Gender & conflict analysis toolkit for peacebuilders

Conciliation Resources


This resource includes examples from Conciliation Resources’ work. It was developed over two years and informed by research, reflection and discussion, involving colleagues, partners and numerous external experts.

It begins with a summary of the essential concepts in gender and conflict analysis, and then expands on these concepts in three parts:

  • Part I explores the concept of gender and its relevance to peacebuilding. It also details the ‘what’, ‘why’, and ‘how’ of gender-sensitive conflict analysis.
  • Part II consists of a list of guiding questions on gender-sensitive conflict analysis.
  • Part III provides a set of exercises to help explore gender in relation to peacebuilding

The toolkit highlights the following key points:

  • ‘Gender’ does not mean ‘women’. Think of gender as a frame of analysis in the field of peace and security. Using ‘gender’ synonymously with ‘women’ has consequences. For example, ‘men’ become the default category; sexual and gender minorities are ignored; and we overlook processes that determine, for instance, who gets a seat at the peace table.
  • Challenge the divide between the private and the public sphere. Pay attention
    to what happens at different levels in society including household and community. Explore the
    global processes within which armed conflicts are embedded as these too are gendered.
  • An assessment of gender power dynamics within, between and among internationals and local partners may reveal the need to establish more equal relations, enabling truly joint ownership of interventions, and interventions that involve equal and meaningful participation by different participants.
  • Include, but also move beyond a discussion of women’s experiences and needs in relation to armed conflict. Broaden your investigation by looking at men and sexual and gender minorities. And dig deeper, look at roles and relations, gender inequalities, and the links between gender, peace and security.
  • Contextual analysis, rather than assumptions about gender relations should inform peacebuilding interventions. For instance, ask what is needed to enable participation, rather than assume that women just need more confidence building. Assess how the conflict has disrupted or changed gender relations.
  • Notions of masculinity and femininity develop in interaction with other power factors – such as age, class, and race – producing a multitude of masculinities and femininities in each context. It is essential to focus on these interactions. For example by paying attention to how the conflict impacts on different women, men and sexual and gender minorities.
  • Gender in design and process: Conflict analysis is by no means an objective undertaking. Who leads the analysis, the focus one takes, the questions asked, the sources of information: all of these factors shape the conclusions of the analysis.
  • Participatory approaches to conflict analysis can reveal the views, experiences, needs and ideas of people directly affected by violence. It can lead to more insightful analysis and sustainable responses. However, achieving equal and meaningful participation of different groups and the conditions for open and unhindered expression of views requires careful design.


Conciliation Resources. (2015). Gender & conflict analysis toolkit for peacebuilders. London: Conciliation Resources.