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.




This book has grown out of a research project on “The Roles of Women and Children in Post-Conflict Peacebuilding”, initially conceived by the two editors of this volume in 2000 as a research activity of the Peace and Governance Programme of the United Nations University (UNU). At that time Albrecht Schnabel was a member of the Peace and Governance Programme, while Anara Tabyshalieva joined it for several months as a visiting research fellow. After securing financial support from UNU and the Asian Women’s Fund, the editors assembled a group of contributors and initial author workshops were held in Tokyo and New York to discuss the results of background research and first chapter drafts. Over time the work developed into two book projects, with a changing and growing number of contributors. Defying Victimhood: Women and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding is the first volume emanating from this project. The second volume, entitled Escaping Victimhood: Children, Youth and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding, will be published later in 2012.


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