'Making women count' in the post-conflict era : reassessing the pillars of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Agenda

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Mandal, Isha
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Gender equality is a fundamental human right. Based on this, all institutions must grant all genders equal and fair access to resources and opportunities. However, in the discussion of ensuring fair and equal rights to all genders, there have always been two major shortcomings -binary representation of gender and adherence to gender roles. Both in terms of existing literature and implemented policies, the representation of gender has been limited to men and women. Specifically, in conflict studies, women's involvement in ethnonational conflicts is often overlooked, partly due to gender expectations. However, women do frequently engage in conflict in their diverse roles as informants, combatants, partners, and leaders within the armed forces. Hence, with an in-depth and diverse understanding of women's participation in the conflict, this thesis aims to understand the conflict in its multifaceted dimension in a gender-neutral dominant discourse. In terms of practical implementation, the research aims to highlight the importance of nuanced contextual analysis in peacebuilding efforts (primarily in peace agreements) and the post-conflict society. The thesis uses case studies as a form of qualitative research. In doing so, four conflict zones are used as case studies – Colombia, Nepal, and Sierra Leone. These case studies were selected based on three basic criteria: the existence of ethnonational conflicts, the gendered configuration of society, and regional balance. In using comparative contextual analysis, it aims at highlighting the importance of implementing gender-inclusive participation and policies within the socio-political framework of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda in a post-conflict society.
Second semester University: Ruhr-University Bochum
gender, conflict, women, participation, peace, security, Colombia, Nepal, Sierra Leone, case studies