Engendering Peace Incorporating a Gender Perspective

Friday, January 1, 2010
International Fellowship for Reconciliation

This publication is the result of a one-year pilot study carried out for the Women Peacemakers Program (WPP) of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR). This study initiated an exploration of the field of civilian-based peacekeeping from a gender perspective. Although feminist peace researchers and women activists have contributed significantly to a gendered analysis of peace and security – with many advocating that gender lies at the heart of violence and therefore should also be at the heart of nonviolent attempts to transform conflict and build peace – their insights have yet to filter further down to the work on the ground. While peace and nonviolence organizations often offer progressive and sound analyses of conflict, its root causes, and strategies to address it, they are often lacking a gender-based perspective. Gender is often reduced to the category of “women's business” instead of being understood in the context of a system of (patriarchal) domination and power relations that results in direct, structural, and cultural violence. For decades, the fields of feminist activism and human rights activism developed as separate strands. It was not until the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna (1993) that – thanks to the tireless efforts of women's organizations worldwide – the international community officially recognized that women's rights are an inextricable part of human rights. Objective of this pilot project was to “make the case” for mainstreaming a gender perspective in civilian-based peace efforts. It aimed to contribute to fostering gender awareness and sensitivity within the praxis of existing peace teams and other peacebuilding initiatives to help make them more effective in promoting and accomplishing gender equality as a condition for a just, lasting peace.

Document PDF: 

EgenderingPeacebuilding, IFOR, 2010