When war ends, the needs of women are often overlooked. And when it comes to peace-building, too, women often get shut out.
"Defying Victimhood: Women and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding", due for publication in August, examines the role women play in peace-building, and in political and security institutions.
The book’s authors argue that, for women in post-conflict societies, “defying victimhood” requires being an activist, a peace-builder and fully taking part in post-war social, economic, political and security structures, the book’s publisher United Nations University Press (UNU Press) says on its website.
Yet women are frequently excluded from these structures.
“Women are among the most competent, yet marginalised, unnoticed and underutilised actors in efforts to rebuild war-torn societies,” UNU Press says.
“Opportunities for sustainable peace-building 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.”
Ignoring the role women can play in peace-building raises the risks of failure for sustainable peace processes, the United Nations’ assistant secretary-general for peace-building support, Judy Cheng-Hopkins, said late last year.
Since then, the United Nations and European Commission in February announced the launch of an international initiative to boost women’s participation in peace-building and economic recovery.
But there is still a great deal to be done worldwide to ensure that women’s voices are heard.
"Defying Victimhood: Women and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding" is due for publication in August this year.