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Post-conflict Governance

Gender Empowerment and United Nations Peacebuilding


Gizelis, Theodora-Ismene. 2009. “Gender Empowerment and United Nations Peacebuilding.” Journal of Peace Research 46 (4): 505–23.

Author: Theodora-Ismene Gizelis


Previous studies have suggested that societies where women have higher social and economic status and greater political representation are less likely to become involved in conflict. In this article, the author argues that the prospects for successful post-conflict peacebuilding under the auspices of the United Nations (UN) are generally better in societies where women have greater levels of empowerment. Women’s status in a society reflects the existence of multiple social networks and domestic capacity not captured by purely economic measures of development such as GDP per capita. In societies where women have relatively higher status, women have more opportunities to express a voice in the peacemaking process and to elicit broader domestic participation in externally led peacekeeping operations. This higher level of participation in turn implies that UN Peacekeeping operations can tap into great social capital and have better prospects for success. An empirical analysis of post-conflict cases with a high risk of conflict recurrence shows that UN peacekeeping operations have been significantly more effective in societies in which women have relatively higher status. By contrast, UN peacekeeping operations in countries where women have comparatively lower social status are much less likely to succeed.

Keywords: peacekeeping operations, gender empowerment, womens empowerment, development, economic development

Topics: Gender, Women, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Peacekeeping, Post-Conflict

Year: 2009

Gender and Peacekeeping: The United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor


Whittington, Sherrill. 2003. “Gender and Peacekeeping: The United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 28 (4): 1283–8. doi:10.1086/368320.

Author: Sherrill Whittington

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Oceania Countries: Timor-Leste

Year: 2003

Strengthening Governance: The Role of Women in Rwanda’s Transition


Powley, Elizabeth. 2003. Strengthening Governance: The Role of Women in Rwanda’s Transition. Cambridge, MA: Hunt Alternatives Fund.

Author: Elizabeth Powley

Topics: Gender, Women, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2003

Mobilization without Emancipation? Women’s Interests, the State, and Revolution in Nicaragua


Molyneux, Maxine. 1985. “Mobilization without Emancipation? Women’s Interests, the State, and Revolution in Nicaragua.” Feminist Studies 11 (2): 227–54.

Author: Maxine Molyneux

Topics: Gender, Women, Governance, Post-conflict Governance Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Nicaragua

Year: 1985

Evaluating the Progress of Women’s Rights on the Fifth Anniversary of the South African Constitution


Andrews, Penelope E. 2007. “Evaluating the Progress of Women’s Rights on the Fifth Anniversary of the South African Constitution.” Vermont Law Review 26 (4): 829–36.

Author: Penelope E. Andrews


This article discusses the quest for women's rights in South Africa and how the transition from apartheid to democracy led to a commitment to gender equality as incorporated in South Africa's transitional and final Constitutions.' In this endeavor, it refers to the organizational attempts by women prior to and during the constitutional drafting process to ensure that the new Constitution embodied the aspirations and reflected the struggles for women's rights by women activists in South Africa. This article is divided into six sections. Section Two describes the legacy of apartheid for all women in South Africa.' This investigation is appropriate because the legacy of apartheid will bear significantly on the status and lives of women for a long time. This section shows how the laws and policies of apartheid were comprehensive, not only in enforcing rigid racial segregation, but also in racializing gender.' Section Three focuses on the Constitution and outlines the myriad of ways this document details comprehensive rights for women both in the public and the private spheres. This section demonstrates how the South African Constitution, in particular its section on equality, has been described as one of the most impressive human rights documents of the twentieth century. Specifically, the Constitution details rights expansively and comprehensively, while its inclusion of sweeping rights for women satisfies South Africa's international legal obligations. Section Four of this article focuses on two cases regarding women's rights decided by the Constitutional Court, arguing that South Africa's evolving constitutional jurisprudence demonstrates a deep commitment by the highest courts to eradicate odious discrimination against women. Section Five analyzes the lobbying efforts of women's organizations during the transitional period to ensure that women's rights were incorporated into the new Constitution. In addition, this section analyzes how these lobbying efforts resulted in significant formal gains as reflected in the Constitution. This article concludes by assessing some of the remaining obstacles to attaining women's equality despite the significant advancements made thus far.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Constitutions, Post-conflict Governance, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2007

Armed Conflict, International Linkages, and Women’s Parliamentary Representation in Developing Nations


Hughes, Melanie. 2009. “Armed Conflict, International Linkages, and Women’s Parliamentary Representation in Developing Nations.” Social Problems 56 (1): 174–204.

Author: Melanie Hughes


Politics is arguably the arena in which gender inequality remains most pronounced. Yet in recent decades, women in some countries and regions of the world have made significant gains in legislative presence at the national level. But for women living outside of the industrialized West, we know little about the processes that facilitate their entry into politics. Through separate analyses of 36 high-income, 86 middle-income, and 63 low- income countries, I demonstrate that past models of women’s political representation fail to explain variation across low-income samples. Using multiple methods, I also explore two sets of factors that may be more salient predictors of women’s parliamentary representation in low-income nations: civil war and international linkages. Although historically women have been unable to consolidate gains made during wartime into post-conflict political representation, I find that certain types of civil conflict during the 1980s and 1990s positively affect women’s representation in low-income nations. Longer, larger-scale wars that contest the political system or serve to alter the composition of the government have the best prospects for creating opportunities for women to gain parliamentary seats. Brief case studies of women, war, and social change in Rwanda, Mozambique, Uganda, and Tajikistan suggest that structural and cultural mechanisms may work in conjunction with political openings to produce post-conflict gains in women’s political presence. Both women’s lack of political representation and the tragic effects of civil war remain enduring challenges faced by the developing world, but at the intersection of these two problems, there is hope for women seeking political access.

Keywords: gender and politics, women in national legislatures, developing countries, civil war, international nongovernmental organizations

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Economies, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Political Participation

Year: 2009

'Transition Politics’ and the Challenge of Gender in Nigeria


Abdullah, Hussaina. 1993. “‘Transition Politics’ and the Challenge of Gender in Nigeria.” Review of African Political Economy, no. 56, 27-41.

Author: Hussaina Abdullah


At present Nigeria is in a 'transitional' period as the country moves into the Third Republic, a form of civilian government devised by the present Federal Military Government (FMG). This has not only entailed the creation of political parties (one, the National Republican Convention, a 'little to the right', the other, the Social Democratic Party, a 'little to the left'), it has also involved the establishment of other organisations conforming to the views of the FMG. A striking number of these are apparently directed towards improving the position of women in Nigerian society. These organisations are critically examined in the context of a structural adjustment programme promoted by the military government, and against the activities of trade unions, political parties and democratic associations.

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Military Forces & Armed Groups Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 1993


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