Gender and Post-Conflict Civil Society

Authored by: Patricia J. Campbell

Categories: Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: Democratization and Political Participation, Post-Conflict Reconstruction
Country: Eritrea
Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
Year: 2005
Citation: Campbell, Patricia J. "Gender and Post-Conflict Civil Society." International Feminist Journal of Politics 7, no. 3 (2005): 377-399.

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Women have historically participated in revolutionary/liberation movements. A consensus among scholars working in the field suggests that once the broader aims of the movement have been achieved, women’s public role and the concern for gender differentiated interests diminish in the post-conflict society. The aim of this study is to apply this hypothesis using the case study of Eritrea. Eritrea offers an opportunity to study a modern, successful revolutionary movement that relied heavily upon women’s contributions both as support personnel and as front-line soldiers. Preliminary evidence suggests that Eritrea is following the pattern of many other post-conflict societies. Several questions are addressed here: Does the hypothesis which suggests women’s participation is welcomed during a revolutionary struggle, but discouraged in post-conflict society, hold true in the Eritrean case? What role did women play in Eritrean independence and what role do they currently play? Have the reforms enacted by the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) carried forward under the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ)? What role does women’s inclusion play in creating a viable civil society? How has the generational aspect of women’s military service affected society’s overall perception of women?