Peacebuilding as a Gendered Process

Authored by: Cheryl de la Rey and Susan McKay

Categories: Peace Support Operations, Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: Human Development, Peacemaking, Post-Conflict Reconstruction
Country: South Africa
Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
Year: 2006
Citation: de la Rey, Cheryl and Susan McKay. "Peacebuilding as a Gendered Process." Journal of Social Issues 62, no, 1 (2006): 141–153.

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Peacebuilding is frequently viewed in terms of post-conflict societal reconstruction without consideration of cultural context and gender. Using a feminist participatory methodology, this study investigated South African women’s understandings of peacebuilding and how these are mediated by gender and context. Sixteen women engaged in dialogue over 2 days. Thematic analysis of the recorded dialogue provided insight into how the 16 South African women leaders understand their efforts to build a more peaceful society. The findings pointed to gender- and context-specific aspects of peacebuilding. Most of participants’ peacebuilding activities occurred outside of the aegis of national governmental institutions and their peacebuilding priorities focused less upon structural rebuilding and more on processes, people, and relationships. One of the important priorities was the prevention of violence toward women. Whether these findings are gender-specific and contextually unique are topics for future research.