Defying Victimhood

Women and Post-conflict Peacebuilding

image of Defying Victimhood
Women are among the most competent, yet marginalized, unnoticed and underutilized actors in efforts to rebuild war-torn societies. Opportunities for sustainable peacebuilding are lost — and sustainable peace is at risk — when significant stakeholders in a society’s future peace and conflict architecture are excluded from efforts to heal the wounds of war and build a new society and a new state. The contributors to this book draw on comparative case and country studies from post-conflict contexts in different parts of world to offer their insights into frameworks for understanding women as both victims and peacebuilders, to trace the road that women take from victimhood to empowerment and to highlight the essential partnerships between women and children and how they contribute to peace. The authors examine the roles of women in political and security institutions.



Frontline peacebuilding: Women’s reconstruction initiatives in Burundi

Burundi signed a peace accord on 29 August 2000, two months before the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. Burundi is among the 185 countries that are signatories to the Convention to End All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), thus committing the government to a gender-sensitive approach to peace and security. This represents a radical shift from the way politics was conducted during the five-year peace talks in Arusha, Tanzania, that denied women’s right to equal participation. But despite this act of political exclusion, women were able to carve out a space for themselves, and took part in what I define in this chapter as “frontline peacebuilding”.


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