Women and Gender on War & Peace

In this page you will find news about Women on war and peace, as well as recommended websites and readings.



Gender-Based Violence and Global Governance


On 8 June 2016, ISS, Prince Claus Chair and the Dutch association for NGOs working in International Development (Partos), organized a seminar on ‘Gender-Based Violence and Global Governance: Resisting the Politics of Othering in Dutch Research, NGO Practice and Policy’. Dr. Dubravka Zarkov introduced the theme for the two lectures, which were presented by Rema Hammami, Professor of Anthropology at the Institute of Women’s Studies, Birzet University, Palestine/West Bank; and Henny Slegh, senior researcher for Promundo.

As was stated in the introduction of the theme, in the inter-related contexts of civil wars, migration within Europe, and the refuge crisis in Europe, discourses on GBV are being used as a key element to mark differences between Europe/West and the rest of the world. In all three contexts, a selection of specific violent practices, or their absence, is taken to represent entire populations and cultures as inferior and as a threat to Europe.


Professor Rema Hammami

Reflecting on the various ways of Othering, participants commented on the importance of interrogating not only the causes of violence but also the way we speak about these causes.  In addition, it was highlighted that the struggles against GBV are political, and that politically we need to fight against dichotomies, to never accept ‘Us’ and ‘Them’, and to look for critical solidarities, which is the only way to go beyond divisions that serve racist, sexist, nationalistic and mainstream political agendas. Ultimately, the main invitation was to engage in a persistent critique of frameworks that produce single stories about victims, perpetrators and GBV.


Book Launch: Prosecuting Conflict-Related Sexual Violence at the ICTY 

On 19 May, The Hague Institute and the ICTY will host the launch of “Prosecuting Conflict-Related Sexual Violence at the ICTY”, a volume edited by ICTY Prosecutor, Serge Brammertz, and ICTY OTP Deputy to the Prosecutor, Michelle Jarvis. 


A moderated panel discussion will follow the launch. The Hague Institute will also host an exhibition of artwork by university students in the countries of the former Yugoslavia depicting the concept of justice in the context of conflict-related sexual violence. Registration required.


May 24: International women’s day for peace and disarmament


Women have often been at the forefront of peace and disarmament initiatives.  For more than 20 years, Women Peacemakers Program, WPP, together with its network partners, has been celebrating women’s leadership and participation in peace processes on May 24. Over the years, May 24 activities have taken place all over the world, with various activities taking place worldwide, ranging from public panel discussions, publications and film screenings to community theatre and peace marches.

For 2016, everybody can join this celebration! WPP invites all interested to join this worldwide celebration by organizing an event/action/initiative to raise awareness on women’s dedication and contributions to building cultures of peace!  Read the May 24 Action Brief for more information, the history and inspiration for activities. 



CSW 2016

The sixtieth session of the  Commission on the Status of Women took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 14 to 24 March 2016.  The CSW is the United Nations body that dedicates itself to women’s empowerment and the promotion of gender equality worldwide. 

“Women’s groups in Afghanistan, Colombia and South Sudan consistently work to contribute to the peace process in their respective countries. Yet,  “despite U.N. Security Council resolutions, human rights treaties and national action plans, we still need to constantly reaffirm that women’s equality and political participation are essential to peace and security, sustainable development and global stability”. Women’s equality and inclusive peace need to move beyond talk




Interesting websites:


Peace WomenPeacewomenBOX

PeaceWomen is a programme of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), the longest-standing women’s peace organization in the world. It has an interesting website that features information about women peace leaders, the social movement on women’s power to stop war, monitoring tools, and over 20,000 resources on issues of gender, peace and security.  ‘Women must participate! Gender must not be ignored! Conflicts must be prevented!’



WPP – Women Peacemakers Program tumblr_inline_mx7gu8Eoxn1r5o8zc

WPP is an activist organization that works for the nonviolent resolution of conflict, and the inclusion of women’s voice and leadership in nonviolent conflict resolution processes. Its vision is of a world where women and men work together through gender-sensitive active nonviolence, to build communities where people co-exist peacefully. For news update about WPP enter here.



Recommended readings:


Women in armed groups and fighting forces: lessons learned from gender-sensitive DDR programmes

This report by Elisa Tarnaala highlights lessons learned from gender and disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) processes and notes that with regard to territorial implementation, national DDR commissions should be encouraged to work closely with government entities in charge of gender and women’s affairs, and – especially where governments are responsible for all or part of the DDR process – with women’s peacebuilding networks that can serve as bridges in the transition to civilian life, and facilitate social, political and economic reintegration. Women-in-armed-groups-and-fighting-forces-lessons-learned-from-gender-sensitive-DDR-programmes_illustration

Despite their involvement in strategic, material and logistical support and combat, women’s roles as “soldiers” and “victims” are narrowly defined by post-conflict programmes. Most disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) programmes are limited in the ways in which issues specific to female combatants are addressed. Gender-sensitive DDR programming must be linked into the entire peace process, from the peace negotiations through peacekeeping and subsequent peacebuilding activities.

This process should include issues such as identifying women and setting the appropriate criteria for their entering DDR processes; understanding identity issues and obstacles facing women’s post-conflict political participation; targeting women as larger units with their children and partners rather than merely as individuals; addressing female health and psychosocial needs; and sensitisation to the particular issues around the gender dimensions of violence and community acceptance.


Feinstein International CentreGender-Just-Remedy-and-Reparation-final-June-2013-1

The excellent reports of the Feinstein International Centre are perfectly suited to the kinds of students who tend to opt for Conflict and Peace Studies as part of the overall major in Social Justice.  A recent one (is entitled:  Making Gender-Just Remedy and Reparation Possible: Upholding the Rights of Women and Girls in the Greater North of Uganda, and the authors are Dyan Mazurana, Teddy Atim, Ariane Brunet, and Helen Kezie-Nwoha


Victims of serious violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law have a clearly established right to remedy and reparation. This right must be recognized without discrimination of any kind. Processes of remedy and reparation therefore must neither enable nor support discrimination of any kind against victims. Because—as previous research has shown—female victims often lack access to and encounter discrimination in transitional justice processes, these requirements have significant implications for ensuring that female victims are treated without discrimination in remedy and reparation processes and outcomes.

The goal of this research was to shape an understanding of what is needed for gender-just reparation based on the experiences and perspectives of women, girls, their families and communities who have suffered serious crimes during the armed conflict between the Government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army in the Greater North of Uganda.



Launch Report: “Candid Voices from the Field”SetWidth626-Cover-Photo-Candid-Voices

23 Oct ’15 The Women Peacemakers Program, together with Cordaid and the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) presented the Action Research Report: “Candid Voices from the Field: Obstacles to a Transformative Women, Peace and Security Agenda and to Women’s Meaningful Participation in Building Peace and Security”. The aim is to uncover the deep-rooted issues that hamper women’s participation in peace efforts.


Women and Violence in ColombiaScreen Shot 2015-10-25 at 12.04.07 PM

The report “Colombia: Women, Conflict-related Sexual Violence and the Peace Process” jointly published in 2013 by the organizations ABColombia, Sisma Mujer, and USOC provides reference for those interested in the differentiated impacts of war violence on women’s lives.
This publication not only gives an account of the sexual harm perpetrated by different armed actors under the frame of the armed conflict but also provides policy recommendations.





AccordInsight_WomenBuildingPeace_thumbnailAccord Insight: Women building peace

This report, published on 2013, presents nine articles that examine the roles women have played in addressing violence and building peace. The publication documents women’s first-hand peacebuilding practice: the challenges they faced, the opportunities they created and the lessons they have drawn from their experiences. 






The Feminist Dialogues

Another world is possible...

Quoting Arundhati Roy on the Separation Wall, Palestine


In December 2009, a small number of feminist scholars, activists and writers from the Middle East and South Asia came together at ISS to discuss the realities of, and scholarship on, violent conflict, militarization, gender and struggles for social justice and peace in their regions. To read more about what was discussed at this interesting event, see the ISS web page for Feminist Dialogues






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International Institute of Social Studies

Conflict and Peace Studies is a specialization within the Human Rights, Gender and Conflict Studies MA Major in Development Studies. This blog provides a platform for discussion for researchers, students and others interested in this field of studies. The blog is administered by the Conflict and Peace Studies teaching team.

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