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Post-Conflict Reconstruction

African Democracy and Development: Challenges for Post-Conflict African Nations


Veney, Cassandra Rachel, and Dick W. Simpson, ed. 2013. African Democracy and Development: Challenges for Post-Conflict African Nations. Lanham: Lexington Books.

Authors: Cassandra Veney, Dick Simpson


Various African nations have undergone conflict situations since they gained their independence. This book focuses on particular countries that have faced conflict (civil wars and genocide) and are now in the process of rebuilding their political, economic, social, and educational institutions. The countries that are addressed in the book include: Rwanda, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In addition, there is a chapter that addresses the role of the African Diaspora in conflict and post-conflict countries that include Eritrea, Liberia, and Somalia. The book includes an examination of the various actors who are involved in post-conflict rebuilding and reconstruction that involves internal and external participants. For example, it is clear that the internal actors involve Africans themselves as ordinary citizens, members of local and national governments, and members of non-governmental organizations. This allows the reader to understand the agency and empowerment of Africans in post-conflict reconstruction. Various institutions are addressed within the context of the roles they play in establishing governance organizations such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Sierra Leone, the African Union, chiefs in Liberia, and non-governmental organizations. Furthermore, the external actors who are involved in post-conflict reconstruction are examined such as international non-governmental organizations and the African Diaspora. They both have their own constituents and agendas and can and do play a positive and negative role in post-conflict reconstruction. It is obvious that countries that are addressed in the book are in dire need of financial assistant to rebuild much needed infrastructure that was destroyed during the conflict. All of the countries covered in the book need schools, medical facilities, roads, bridges, airports, ports, and the government does not have the money to provide these. This is where the international non-governmental organizations and the African Diaspora play an important role. The chapters that address these issues are cognizant of their importance and at the same time, the authors realize that sovereignty can be undermined if Africans are not in the forefront of policy and decision making that will determine their future. There are chapters that provide a gendered analysis of post-conflict when it is appropriate. For example, it is clear that women, men, boys, and girls experienced conflict in different ways because of their gender. They all participated in the conflict in various ways. Consequently, the efforts at peace building are given a gendered analysis in terms of what has happened to women and girls in the demobilization and rehabilitation period including an excellent analysis of land reform in Rwanda and how that affects women and members of a certain ethnic group that are often overlooked in the examination of the 1994 genocide. In sum, this book provides a very good contribution to the literature on conflict and post-conflict African countries because of its depth and the vast topics it embraces. It provides an analysis of the internal and external actors, the role of gender in post-conflict decision making, and it provides the voices of ordinary Africans who were affected by the conflict, and who are determined to live productive lives. (Summary from Google Books)
Table of Contents:
Introduction / Cassandra R. Veney --
No justice, no peace : the elusive search for justice and reconciliation in Sierra Leone / Sylvia Macauley --
The role of ex-combatants in Mozambique / Jessica Schafer --
Memory controversies in post-genocide Rwanda : implications for peacebuilding / Elisabeth King --
Land reform, social justice, and reconstruction : challenges for post-genocide Rwanda / Helen Hintjens --
Elections as a stress test of democratization in societies : a comparison of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo / John Yoder --
Partners or adversaries? : NGOs and the state in postwar Sierra Leone / Fredline A.O. M'Cormack-Hale --
Chieftancy and reconstruction in Sierra Leone / Arthur Abraham --
The role of African diasporas in reconstruction / Paul Tiyambe Zeleza --
The role of the African Union in reconstruction in Africa / Thomas Kwasi Tieku --
Governance challenges in Sierra Leone / Osman Gbla --
Challenges of governance reform in Liberia / Amos Sawyer --
Achieving development and democracy / Dick Simpson


Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, DDR, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender Analysis, Genocide, Governance, Infrastructure, Transportation, International Organizations, Justice, NGOs, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Liberia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia

Year: 2013

Health Systems and Gender in Post-Conflict Contexts: Building Back Better?


Percival, Valerie, Esther Richards, Tammy Maclean, and Theobald Sally. 2014. "Health Systems and Gender in Post-Conflict Contexts: Building Back Better?" Conflict and Health 8 (1).

Authors: Valerie Percival, Esther Richards, Tammy Maclean, Theobald Sally


The post-conflict or post-crisis period provides the opportunity for wide-ranging public sector reforms: donors fund rebuilding and reform efforts, social norms are in a state of flux, and the political climate may be conducive to change. This reform period presents favourable circumstances for the promotion of gender equity in multiple social arenas, including the health system. As part of a larger research project that explores whether and how gender equity considerations are taken into account in the reconstruction and reform of health systems in conflict-affected and post conflict countries, we undertook a narrative literature review based on the questions "How gender sensitive is the reconstruction and reform of health systems in post conflict countries, and what factors need to be taken into consideration to build a gender equitable health system?" We used the World Health Organisation's (WHO) six building blocks as a framework for our analysis; these six building blocks are: 1) health service delivery/provision, 2) human resources, 3) health information systems, 4) health system financing, 5) medical products and technologies, and 6) leadership and governance. The limited literature on gender equity in health system reform in post conflict settings demonstrates that despite being an important political and social objective of the international community's engagement in conflict-affected states, gender equity has not been fully integrated into post-conflict health system reform. Our review was therefore iterative in nature: To establish what factors need to be taken into consideration to build gender equitable health systems, we reviewed health system reforms in low and middle-income settings. We found that health systems literature does not sufficiently address the issue of gender equity. With this finding, we reflected on the key components of a gender-equitable health system that should be considered as part of health system reform in conflict-affected and post-conflict states. Given the benefits of gender equity for broader social and economic well-being, it is clearly in the interests of donors and policy makers to address this oversight in future health reform efforts.

Keywords: health system reform, post-conflict, gender equity, gender and health

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Health, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction

Year: 2014

Victims of Violence or Agents of Change? Representations of Women in UN Peacebuilding Discourse


Shepherd, Laura J. 2016. “Victims of Violence or Agents of Change? Representations of Women in UN Peacebuilding Discourse.” Peacebuilding 4 (2): 121–35.

Author: Laura J. Shepherd


The Women, Peace and Security agenda at the United Nations is the policy architecture that assures the meaningful participation of women in UN peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction activities. It is a reasonable expectation that UN entities would leverage WPS principles and priorities to inform gender-responsive peacebuilding and recovery. This paper investigates the imbrication of WPS discourse in the discourse of the UN Peacebuilding Commission. I argue that there has historically been limited integration of the WPS architecture with the UN PBC, but this does not mean that the Commission’s activities are not upholding and even enhancing WPS principles and objectives. The opposite is true, and this raises interesting questions about the coherence of the WPS agenda, and the UN as an organisation, in terms of its ability to develop and implement an integrated and holistic gender-sensitive peacebuilding agenda.

Keywords: gender, women, agency, peacebuilding, United Nations

Topics: Gender, Women, International Organizations, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Peacebuilding, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS

Year: 2016

Beyond Masculinity: Gender, Conflict and Post-Conflict Reconstruction in Northern Uganda


Esuruku, Robert Senath. 2011. "Beyond Masculinity: Gender, Conflict and Post-Conflict Reconstruction in Northern Uganda." Journal of Science & Sustainable Development 4: 25-40.

Author: Robert Senath Esuruku


Masculinity and femininity debates of armed conflict in Africa have always regarded men as fighters and women as passive victims of war. The exclusion of women from the armed forces in most traditional societies originated from the assumption that women are a weaker sex and therefore cannot manage military life. Nevertheless, women in Uganda have voluntarily joined the armed forces, while some of them have been abducted and forcefully recruited into the rebel forces. Notwithstanding the central role women have played in the armed conflict in Northern Uganda, they have been side-lined in the processes of peace negotiation and post conflict reconstruction of the region. This paper looks at how masculinity is manipulated in conflict and the role women have played in the conflict, peace process and post conflict reconstruction in Northern Uganda. 

Keywords: gender, post-conflict reconstruction, transitional justice

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2011

Female Combatants and the Post-Conflict Process in Sierra Leone


Cullen, Laura C. 2020. "Female Combatants and the Post-Conflict Process in Sierra Leone." Journal of International Women's Studies 21 (2): 114-125.

Author: Laura C. Cullen


Women and girls had a specific and gendered experience of the civil war in Sierra Leone. They filled the role of combatants, ‘bush wives’, child soldiers, and sexual slaves. As a result of these roles, women are often described as having dual identities of both perpetrators and victims of violence. This duality resulted in the complex question of how to help these women both reintegrate into society and also address the crimes which they are alleged to have committed during the war. In this paper, I argue that these women and girls should be treated as victims due to the fact that their crimes were committed under coercion. I investigate the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) process, performing a critique of its gendered assumptions and its inability to provide adequate assistance to females coerced into combat. I perform a critical analysis of the formation and efficacy of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). I investigate the Special Court’s treatment of the women and girls who were victims coerced into war and potentially held responsible as if they were perpetrators. In doing so, critical deconstruction of the treatment of these women highlights both the hybrid court’s successes and failures in advocating for these women. Throughout the paper, I explore the question of how the post-conflict reconstruction process should treat women and girls, who are victims but who have discursively been positioned also as perpetrators.

Keywords: female combatants, women combatants, Special Court for Sierra Leone, bush wives, DDR, child soldiers, post-conflict resolutions, international criminal justice, hybrid courts, gendered assumptions in the post-conflict process

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Female Combatants, DDR, Gender, Women, Girls, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, TRCs, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2020

Security Sector Reform, Small Arms and Light Weapons and Gender in the Post-Conflict Western Balkans


Szedlacsek, Eszter. 2019. “Security Sector Reform, Small Arms and Light Weapons and Gender in the Post-Conflict Western Balkans.” Corvinus Journal of International Affairs 4 (1): 26-38.

Author: Eszter Szedlacsek


We all experience war in a different way – building peace in post-conflict environments requires solutions that bring together various aspects of these experiences at the local, national and international levels. However, the actors involved and the social groups they address are only rarely those at the margin, and the diversity of the catch-all category of “locals” frequently goes unacknowledged when considering Security Sector Reform (SSR) and especially small arms control. Numerous studies have focused on SSR and gender in the Balkans, on perceptions of security in post-conflict environments and its gender-related aspects, as well as on the gendered aspects of small arms, but so far the analysis bringing together all of these aspects is scarce. This paper aims to address this gap, providing an overview of these areas to show that attempts at state-building and security-provision in the Western Balkans have failed to appropriately incorporate gender mainstreaming into their agendas. It is the central claim of this paper that policymakers must realize that gender mainstreaming without a broader understanding of gendered aspects of security does not and will not have transformative power – neither in the Western Balkans, nor in other post-conflict environments.

Keywords: security sector reform (SSR), post-conflict, small arms and light weapons (SALW), gender, Western Balkans

Topics: Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Security Sector Reform, Weapons /Arms Regions: Europe, Baltic states, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2019

The UN Security Council and the Political Economy of the WPS Resolutions


Basu, Soumita. 2017. "The UN Security Council and the Political Economy of the WPS Resolutions." Politics & Gender 13 (4): 721-7.

Author: Soumita Basu


"This contribution to the forum links these themes, which dominate discussions of the political economy of the WPS resolutions — funding, economic rights of women, and neoliberal peacebuilding — to a fourth dimension that has remained largely unexplored in feminist international relations scholarship so far: the materiality of the Security Council. Particularly in light of the attention paid to UNSCR 1325 in a number of contributions to the previous Politics & Gender forum on feminist security studies (FSS) and feminist political economy (FPE), this contribution presents the council as an arena in which the meeting of the two strands of feminist international relations can yield valuable insights about the trajectory of the WPS resolutions. It considers not just the politics of financing the provisions of the WPS resolutions but also the broad frames of understanding — of market, state, and society — within which the resolutions are conceived at the council" (Basu 2017, 722).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Peace and Security, Peace Processes, Political Economies, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS

Year: 2017

Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Gender Analysis in Kosova


Corrin, Chris. 2000. "Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Gender Analysis in Kosova." International Feminist Journal of Politics 3 (1): 78-98

Author: Chris Corrin


Gender relations fluctuate in times of violent change with flight, exile, displacement and return and relations of inequality between men and women can prevent women from fully participating in the reconstruction processes and gaining political voice. Undertaking a gendered analysis of Kosovar women's involvement in the emerging feminist reconstructive politics highlighted the ways in which international governmental responses at times hindered women's progress. The central concern in this Gender Audit is the extent to which encouragement has been given to increasing women's social,economic,educational and political participation - in both informal civic fora and organizations and at the formal levels of power. The Gender Audit assesses the gaps in policy-making, service provision, data collection and in co-ordination and monitoring of projects designed to increase the participation of women and girls. In post-conflict situations it is vital that all people are enabled to contribute their ideas, expertise and skills in reconstruction and rehabilitation processes leading to democratization and democracy-building. Working in coalitions combining local, national and international elements is providinga positive contribution for somewomen in Kosova.

Keywords: feminism, gender relations, Kosova, participation, peace, post conflict, rehabilitation, reconstruction

Topics: Civil Society, Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Genocide, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Kosovo

Year: 2010

The Politics of Gender and Reconstruction in Afghanistan


United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD). 2005. The Politics of Gender and Reconstruction in Afghanistan. Geneva: United Nations. 

Author: Deniz Kandiyoti


“The central objective of this paper is to put the discussion of women’s rights in Afghanistan in the context of the multiple transitions entailed by the process of post-conflict reconstruction: a security transition (from war to peace), a political transition (to the formation of a legitimate and effective state) and a socioeconomic transition (from a “conflict” economy to sustainable growth). These transformations do not occur in a social vacuum but build upon existing societal arrangements that condition and limit the range of available opportunities.

The first section contextualizes current attempts at securing women’s rights in the troubled history of state-building and state-society relations in Afghanistan. The latter were marked by tensions between a rentier state bolstered by foreign subsidies, which had a relatively weak engagement with society, and a rural hinterland that both resisted the incursions of the state and attempted to represent tribal interests within it. Attempts at modernization, including the expansion of women’s rights, were instigated by a male state elite whose bids to centralize power were thwarted at various junctures. The issue of women’s rights was used as a bargaining counter in contests between social forces whose geopolitical entanglements produced sharp swings of the pendulum between extremes such as the Soviet backed socialist experiment under the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) and the Islamist policies of the Pakistani-backed Taliban. However, in a context where the state’s interface with local communities, whether in terms of the legal framework, revenue collection or service delivery, was always limited, attempts to analyse women’s rights with reference only to government policies suffer from serious shortcomings. It is, rather, to the profound transformations brought about by years of protracted conflict that one must look for a better appraisal of obstacles to and opportunities for more genderequitable development in Afghanistan.

The second section discusses the implications of the far-reaching changes in social relations brought about by years of war and displacement following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. A predominantly rural country whose population achieved relatively self-sufficient livelihoods was transformed into a fragmented polity where a significant proportion of the economy is based on illicit, criminalized networks of trade in drugs (opium poppy, in particular) and commodities such as timber and emeralds, smuggling of goods and human trafficking. The central argument put forward in this section is that routine violations of women’s rights in Afghanistan are determined by analytically distinct but overlapping and mutually reinforcing sets of influences: the dynamics of gendered disadvantage, the erosion of local livelihoods and growing poverty, the criminalization of the economy, and insecurity due to the predations of armed groups and factions. Particular combinations of new pressures (such as poverty, indebtedness and predation by local strongmen) and existing practices (such as the early marriage of girls against the payment of brideprice) create outcomes that may easily be misidentified as unmediated expressions of local “culture”, thus detracting critical attention from the full nexus of influences that deepen the vulnerability of girls and women.

The third section focuses on processes of institutional development and reform since the Bonn Agreement in 2001.The national machinery set up for the advancement of women consists of: the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MOWA); the Office of the State Minister for Women (OSMOW), set up to provide policy guidance with particular reference to legislative and judicial reform processes; the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), tasked with the advancement of women’s rights under one of its five programme areas; and the Gender Advisory Group (GAG), a donor-government co-ordination body that assists in formulating a national framework and budget for gender mainstreaming. The most tangible gains so far have been achieved in the area of legal rights, which were enshrined in the new Constitution of January 2004 and provide legal guarantees for women’s equality as citizens and for their political representation. Many unresolved questions remain concerning the respective roles of Islamic and tribal laws and the stipulations of international treaties to which the government is a signatory (such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women/CEDAW which was ratified without reservations in March 2003). Without a process of consensus-building through political normalization and reconciliation, the risk that women’s rights will be held hostage to factional politics remains high. The expansion of women’s formal rights cannot, in any case, translate into substantive benefits in the absence of security and the rule of law. Moreover, women’s formal rights to civic participation may have limited impact in a context where they remain wards of their households and communities and where their most basic entitlements to education and health continue to be denied.

The conclusion draws attention to crippling disjunctures between different facets of post-conflict transition. Legal and governance reforms have advanced at a faster pace than has been achieved in the security sector or the transition to sustainable livelihoods. There is also a disjuncture between, on the one hand, the time frames adopted and outputs expected by international actors driving the women’s rights agenda, and on the other, the length of time required for non-cosmetic changes in societal relations to develop as a result of peace-building. Since the issue of women’s rights continues to occupy a highly politicized and sensitive place in the struggles between contending political factions in Afghanistan, this disjuncture may itself produce unintended effects, with disempowering consequences for women.” (Kandiyoti 2005, vi)

Topics: Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Girls, Gendered Power Relations, Livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Peace and Security, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Women's Rights, Security Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan

Year: 2005

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


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