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

How to Make Women Count in the Response to Coronavirus

How to Make Women Count in the Response to Coronavirus

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

By: Danielle Robertson

As health organizations and national governments seek to stem the spread of COVID-19, it is critical that they understand the gender dynamics in their societies. Efforts to combat the pandemic will only go so far if women and girls are left behind in the process. For example, how can a woman experiencing domestic violence quarantine at home safely? Thankfully, global efforts to integrate women as equal partners in peace and security can provide key lessons in responding to health epidemics more inclusively and effectively.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Gender; Global Health

Afghanistan: Can This Be a Real Peace Process?

Afghanistan: Can This Be a Real Peace Process?

Monday, March 23, 2020

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Like every Afghan, I’m watching with fear and hope to see what will emerge from last month’s agreement between the United States and the Taliban. My hope is that it can help end more than 40 years of war. My fear is that the current process may not result in a just and dignified peace where all Afghans are considered equal citizens, regardless of gender, race or ethnicity. I fear that the Taliban’s rigid interpretations of Islamic laws will undermine our country’s gains of the past 18 years: an open media, women’s presence in public spheres, and more.

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What Women Have Won

What Women Have Won

Friday, March 6, 2020

By: Nancy Lindborg

Five years ago, as the newly appointed and first woman president of the United States Institute of Peace, I was celebrating International Women’s Day in Kabul with the wonderful Afghan women on our USIP country team. Having first visited Afghanistan in 1997, when the country was in the grip of the Taliban, it was a joyous opportunity to mark nearly two decades of progress with this group of professional women—lawyers, scholars, and program managers.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

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How Kenya’s Women Are Preventing Extremism and Violence

How Kenya’s Women Are Preventing Extremism and Violence

Thursday, March 5, 2020

By: Nicoletta Barbera

A group of women gathered recently in Kiambu, an overcrowded Kenyan town, to build their local response to a national problem: recruitment, especially of young men, by extremist groups such as al-Shabab. Kiambu’s women form one of several groups nationwide that are launching local dialogues—typically among community members and authorities—to build well-rooted efforts to counter extremist influence. These groups are part of a network called Sisters Without Borders, which has risen from Kenya’s grassroots over the past five years. On the upcoming International Women’s Day, the story of Kenya’s sisters is worth noting as a success for women building peace and confronting terrorism in their homelands.

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