This online course explores the impact of conflict on gender identity, norms, and roles and how gender equality can create transformative opportunities for peace.

Center for Gender and Peacebuilding
Center for Gender and Peacebuilding. Photo credit: USIP

International organizations and national governments are increasingly recognizing that in order to ensure long term stability, reconciliation and peace processes need to be inclusive of all peoples within a society. This course will answer the question, “why gender matters.” Gender is a socio-cultural construction that defines the roles and expectations that a given society ascribes to men and women, boys and girls, and sexual and gender minorities. Gender identities are therefore learned, highly malleable and particularly affected during times of violent conflict, violent extremism or natural disaster. Through a series of mixed media presentations, case scenarios and exercises, participants will explore how conflict impacts gender identities, and also how gender expectations can influence violence and create opportunities for peaceful resolution.

Course Overview

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the diversity of gender identities, and that gender is not a simple binary between the biological sex of female and male men and women.
  • Learn how gender roles are affected by unexpected or prolonged violence in society, and learn central concepts and basic frameworks of gender and peacebuilding.
  • Explore the varying approaches and current practices toward ensuring gender inclusivity in peacebuilding activities. Examine international frameworks and national policies that promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.
  • Examine international frameworks and national policies that promote gender equality and women's empowerment.

Overview Video

Click on the video below for an overview of the course.

If you cannot view the video, click here.

Agenda

Section 1: Gender in Peacebuilding

Provides a basic overview of gender inclusivity in peacebuilding, key terms, concepts, and USIP's Gender Inclusive Framework.  

Section 2: Gender Inclusivity in Practice

Explores in more depth the history and background of each of the gender inclusive approaches, provides stories of past projects or situations where a gender lens provided a clearer understanding of the problem, and increases understanding of each of the gender inclusive approaches and how they can impact projects and policies.

Instructors and Guest Experts

Instructors

Guest Experts

  • Dean Peacock, Co-founder and Executive Director, Sonke Gender Justice
  • Dr. Gary Barker, President and CEO, Promundo
  • Dr. Virginia "Ginny" Bouvier, Senior Advisor, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Jacqueline O'Neill, Director, Inclusive Security
  • Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini, Co-founder and Executive Director, International Civil Society Action Network
  • Carla Koppell, Distinguished Fellow, Georgetown University
  • Atifete Jahjaga, Former President of Kosovo
  • Susan Markham, International Gender and Development Advocate

Related Publications

USIP's Work on Gender

USIP's Work on Gender

Friday, November 1, 2019

Violent conflict upends and polarizes societies, disrupting social structures and gender roles. Projects and policies intended to assist communities that are fragile or affected by violence are more successful when they consider the different effects conflict has on men, women, boys, and girls. Approaches to conflict resolution that account for gender issues and include a broader array of society reduce gender-based violence, enhance gender equality, defuse conflict, and lead to more sustainable peace. 

Type: Factsheet

Gender

To Protect Afghan Women’s Rights, U.S. Must Remain Engaged

To Protect Afghan Women’s Rights, U.S. Must Remain Engaged

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

By: Adam Gallagher

It’s been over a year since the U.S., led by Amb. Zalmay Khalilzad, opened talks with the Taliban aimed at ending the 18-year war. Over that year, Afghan women have demanded a seat at the negotiating table, worried that the hard-won gains made over the last two decades could be in jeopardy. Even with the peace process stalled, “it is vital that the U.S. remain engaged” to ensure that Afghan women’s rights are protected, said Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL) last week at the U.S. Institute of Peace’s latest Bipartisan Congressional Dialogue.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Gender; Democracy & Governance

To Help End a War, Call Libya’s Women Negotiators

To Help End a War, Call Libya’s Women Negotiators

Thursday, October 17, 2019

By: Palwasha L. Kakar

As Libya struggles to end an armed conflict that has only widened this year, it should turn to a hidden resource: the traditional peacemaking roles of its women. As in many countries facing warfare, women have long played a key role in negotiating or mediating conflicts within families, clans and local communities—but are overlooked by official institutions and peace processes. Amid Libya’s crisis, one such “hidden” peacemaker is Aisha al-Bakoush, a hospital nursing director who has expanded her healing mission from medical illnesses to armed conflict.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Gender; Peace Processes; Religion

How to push Taliban for compromise? Ask the women doing it.

How to push Taliban for compromise? Ask the women doing it.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

By: Palwasha L. Kakar

The halt in the U.S.-Taliban dialogue, plus Afghanistan’s September election, has forced a hiatus in formal peace efforts in the Afghan war—and that creates an opening to strengthen them. A year of preliminary talks has not yet laid a solid foundation for the broad political settlement that can end the bloodshed. While talks so far have mainly excluded Afghan women, youth and civil society, the sudden pause in formal peacemaking offers a chance to forge a more inclusive, and thus reliable, process. Even better, a little-noted encounter in Qatar between women and Taliban leaders signals that a broader process is doable.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Gender; Peace Processes

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