Gender, conflict and peace-building: Lessons from the conflict in the former Yugoslavia

Article


Korac, M. 2006. Gender, conflict and peace-building: Lessons from the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. Women's Studies International Forum. 29 (5).
AuthorsKorac, M.
Abstract

This paper explores the importance of gender sensitive analysis of conflict constructed as ethnic strife for conceptualising and developing new and more effective ways of intervening in this type of war. It points out that because most of the physical violence and suffering in these conflicts occur at the community level, they generate massive refugee movements, causing not only physical and material devastation, but also the destruction of social networks and local communities. This critically affects the prospects for refugee return, which is central to any sustainable peace agreement and post-conflict democratic development. In searching for an answer to the question of how to address effectively the issue of reconciliation in such a context, the discussion highlights the centrality of acknowledging gender dimensions and dynamics of this type of war, as a way of uncovering and recognising a reconciliatory potential of women as women organising and activism that often occurs it these conflicts. By focusing specifically on the initiatives of some women groups during the war in the former Yugoslavia, which aimed at rebuilding trust and broken social networks at a communal level, the paper examines the reasons why women as women often opt for alternative forms of political mobilisation. It argues that this type of activism has an important potential for conflict resolution and should be recognised in a fundamental way in any attempt to build-peace in conflict zones.

Keywordsconflict; former Yugoslavia; gender analysis; refugee experiences
JournalWomen's Studies International Forum
Journal citation29 (5)
ISSN0277-5395
Year2006
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-ND
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wsif.2006.07.008
http://hdl.handle.net/10552/666
Publication dates
PrintSep 2006
Publication process dates
Deposited18 Mar 2010
Additional information

Citation:
Korac, M. (2006) ‘Gender, conflict and peace-building: Lessons from the conflict in the former Yugoslavia’, Women's Studies International Forum 29 (5) 510–520.

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