Political Participation

How Ending Impunity for Conflict-Related Sexual Violence Overwhelmed the UN Women, Peace, and Security Agenda: A Discursive Genealogy


Reilly, Niamh. 2017. "How Ending Impunity for Conflict-Related Sexual Violence Overwhelmed the UN Women, Peace, and Security Agenda: A Discursive Genealogy." Violence Against Women 24 (6): 631-49.

Author: Niamh Reilly


The recent unprecedented focus on ending impunity for conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) is positive in many respects. However, it has narrowed the scope of Security Council Resolution 1325 and the women, peace, and security (WPS) agenda it established in 2000. Through a critical discursive genealogy of the interrelation of two UN agendas—protection of civilians in armed conflict and women, peace, and security—the author traces how CRSV emerged as the defining issue of the latter while the transformative imperative of making women’s participation central to every UN endeavor for peace and security has failed to gain traction.

Keywords: conflict, sexual violence, security council, feminism, discourse analysis

Topics: Armed Conflict, Conflict, Feminisms, Political Participation, Sexual Violence, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325

Year: 2017

Gender-Sensitive Conflict Analysis: A New Training Method for Practitioners


Close, Sophia, and Hesta Groenewald. 2019. "Gender-Sensitive Conflict Analysis: A New Training Method for Practitioners." Journal of Peacebuilding & Development 14 (3): 304-17.

Authors: Sophia Close, Hesta Groenewald


The authors have co-designed and co-facilitated an innovative training method and approach to gender-sensitive conflict analysis. International organisations rarely undertake gendered conflict analysis as it is perceived to be difficult, with unclear or inconvenient actions identified. Yet the authors’ practice-based research shows it is essential to understanding and transforming the gendered root causes, discriminatory gender norms, and differentiated effects of violence and conflict. In this article, the authors share the lessons from workshops they conducted across multiple conflict-affected contexts. They detail the participatory process undertaken involving diverse gender groups from civil society and policymakers working in conflict-affected contexts and provide data on the effectiveness and sustainability of this innovative training approach.

Keywords: gender sensitive, gender, peace, peacebuilding, participatory, systems, conflict, analysis

Topics: Civil Society, Conflict, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Peace Processes

Year: 2019

Gender and Governance in Post-Conflict and Democratizing Settings


Kindervater, Lisa, and Sheila Meintjes. 2018. "Gender and Governance in Post-Conflict and Democratizing Settings." In The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Conflict, edited by Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, Naomi Cahn, Dina Francesca Haynes, and Nahla Valji, 468-484. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 

Authors: Lisa Kindervater, Sheila Meintjes


Women have the opportunity to make significant economic, political, and sociocultural gains during transitions to peace and democracy; however, these gains are frequently lost when competitive electoral politics resumes. This chapter identifies the key mechanisms responsible for this loss, providing examples from several countries in sub-Saharan Africa. These mechanisms include institutional constraints, historical political conditions, donor-driven agendas, prevailing cultural norms, and the nature of the women’s movement. The chapter suggests that while the enactment of laws and policies related to women’s rights are an important first step, a feminist and transformational agenda in post-conflict societies requires focus on patriarchal cultures and practices. The chapter argues that such transformation is aided by the fostering of strong relationships between grassroots women activists and politically elite women.

Keywords: post-conflict, electoral politics, patriarchal cultures, feminism, women's movement, donor agenda, Sub-Saharan Africa

Topics: Class, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Governance, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict, Political Participation, Peace Processes Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa

Year: 2018

Engendering Peacebuilding: The International Gender Nomenclature of Peace Politics and Women’s Participation in the Colombian Peace Process


Boutron, Camille. 2018. "Engendering Peacebuilding: The International Gender Nomenclature of Peace Politics and Women's Participation in the Colombian Peace Process." Journal of Peacebuilding & Development 13 (2): 116-21.

Author: Camille Boutron

Keywords: Colombia, gender politics, women's empowerment, liberal peace-building


"The peace negotiations held between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in Habana between 2012 and 2016 represented a historical precedent for the inclusion of a gender approach in conflict resolution. If gender and women’s issues had not been noteworthy topics during the first two years of the negotiations (2012–2014), this configuration changed in a significant way with the establishment in September 2014 of a gender subcommittee at the negotiations table, composed of representatives of the Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas (Bouvier 2016, 21). The gender subcommittee was established thanks to the combined endeavours of women’s organisations and those of the actors from the international community engaged in promoting the gender lens in Colombian peacebuilding. It played a substantial role in the inclusion of a transversal gender perspective in the peace agreement signed by both parties on 26 September 2016. Indeed, no peace agreement had ever gone so far in the inclusion of a gender perspective since the adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 of October 2000, which laid the foundations for the subsequent elaboration of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) global agenda and represented a starting point for the adoption of many additional UN resolutions ensuring women’s leadership in peacebuilding and preventing sexual violence in armed conflicts (UNSCR 1889, 1820, 1888, 1960, 2106, 2242). These resolutions enabled the constitution of a broader roadmap guiding the inclusion of women in international peace politics. Colombia appears to be an emblematic case when it comes to analysing the various forms of implementation of the WPS agenda" (Boutron 2018, 116).

Topics: Gender, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, UNSCR 1820, UNSCR 1888, UNSCR 1889, UNSCR 1960, UNSCR 2106, UNSCR 2242 Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2018

Women, Peace, and Security in Pakistan


Faraz, Zeenia. 2017. Women, Peace, and Security in Pakistan. United States Institute of Peace. 

Author: Zeenia Faraz


Conflict and crisis have adversely affected the social and economic circumstances of women and girls in Pakistan. A gender lens is needed in responses to crises. 

Ensuring women’s participation at all levels in decisions related to peace and security in the country is essential.

The women, peace, and security (WPS) framework is useful for enhancing women’s participation in peace processes and applying a gender lens to postconflict reconstruction.

Implementation of the WPS agenda in Pakistan requires concrete measures at social and political levels that would challenge existing gender stereotypes and pave the way for greater participation among women in peacebuilding and peace processes.

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Women, Girls, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Peace Processes, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Pakistan

Year: 2017

(En)gendered Security? The Complexities of Women's Inclusion in Peace Processes


Ellerby, Kara. 2013. “(En)gendered Security? The Complexities of Women's Inclusion in Peace Processes.” International Interactions 39 (4): 435-60.

Author: Kara Ellerby


As peacebuilding discourses increasingly stress the importance of including women, to what degree have security-related practices taken heed? It has been over 10 years since the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security, yet it remains a “confused and confusing” tool for scholars and practitioners in assessing women’s inclusion in peacebuilding. This article adds to our understanding on women and peacebuilding by engaging 1325 as an operationalizable concept and then applying it to peace agreements to understand how women’s security is addressed as part of formal peace processes. Given previous difficulties in operationalizing 1325’s mandate, this article engages it as a three-level concept useful for studying the ways in which women are “brought into” security, called (en)gendered security. Using this concept of (en)gendered security, I assess intrastate peace agreements between 1991 and 2010 to elucidate where and how women are included in peace processes. This article illustrates the potential of a systematized and practical approach to security embodied in 1325 and a preliminary discussion of what accounts for better approaches to (en)gendered security during peacebuilding.

Keywords: gender, peace agreements, peacebuilding, Resolution 1325, security, women

Topics: Gender, Women, Peace and Security, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Peace Processes, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325

Year: 2013

Gender Mainstreaming in a Post-Conflict State


D’Costa, Bina and Katrina Lee-Koo, ed. 2009. Gender Mainstreaming in a Post-Conflict State. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Authors: Bina D'Costa, Katrina Lee-Koo


Gender equality is widely believed by international organizations and mainstream commentators to contribute to the consolidation of democratic norms and domestic and international peace.1 The United Nations (UN) has promoted strategies for achieving gender equality as a central part of its peacebuilding and reconstruction programs. In Bosnia, Kosovo, and East Timor, UN missions have incorporated gender mainstreaming and gender-balanced decision-making policies and programs to foster civil society as means to ensure long-term peace and development. To what extent, though, are these institutional initiatives able to transform the deep-seated gendered social hierarchies in these new states? Feminist scholars argue that such hierarchies are at the root of violence against women, women’s lack of voice, and political representation. They hold that any meaningful democratic strategy must eliminate these hierarchies to bring about political freedom and equality. In Timor these feminist perspectives on gender justice and equality are an emerging part of the public debate about the processes of democratization in state and civil society. They can be seen in speeches, communications, and reports of local women’s organizations, donor agencies, NGOs, and the UN, however, this political activity has yet to be theoretically analyzed by feminist or nonfeminist scholars. Here we seek to highlight some of the gendered practices of democratization and assess the struggles within East Timorese civil society to forge a gender-equal democracy.

Keywords: civil society, domestic violence, United Nations, gender equality, gender perspective

Topics: Civil Society, Democracy / Democratization, Development, Domestic Violence, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Discourses, Gender-Based Violence, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Post-Conflict, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Peacekeeping Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe, Oceania Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Timor-Leste

Year: 2009

The 'Transformative' in Reparations: Women, Nation and Victimhood in Croatia


Saric, Josipa. 2018. "The 'Transformative' in Reparations: Women, Nation and Victimhood in Croatia." PhD diss., University of Kent.

Author: Josipa Saric


This thesis interrogates the assumption that women's inclusion in the design of reparations increases their potential to transform structural gender inequality. In recent years, the call for increasing 'women's participation' in the design and implementation of reparations for victims of conflict-related sexual violence has gained substantial traction in both scholarship and policy. While existing research has focused on the structural obstacles that place limitations on women's participation in reparation processes, little has been said about how women's participation may limit the transformative potential of reparations. Drawing on a wide range of qualitative data, ranging from interviews to social media content, this case study takes a socio-legal approach to examine the role of a Croatian right-wing, non-feminist women's group in the process of drafting and adopting a reparation law for victims of conflict-related sexual violence and considers how this group's involvement has impacted the reparation law's potential to transform structural gender inequality in Croatia. The thesis shows that the women's group acquired influence that directed the course of the legislative process and the outcome of the law due to its particular discourse, strategic actions, calculated compromises and the socio-political context at the time. Furthermore, the thesis argues that the women's group's influence facilitated the reparation law's alignment to a particular nationalist discourse which, due to the inextricable link between gender and nationalism, places limitations on the law's potential to transform structural gender inequality in Croatia. Finally, it presents three important points to consider when conducting an evaluation of the law's implementation and embarking on the design of future transformative reparation initiatives in nationalist contexts. First, that the inclusion of women and victims may not necessarily lead to developing reparations that aim to transform structural gender inequality. Second, that a reparation law exclusively aimed at victims of conflict-related sexual violence designed in a context saturated with nationalism may reinforce gender inequality. And third, that the involvement of international bodies in the design and implementation of reparations in nationalist contexts may be used by local grassroots movements to put pressure on the state in unforeseen ways that do not challenge structural gender inequality.

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Justice, Reparations, Nationalism, Political Participation, Sexual Violence Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Croatia

Year: 2018

Women, Peace and Security in Myanmar: Between Feminism and Ethnopolitics


Kolås, Åshild. 2020. Women, Peace and Security in Myanmar: between Feminism and Ethnopolitics. Abingdon; New York: Routledge.

Author: Åshild Kolås


This book describes women's efforts as agents for change in Myanmar and examines the potential of the peace process as an opportunity for women's empowerment. Following decades of political turbulence, the volume describes the contributions of women to contemporary Burmese politics and reflects on the significance of the Women, Peace and Security agenda in the context of Myanmar. The book examines how women have mobilized for peace, while addressing women's participation in the conflict, and investigates the perspectives and aims of women's organizations, and the challenges and aspirations of women activists in Myanmar's ethnic areas. Contributions in the volume discuss and critically assess the argument that war and peacebuilding adds momentum to the transformation of gender roles. By presenting new knowledge on women's disempowerment and empowerment in conflict, and their participation in peacebuilding, this book adds important insights into the debate on gender and political change in societies affected by conflict. This book will be of interest to students of peace and conflict studies, gender studies and security studies in general. (Summary from Routledge)
Table of Contents:
Introduction: Women, Peace and Security in Myanmar: The Map and the Terrain
Ashild Kolas
1. UNSCR 1325 in Myanmar: Women's Rights, Peace and Security in Times of Transition
Camilla Buzzi
2. Women in the Myanmar Peace Process: The 30-Percent Target
Debendra Prasad Adhikari
3. Women-to-Women Diplomacy and the Women's League of Burma
Magda Lorena Cardenas
4. No Peace in a Ceasefire: Women's Agency for Peace in the Kachin Conflict
Marte Nilsen
5. Women’s Participation in Peacebuilding: Views from Mon Rural Communities
Myint Myint Mon
6. Women Survivor’s Experiences of War and Perspectives on Peace in Myanmar
S. Hkawng Naw
7. Women in Myanmar’s Ethnic Armed Organizations: Numbers and Narratives
Åshild Kolås and Leitanthem Umakanta Meitei
8. Women’s ‘Marginal Voices’: Diverse Perspectives on Peace and Security in Myanmar
Elena Di Padova

Topics: Conflict, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Peace and Security, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Peace Processes Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Myanmar

Year: 2020

Women’s Participation in Peace Negotiations and the Durability of Peace


Krause, Jana, Werner Krause, and Piia Bränfors. 2018. "Women’s Participation in Peace Negotiations and the Durability of Peace." International Interactions 44 (6): 985-1016. 

Authors: Jana Krause, Werner Krause, Piia Bränfors


There is an emerging consensus that women’s participation in peace negotiations contributes to the quality and durability of peace after civil war. However, to date, this proposition has remained empirically untested. Moreover, how women’s participation may contribute to durable peace has not been systematically explored. This article uses a mixed method design to examine this proposition. Our statistical analysis demonstrates a robust correlation between peace agreements signed by female delegates and durable peace. We further find that agreements signed by women show a significantly higher number of peace agreement provisions aimed at political reform, and higher implementation rates for provisions. We argue that linkages between women signatories and women civil society groups explain the observed positive impact of women’s direct participation in peace negotiations. Collaboration and knowledge building among diverse women groups contributes to better content of peace agreements and higher implementation rates of agreement provisions. We substantiate this argument with qualitative case study evidence and demonstrate how collaboration between female delegates and women civil society groups positively impacts peace processes. Our findings support the assumption that women’s participation in peace negotiations increases the durability and the quality of peace.

Keywords: conflict, durable peace, gender, Peace Negotiations, women

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Civil Society, Conflict, Gender, Women, Peace Processes, Political Participation

Year: 2018


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