Women and peace in a divided society: peace-building potentials of feminist advocacy and reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Despite an improving international rhetoric highlighting the necessity of women’s participation in postwar settings, women still tend to be disadvantaged in peace-building processes (Chinkin and Charlesworth, 2006; United Nations, 2002). This chapter argues that women’s struggles for rights entail important potentials for peace-building in divided postwar societies. Women frequently are among the first who cooperate across ethnic divisions established and hardened during ethno-political wars. Feminist policy reforms often strengthen common state structures and their legitimacy, contributing to the overcoming of ethnic divisions. Women’s participation and contributions should, therefore, be much more recognized and promoted in peace-building processes. However, it is feminist advocacy that is key, not women’s participation per se. Women have often promoted nationalistic and violent agendas; yet, only if they champion the rights of women independent of their ethnic and political differences can peace-building potentials come into effect.

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Publication date2010
Publication titleWomen, war, and violence : personal perspectives and global activism
EditorsRobin M. Chandler, Lihua Wang, Linda K. Fuller
Place of PublicationUS
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages137-154
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-230-11197-4
ISBN (Print)978-1-349-28806-9
Original languageEnglish

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