1963-2018 - 55 years of Research for Social Change

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Book: Gendered Peace: Women's Struggels for Post-War Justice and Reconciliation

27 Apr 2009

What happens to women when wars officially end? An output of UNRISD research on Gender and Development, this book focuses on the moments after a peace accord, or some other official ending for a conflict, often denoted as "post-conflict" or "post-war". By exploring international contexts and a variety of local cases, the book argues that although there has been remarkable progress at the international level with newly established women’s legal rights and women’s abilities to access such legal frameworks; women may confront post-war backlash from men and the state.

Post-conflict moments often herald great hope for holding to account those who committed grave wrongs during the conflict and for a better life in the future. For women, however, such periods are often characterized by continuing violence and insecurity including not only the aggression that they faced during the war, but also new forms of sexual violence. In addition to continued and new forms of violence, there may also be an “anti-women” discourse associated with restrictions on the life-choices of women regarding social, economic, and political activity. Through the upheaval of war, in which societies have been transformed and livelihood systems disrupted, women have assumed certain roles for the first time. Yet in the design of policies for post-war reconstruction women’s needs and participation are often systematically ignored.

The book also highlights the important fact that women are not merely victims of war, but that they have agency and are also participants. Authors of this book stress the importance of giving voice to women and not silencing them when they are brave enough to step into the public arena.

Notes to editors
  • The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) was created in 1963 and is an autonomous UN agency engaging in multidisciplinary research on the social dimensions of contemporary problems affecting development. Through its research, UNRISD stimulates dialogue and contributes to policy debates on key issues of social development within and outside the UN system.
  • Discussed case studies include Sierra Leone, Rwanda, South Africa, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, East Timor, Peru, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and the Balkans. There is also an analysis of the International Criminal Court for Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
  • Donna Pankhurst who edited this book is Professor of Peacebuilding and Development at the Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford, UK. In recent years she has researched in Africa on conflict, post-conflict settlements, and peacebuilding, particularly with a focus on gender issues.

Introduction: Gendered War and Peace; D. Pankhurst
Gendering International Justice: Progress and Pitfalls at International Criminal Tribunals; M. Walsh
Truth and Reconciliation Commissions and Gender Justice; A. Dal Secco
“Your Justice Is Too Slow”: Will the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Fail Rwanda’s Rape Victims?; B. Nowrojee
Gender Injustice and the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission; R. Manjoo
The Politics of Gender & Reconstruction in Afghanistan: Old Dilemmas or New Challenges?; D.Kandiyoti
The Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Accord and After: Gendered Dimensions of Peace; M. Guhathakurta
Marrying Your Rapist: Domesticated War Crimes in Peru; J. Boesten
Joining Forces for Democratic Governance: Women’s Alliance-Building for Post-War Reconstruction in Central America; I.A. Luciak
Gendered War, Gendered Peace: Violent Conflicts in the Balkans and Their Consequences; T. Djuric-Kuzmanovic, R. Drezgic, and D. Zarkov
Post-War Backlash Violence against Women: What Can “Masculinity” Explain?; D. Pankhurst

Gendered Peace is copublished with Routledge, in the series Routledge/UNRISD Research in Gender and Development; hardback; ISBN: 978-0-415-95648-2; 224 pages; 2007; USD 95.00.
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