Women in War and Peace-building: The Roads Traversed, The Challenges Ahead

Authored by: Azza Karam

Categories: Peace Support Operations, Violent Conflict
Sub-Categories: National Security Forces and Armed Groups, Peace Accords, Peacemaking
Region: No Region
Year: 2000
Citation: Karam, Azza. "Women in War and Peace-building: The Roads Traversed, The Challenges Ahead." International Feminist Journal of Politics 3, no. 1 (2000): 2-25.

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This article overviews the status of women and/in war and conflict literature and posits that the majority of it tends to view women as victims rather than as active actors, largely as a result of patriarchal structures. It is argued here that women in fact occupy a number of roles and create different fates for themselves, as war is also a site of potential change. The article presents the diverse situations and conditions of women in war, while arguing for the need to integrate women within processes of peace negotiations from the very outset. The manner of these inclusions, and the potential outcomes, are also presented and discussed. The article surveys some of the best practices with respect to both the analysis of women’s roles and the inclusion of women working in conflict situations, with a view to encouraging international organizations in particular to seek actively to ensure that women are not only fighters and/or victims, but also negotiators in post-conflict futures. The overview thus extends from the visions as presented in literature, to practical considerations for those actually involved in the field of women in conflict.