What are the Opportunities to Promote Gender Equity and Equality in Conflict-affected and Fragile States? Insights from a Review of Evidence
Author: Helen O'Connell
Size: 13 pages (178 kB)
This article examines women's political and economic empowerment and women and girls' access to quality services in conflict-affected and fragile states. It finds that there has been some success in relation to women's participation in elections and formal politics and engagement in small-scale economic enterprise. It argues, however, that inequitable gender power relations have not been considered or understood and so opportunities have been lost.
State-building in conflict-affected and fragile contexts has been widely regarded as an opportunity for securing greater gender equity and equality. However, the opportunities opened up in peacebuilding and statebuilding for securing gender equality and equity have been missed. These include the negotiations around the peace agreement, the political settlement and building gender-responsive service provision.
Donor and national partners' stated commitments to international human rights standards and norms have often been sidelined in the rush to achieve a political settlement, elections and an end to conflict. Further:
In responding to the specificities of each situation, progress towards gender equity can be made through systematic action in a number of areas and at several levels:
Fulfilling women and girls' human rights is an intensely political, controversial and long-term project, and one that, ultimately, has to be locally driven. However, with ambition and the appropriate approaches external actors can assist in many ways.
NB: See also the study on which this article is based.
O'Connell, H., 2011, ‘What are the Opportunities to Promote Gender Equity and Equality in Conflict-affected and Fragile States? Insights from a Review of Evidence’, Gender and Development, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 455-466