Women and Nation-Building

Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Benard C. Jones S. G. Oliker O.

This study was undertaken to examine the role of women in post-conflict nation-building. In particular it looks at the impact of post-conflict societal circumstances and nation-building processes on the status and situation of female populations.

It considers this issue from two aspects: the gender-specific impacts of conflict and post-conflict and the ways in which events may affect women differently than they affect men; and the role of women in the nation-building process, in terms of both current practices and possible outcomes that might occur if these practices were to be modified. The research specifically focuses on the case of Afghanistan.

Recommendations include:

  • intervention goals should be clear and unequivocal. Promoting women's rights is a general goal, but agreeing to a common definition of women's rights is a challenge
  • continual development of civil society, including developing indigenous programmes for capacity-building
  • the United States and other international actors must work to improve their assessment strategies for measuring women's participation in Afghan life and in post-conflict situations in general
  • resources to be delegated to both predicting and resolving inherent social contradictions. An excellent example of the contradictions created by social change is the 'contradiction' that occurred in Afghanistan between Islamic law and the promotion of international human rights
  • focus on establishing governance based on principles of equity and consistent rule of law from the start.

Available online at: http://w ww. eldis. org/cf/rdr/?doc=35682