Conflict, Security and Peacebuilding

Conflicts and organized violence have enormous impacts on the lives of women and girls, men and boys as well as on gender relations and related trends. Displacement, trauma, death and sexual violence in war, as well as the intricacies and challenges of peace processes, demobilization, peace-building and other elements of post-conflict can severely disrupt men’s and women’s lives and relationships. Although women are the overwhelming victims of sexual and gender-based violence in conflict, both men and women face significant experiences of trauma and victimization – leaving them, in the aftermath of war, to attempt to reform and/or resurrect positive social relationships and dynamics.

Additionally, gender norms, which are frequently challenged and disrupted in conflict,typically need to be renegotiated and restructured in the aftermath. Although conflict remains a constant or recurring, disruptive and devastating force in many countries (in the 10-year period 2002–2011 there were 73 active state-based conflicts and 223 non-state conflicts, scholars have indeed noted a decline in organized violence worldwide and argue that, post-Cold War, the world is living in its most peaceful era to date. It is crucial to understand how trends in conflict, victimization, as well as humanitarian assistance and peace-building processes and policies, affect gender relations both during and after conflict.

Learning aims

  1. Understanding how the broad shifts in conflict and peace-building influence gender relations and dynamics
  2. Evidence on how institutions have evolved or become reformed, playing roles in these processes
  3. Evidence on men’s and boys’ actual roles (and behaviors) with respect to efforts at assisting women in humanitarian settings, incl. increasing women’s and girls’ participation in peace-building
  4. Examples of apparently successful policy solutions, political or programmatic approaches to increasing gender equality in post-conflict settings such as UN Security Resolution 1325