Gender, Culture, and Conflict Resolution in Palestine

Authored by: Sophie Richter-Devroe

Categories: Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: Democratization and Political Participation, Nonviolent Resistance, Peacemaking, Political Transitions
Country: Israel, Palestine
Region: Middle East and North Africa
Year: 2008
Citation: Richter-Devroe, Sophie. "Gender, Culture, and Conflict Resolution in Palestine." Journal of Middle East Women's Studies 4, no. 2 (2008): 30-59.

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Conflict resolution theory and praxis have been criticized for being insensitive to local cultures and, particularly, for not considering culturally specific gender roles carefully enough. Yet, on the other hand, culturally sensitive and gender-friendly approaches have also been found to be incompatible with each other—so what are we to make of these overlapping and contradictory criticisms of the relatively new scholarly discipline of conflict resolution? Can community-based peace-building indeed be either gender-friendly or sensitive to culture only? Tracing Palestinian women's different forms of political activism in the national struggle and/or peace-building initiatives, this paper critically discusses a variety of gendered conflict resolution approaches and concludes that, contrary to such charges, contextualized culturally specific gender norms might in fact prove conducive to both gender empowerment and conflict resolution.