An expert dialogue on women in transition countries brought together 14 women leaders from Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Tunisia to work together and identify issues specific to each country and determine common problems. USIP’s Steven Steiner summarizes their recommendations on how to overcome the challenges.

Summary

  • Ongoing dialogues and forums on nations in transition reinforce the commonality of challenges related to women’s rights and roles in society, especially leadership in government.
  • Women leaders in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Arab Spring countries face major challenges, including heightened insecurity and the risk of women’s rights being rolled back significantly.
  • Steps to address these challenges are to build coalitions across internal divides, engage male religious leaders and other men to support women’s rights, reach out to youth, develop gender-based budgeting, and underscore the importance of women’s economic empowerment.
  • Keys to progress in these areas include obtaining grassroots support and taking a long-term strategic focus in international programs.

About This Brief

Over the past two years, the Center for Gender and Peacebuilding at the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) has brought together a community of practice to aggregate lessons learned from conflict and post conflict programs supporting women in countries undergoing transition. This report summarizes the key challenges and ways forward identified at the most recent dialogue, held in December 2012 in Antalya, Turkey, bringing together women leaders from Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Tunisia.

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