Defying Victimhood

Women and Post-conflict Peacebuilding

image of Defying Victimhood
Women are among the most competent, yet marginalized, unnoticed and underutilized actors in efforts to rebuild war-torn societies. Opportunities for sustainable peacebuilding are lost — and sustainable peace is at risk — when significant stakeholders in a society’s future peace and conflict architecture are excluded from efforts to heal the wounds of war and build a new society and a new state. The contributors to this book draw on comparative case and country studies from post-conflict contexts in different parts of world to offer their insights into frameworks for understanding women as both victims and peacebuilders, to trace the road that women take from victimhood to empowerment and to highlight the essential partnerships between women and children and how they contribute to peace. The authors examine the roles of women in political and security institutions.



State-building or survival in conflict and post-conflict situations? A peacebuilding perspective on Palestinian women’s contributions to ending the Israeli occupation

On 4 May 2011 a historic reconciliation deal was signed in Cairo between the two main Palestinian political parties, Hamas and Fatah. A week later 11 other political groups added their signatures. This agreement attempted to end a four-year split that has severely compromised the Palestinian political landscape, caused internal dissension and given rise to a complex governance system in which parallel institutions are run by Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Fatah in the West Bank. The significant regional changes that are marking the “Arab Spring” have also affected political developments in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). The “Palestine 194” appeal of President Abbas at the General Assembly in 2011 has so far met with inadequate Security Council support. However, the Palestinian leader has vowed to continue with his statehood bid. His determination and the unprecedented and escalating regional changes have put the question of an independent Palestinian state firmly back on the international agenda – the culmination of a lengthy process of readying Palestinian institutions for statehood which has been supported by the international community but remains an indigenous project born of a long and desperate struggle to achieve independence and national unity in the face of the Israeli occupation.


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