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Post-Conflict Reconstruction

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

Citation:

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

Author: Hussaina J. Abdullah

Annotation:

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

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

Year: 2014

Women and the African Peace and Security Architecture

Citation:

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

Author: Hussaina J. Abdullah

Annotation:

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

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

Year: 2017

Forging Ahead without an Affirmative Action Policy: Female Politicians in Sierra Leone's Post‐War Electoral Process

Citation:

Abdullah, Hussaina J. 2010. “Forging Ahead without an Affirmative Action Policy: Female Politicians in Sierra Leone's Post‐War Electoral Process.” IDS Bulletin 41 (5): 62-71.

Author: Hussaina J. Abdullah

Abstract:

In contemporary post-conflict Sierra Leone, women have managed to secure 13.5 per cent of seats in parliament – without affirmative action in place, thanks to women’s groups’ and coalitions’ mobilisation and activism. While the political resistance to Sierra Leone having a quota was high, the women’s movement has succeeded in forcing the political parties and the government to recognise that it is no longer politically viable to sidestep women’s rights, should they wish to capitalise on women’s voting power. As women’s organisations, in particular the 50/50 group, continue the struggle to introduce a quota, the challenge for Sierra Leonean women is how to ensure that the quota project is not hijacked by the male-dominated political establishment. To this aim, this article examines the ongoing efforts to politically consciencise women parliamentarians, society and political parties.

Topics: Gender, Governance, Quotas, Elections, Post-conflict Governance, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2010

Gender, Peacebuilding, and Reconstruction

Citation:

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

Author: Caroline Sweetman

Abstract:

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

Keywords: conflict, Disasters, protection, reconstruction

Annotation:

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

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

Year: 2005

Using Life Histories to Explore Gendered Experiences of Conflict in Gulu District, Northern Uganda: Implications for Post-Conflict Health Reconstruction

Citation:

Ssali, Sarah N., and Sally Theobald. 2016. “Using Life Histories to Explore Gendered Experiences of Conflict in Gulu District, Northern Uganda: Implications for Post-Conflict Health Reconstruction.” South African Review of Sociology 47 (1): 81-98.

Authors: Sarah N. Ssali, Sally Theobald

Abstract:

The dearth of knowledge about what life was like for different women and men, communities and institutions during conflict has caused many post-conflict developers to undertake reconstruction using standardised models that may not always reflect the realities of the affected populations. There is a need to engage with and understand the life experiences, transformations and social concerns of people affected by conflict before, during and after the conflict in order to develop appropriate and context embedded post-conflict reconstruction strategies. This article discusses how life histories were deployed to explore how the 20-year conflict in northern Uganda transformed people's lives. It presents how 47 men and women lived, experienced and remembered the war in northern Uganda, and the implications for health care reconstruction. By focusing on what the respondents considered major life events in their narratives of war experiences, the article shows how through using life histories, the respondents were empowered to narrate in their own voices their experiences of war; how gender and power(lessness) shaped their experiences and their ‘situatedness’ within the conflict and thereafter; and the implications this has for post-conflict health reconstruction. The life history method enabled the researchers to surmount the subjective nature of narratives of war and its after effects, permitting the researchers to construct a picture of how experiences and challenges to well-being, health and health care seeking changed through time and what needs to be done to ensure post-conflict development prioritises the multiple health care needs of those most impoverished by the war.

Keywords: Uganda, conflict, life histories, gender, health

Topics: Development, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, conflict, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Health, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2016

Navigating Consociationalism's Afterlives: Women, Peace and Security in Post-Dayton Bosnia-Herzegovina

Citation:

Deiana, Maria-Adriana. 2018. “Navigating Consociationalism’s Afterlives: Women, Peace and Security in Post-Dayton Bosnia-Herzegovina.” Nationalism and Ethnic Politics 24 (1): 33–49.

Author: Maria-Adriana Deiana

Abstract:

This article revisits the gendered implications of the Dayton peace settlement in Bosnia-Herzegovina and assesses possibilities for the meaningful integration of the Women, Peace and Security agenda into the consociational structures and post-conflict political agenda. This article outlines how the reification and legitimization of ethno-nationalist power over two decades of Dayton has restricted the terrain for gender activism. A critical assessment of post-Dayton governance reveals an unanticipated stratification of the agreement. International pressure for the stability of the peace settlement further constrains the complex task of addressing the gendered legacies of conflict and conflict transformation. In this context, local and international efforts to navigate Dayton's afterlives through gender activism act as a powerful reminder that Bosnia-Herzegovina's unfulfilled peace must remain a priority in research, activist and policymaking agendas.

Topics: Ethnicity, Gender, Women, conflict, peace and security, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, International Organizations, Nationalism, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2018

'Localising the Global' - Resolution 1325 as a Tool for Promoting Women's Rights and Gender Equality in Rwanda

Citation:

Højlund Madsen, Diana. 2018. "'Localising the Global' - Resolution 1325 as a Tool for Promoting Women's Rights and Gender Equality in Rwanda." Women's Studies International Forum 66: 70-77.

Author: Diana Højlund Madsen

Abstract:

Much work on Resolution 1325 and the agenda of ‘women, peace and security’ has its focus on how Res 1325 has ‘trickled down’ from the global to the local level in a specific context. This article will reverse the gaze highlighting women's local perspectives asking what the ‘women, peace and security agenda’ have done for respectively the national women's organisations and local women's groups in a specific African post-conflict setting - Rwanda. The article sheds light on the local/global dynamics in the processes of translating Res 1325 with a focus on the gender language and practices. Thus, it explores how the global gender language and the global norms laid out in Resolution 1325 has been used by national women's organisations working as ‘localising agents’ in transformative processes where the gender norms laid out have become part of the gender vocabulary of the women's organisations and been appropriated. The article also explores to which extent Resolution 1325 has worked as promoting women's rights and gender equality at the level of local women's groups and identifies some tension with local understandings of gender and local practices indicating that further localising is needed.

Keywords: gender, norm translation, Resolution 1325, Rwanda, women

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, conflict, peace and security, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2018

NATO and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda: Time to Bring It Home

Citation:

Schuurman, Marriët. 2015. "NATO and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda: Time to Bring It Home." Connections 14 (3): 1-6.

Author: Marriët Schuurman

Annotation:

Summary:
"Looking back at fifteen years of implementing UNSCR 1325, the following questions arise: has the world indeed become a safer place for women and girls? Are women heard and have they gained their rightful place at the table when it comes to preventing and resolving conflict, rehabilitation and reconstruction, building resilient communities, and contributing to lasting peace and security?" (Schuurman 2015, p. 1).
 
"In this article I will highlight some of NATO’s major achievements in implementing its women, peace, and security policy, identify work ahead, and argue the relevance of the women, peace, and security agenda for better responding to the many new security challenges we face" (p. 1-2).

Topics: Conflict Prevention, Gender, Women, peace and security, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325

Year: 2015

The Gender Mainstreaming Gap: Security Council Resolution 1325 and UN Peacekeeping Mandates

Citation:

Kreft, Anne-Kathrin. 2017. “The Gender Mainstreaming Gap: Security Council Resolution 1325 and UN Peacekeeping Mandates.” International Peacekeeping (24) 1: 132–58.

Author: Anne-Kathrin Kreft

Abstract:

In response to women’s frequent marginalization in conflict settings, the United Nations Security Council passed resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security in 2000. It called for including a gender perspective into peacekeeping operations and for enhancing women’s participation in all aspects of postconflict reconstruction. This article contributes to the empirical literature on the implementation of UNSCR 1325, examining the extent of gender mainstreaming in UN peacekeeping mandates. Situated in a theoretical framework of gradual norm cascades, it hypothesizes that UNSCR 1325 has increased gender content in mandates, but selectively so. Statistical analyses of an original dataset covering all 71 UN peacekeeping operations from 1948 until 2014 reveal that gender-mainstreamed mandates are more likely in conflicts with high levels of sexual violence. In designing gendered peacekeeping mandates, actors thus appear to be responsive to cues about the salience of a very visible, albeit narrow, gender issue emanating from the respective conflict rather than being guided by the universalist norms of women’s participation entrenched in UNSCR 1325.

Topics: Gender Mainstreaming, conflict, International Organizations, Peacekeeping, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Sexual Violence

Year: 2017

Agency and Accountability: Promoting Women's Participation in Peacebuilding

Citation:

Goetz, Anne Marie, and Rob Jenkins. 2016. "Agency and Accountability: Promoting Women's Participation in Peacebuilding." Feminist Economics 22 (1): 211-36.

Authors: Anne Marie Goetz, Rob Jenkins

Abstract:

This contribution reviews international policy and practices to engage women in formal peace talks, post-conflict elections, and economic recovery, and finds a combination of factors contributing to poor performance in promoting women's agency. The fact that the privileged category for post-conflict decisions are those groups capable of acting as “spoilers” has tended to exclude women's groups from the categories considered most important to involve in decision making. Exacerbating this exclusion is the reluctance of international decision makers to encourage affirmative action measures in these contexts. This carries through to the minimal-state approach to economic recovery efforts. Provisions are needed to foster and invite women's voice in decision making, and build more active-state approaches to women's livelihood recovery. 

Keywords: affirmative action, agency, community, development, discrimination, interdisciplinary

Topics: Economies, Governance, Elections, Post-conflict Governance, Livelihoods, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction

Year: 2016

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