
1. Ukraine: Defending the Motherland
2. The Kurdish Regions: Fighting as Kurds, Fighting as Women
3. Colombia: Women Waging War and Peace

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Female Combatants, Conflict, Post-Conflict, Peacebuilding Regions: MENA, Americas, South America, Asia, Middle East, Europe, Eastern Europe Countries: Colombia, Iraq, Ukraine

Year: 2019

Assessment of the Evidence of Links between Gender Equality, Peacebuilding and Statebuilding Literature Review


Domingo, Pilar, Rebecca Holmes, Alina Rocha Menocal, Nicola Jones, Dharini Bhuvanendra, and Jill Wood. 2013. Assessment of the Evidence of Links between Gender Equality, Peacebuilding and Statebuilding Literature Review. Overseas Development Institute.

Authors: Pilar Domingo, Rebecca Holmes, Alina Rocha Menocal, Nicola Jones, Dharini Bhuvanendra, Jill Wood



“This report provides an overview of the knowledge base on gender-sensitive approaches to peacebuilding and statebuilding in fragile and conflict-affected situations (FCAS). It uses systematic principles of enquiry to assess the evidence, but is not a systematic review. The assessment included a review of the most relevant sources, identifying the key trends and findings in relevant academic and grey literature.

The main research questions included:

  • What do gender-responsive approaches in peacebuilding and statebuilding look like?
  • What is the impact of gender-responsive approaches on the peacebuilding and statebuilding goals of the international agenda, including inclusivity, participation, responsiveness and accountability?
  • Do these approaches substantively enhance the advancement of gender equality goals in FCAS?

For the most part, the literature on peacebuilding and statebuilding does not address these research questions directly or explicitly. As such, the review sought to elicit relevant analytical and empirical findings by taking a closer look at key thematic and sectoral components of peacebuilding and statebuilding, and examined how gender-responsive approaches featured in these.” (Pilar, Holmes, Menocal, Jones, Bhuvanendra, and Wood 2013, iii)

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Peacebuilding

Year: 2013

Contesting Feminism’s Institutional Doubles: Troubling the Security Council’s Women, Peace and Security Agenda


Otto, Dianne. 2019. "Contesting Feminism’s Institutional Doubles: Troubling the Security Council’s Women, Peace and Security Agenda." In Governance Feminism: Notes from the Field, edited by Janet Halley, Prabha Kotiswaran, Rachel Rebouché, and Hila Shamir, 200-29. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Author: Dianne Otto


"In early 2000, feminist peace activists embarked on an ambitious new strategy of engagement with institutional power, from within rather than from outside the international military and diplomatic establishment, when the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) led a coalition of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) hoping to persuade the UN Security Council to adopt a thematic resolution on women, peace, and security (WPS). Previously, the Council had shown almost no interest in women except, commencing with the 1990s conflicts in the Balkans, as victims of conflict-related sexual violence. That the Council responded positively to the efforts of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security (hereafter referred to simply as the NGO Working Group) and unanimously adopted Resolution 1325 (SCR 1325) on October 31, 2000, came as a surprise to me, although, as I will explain, I have since realized that there was much for the Council to gain by (re)presenting itself as feminist-friendly. I have also been astonished by the remarkable institutional productivity that has followed the adoption of SCR 1325. Not only has it prompted annual Security Council debates on WPS and annual Secretary-General’s Reports since 2004; it has led to a further seven resolutions on this theme (as of October 2016). Cascades of gender policies, training manuals, checklists, indicators, benchmarks, targets, studies, and reports have also followed, as well as many new positions established for “gender experts,” including the special representative of the secretary-general on sexual violence in conflict and Gender Advisory Teams deployed by UN Peacekeeping to all multidimensional peacekeeping operations" (Otto 2019, 200-1).

Topics: Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Peacekeeping, Sexual Violence, SV against Women, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, UNSCR 1820, UNSCR 1888, UNSCR 1889, UNSCR 1960, UNSCR 2106, UNSCR 2122, UNSCR 2242

Year: 2019

From Depletion to Regeneration: Addressing Structural and Physical Violence in Post-Conflict Economies


Rai, Shirin M., Jacqui True, and Maria Tanyag. 2019. "From Depletion to Regeneration: Addressing Structural and Physical Violence in Post-Conflict Economies." Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society 26 (4): 561-85. 

Authors: Shirin M. Rai, Jacqui True, Maria Tanyag


Drawing on depletion through social reproduction and political economy of violence against women (PEVAW) approaches, we show how the context of violence intensifies the depletion of women’s lives as they labor to meet their household needs; and how this depletion heightens their vulnerability to violence in conflict-affected contexts and inhibits their roles in peacebuilding. We propose the concept of the “regenerative state,” as a post-conflict moment of openness when state policy underpinned by attention to issues of depletion, social reproduction, and violence against women can help reshape gendered power relations in post-conflict transitions.

Topics: Conflict, Economies, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Households, Livelihoods, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Violence

Year: 2019


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