Over the past year, USIP’s Gender and Peacebuilding Center of Innovation has hosted a series of events entitled “The Other Side of Gender." This series of events, which sought to broaden the gender lens and create a more nuanced research agenda, have greatly informed this Peace Brief.

pb 75

Summary

  • Gender is often used synonymously with the study of women. This narrow approach over looks the relational quality of gender and fails to include masculinity issues in analysis and research, which can have important bearing on policy interventions.
  • Taking a more inclusive view of gender roles in conflict, which also recognizes that these roles are dynamic, can lead to more informed research strategies and more productive policy interventions.
  • To effectively combat instances of extreme gender violence, such as the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, a more nuanced understanding is needed of the actors involved.
  • Instead of being passive actors during conflict, women may be combatants or direct participants in sexual violence. Examining the motivations, belief systems and internal dynamics of armed combatants can provide insight into the origins of sexual- and gender-based violence in conflict.
  • Rather than representing an isolated event, sexual- and gender-based violence during conflict can perhaps best be viewed as a point along a continuum. In the postconflict period, damaged social and economic systems may contribute to the disempowerment of men seeking to return to traditional or customary roles. Coupled with the enduring impacts of trauma, the threat of emasculation can result in high levels of violence within the household environment.

About this Brief

Over the past year, the United States Institute of Peace’s Gender and Peacebuilding Center has hosted a series of events entitled, “The Other Side of Gender,” including an experts’ workshop on May 18, 2010, on the topic of how conflict changes gender roles.

Kathleen Kuehnast is the director of the Gender and Peacebuilding Center of Innovation for the U.S. Institute of Peace; Nina Sudhakar is the research assistant for the Gender and Peacebuilding Center of Innovation. This series of events, which sought to broaden the gender lens and create a more nuanced research agenda, have greatly informed this PeaceBrief.

Related Publications

How can we negotiate with the Taliban? Afghan women know.

How can we negotiate with the Taliban? Afghan women know.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

By: Palwasha L. Kakar

Afghan political leaders met in Moscow this week with Taliban representatives amid new momentum in diplomatic efforts to end Afghanistan’s war. Like other recent discussions, including those between U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban representatives in Qatar, Afghan women remain almost entirely excluded. Yet mostly unnoticed amid the formal diplomacy, Afghan women at their country’s grass roots already have managed negotiations with local Taliban leaders.

Gender; Peace Processes; Religion

Kathleen Kuehnast on the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Winners

Kathleen Kuehnast on the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Winners

Thursday, December 20, 2018

By: Kathleen Kuehnast, Ph.D.

Highlighted by the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize award to Dr. Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad—advocates for survivors of wartime sexual violence—the issue of sexual abuse has gained international recognition. USIP’s Kathleen Kuehnast attended the ceremony, saying, “People were standing in solidarity to what they were hearing. We can no longer be indifferent about this type of criminal activity.”

Gender

How can Afghans make peace AND protect women? Meet Ayesha Aziz.

How can Afghans make peace AND protect women? Meet Ayesha Aziz.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

By: Palwasha L. Kakar

After nearly 40 years of war, Afghanistan and the international community are urgently seeking paths for a peace process. But amid the tentative efforts—a three-day ceasefire in June, the peace march across the country by hundreds of Afghans and talks by U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad—a somber question hangs for women and human rights advocates. How can Afghanistan make peace with the Taliban while protecting democracy and women’s rights?

Gender; Religion; Peace Processes

The Elusive Peace: Ending Sexual Violence during and after Conflict

The Elusive Peace: Ending Sexual Violence during and after Conflict

Friday, December 7, 2018

By: Pearl Karuhanga Atuhaire; Nicole Gerring; Laura Huber; Mirgul Kuhns; Grace Ndirangu

Awarding the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize to advocates for survivors of wartime sexual violence, Dr. Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad, indicates that the issue of sexual abuse has gained international recognition. This comes ten years after the adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 1820, which declared that conflict-related sexual violence constitutes a war crime and a crime against humanity. This Special Report highlights the limited scope of the resolution, examines the connections between sexual violence and conflict, and urges key stakeholders to view sexual violence—both during conflict and after—as a threat to international peace and security.

Gender

View All Publications