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

Invaluable, Yet Too Often Invisible: Time to Recognize Women Building Peace

Invaluable, Yet Too Often Invisible: Time to Recognize Women Building Peace

Thursday, December 12, 2019

By: Nancy Lindborg

On a recent visit to Colombia, I visited a deeply moving space for reconciliation, Fragmentos, where the guns of the FARC have been hammered into a beautiful rippling floor by many of the women who suffered terribly during the conflict. It was a powerful reminder that though women often bear the greatest burden during times of war, they are also often leaders on the path to peace. In my three decades of doing this work, I’ve repeatedly been humbled by the women I’ve met who have risked their lives and found creative ways to build peace—from women forming neighborhood councils in Syria and Iraqi women securing their legal rights through relentless efforts, to grandmothers riding around on motorbikes to intervene in local disputes in Kenya.

Type: Blog

Gender

What Policymakers Can Learn About Gender from Terrorists

What Policymakers Can Learn About Gender from Terrorists

Monday, November 18, 2019

By: Leanne Erdberg Steadman

The road to violent extremism is neither simple nor predictable, with diverse motivations and discrete, individual paths. No singular profile accurately describes all those who decide to join. Millions of people may experience similar situations and live in similar contexts but never join an extremist group, while some people will join who would we would not deem at risk. This makes preventing and countering violent extremism exceptionally difficult. It’s an even more intractable task when gender is an afterthought, or worse, gender is used to justify over-simplified, one-size-fits-all approaches.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Gender; Violent Extremism

First Lady Rula Ghani on Afghan Women’s Consensus

First Lady Rula Ghani on Afghan Women’s Consensus

Friday, November 15, 2019

By: USIP Staff

As Afghans, the United States and the international community seek an end to the war in Afghanistan, the country’s first lady, Rula Ghani, says thousands of Afghan women nationwide have expressed a clear consensus on two points. They insist that the war needs to end, and that the peace to follow must continue to build opportunities for women. The single greatest step to advance Afghan women’s cause is education and training to build their professional capacities, Ghani told an audience at USIP.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Gender; Peace Processes

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