Occasional Paper Series: Women’s Economic Participation in Post-Conflict and Fragile Settings

Authored by: Ann Hudock, Karen Sherman, and Sarah Williamson

Categories: Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: Economic Participation, Economic Recovery, Human Development, Post-Conflict Reconstruction
Country: Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Syria, South Sudan
Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
Year: 2016
Citation: Hudock, Ann, Karen Sherman, and Sarah Williamson. Occasional Paper Series: Women’s Economic Participation in Post- Conflict and Fragile Settings. Roslyn Warren and Alexandra Z. Safir, and Tricia Correia, editors. Washington, DC: Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, 2016.

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Executive Summary

Ann Hudock identifies the key spaces women need safeguarded in fragile contexts if they are to unleash their economic potential. Subsequently, Karen Sherman and Sarah Williamson dive deeply into case studies on South Sudanese women and Syrian refugee women, respectively. Sherman elucidates the obstacles South Sudanese women face in achieving any semblance of economic stability, the methods they employ to overcome such obstacles, and the perils of not facilitating women’s full economic participation in this fragile setting. Williamson unpacks detailed data surrounding the limited employment and economic opportunities Syrian women enjoy both in Syria and across the larger Middle East and North Africa region as refugees. In doing so, she not only unveils the coping mechanisms families in crisis must deploy to meet the challenges of living in protracted crisis and how those mechanisms uniquely and adversely impact women and girls, but she also paints a way forward. Each article provides a rich and nuanced story of how women participate in the economies of war-torn and fragile states.