Jan 2015 – Dec 2019
Getting from war to peace is a delicate endeavour. International interventions, mediation and dialogue efforts, as well as transitional justice mechanisms are all geared toward building sustainable peace, and avoiding relapse into new conflicts.
These are not neutral processes, however, but embedded with particular agreed-upon norms and desires for peaceful co-existence. These normative frameworks are multicultural and multi-religious in their very essence in that they are thought to be beneficial to all irrespective of culture and religion. In reality, however, these norms may be seen quite differently. Gender equality and women’s empowerment are examples of such norms and are strongly contested areas of politics. It is particularly in the intersection between global/supranational aims and local or national religious and cultural characteristics where these tensions come out most forcefully.
This project does not aim to address the totality of challenges related to implementing gender equality and women’s empowerment norms, but will have a limited focus on implementation challenges in transitional processes from war to peace. These transitions, difficult as they are, nevertheless open up socio-political spaces for redefining gender roles and expectations. At times these changes lead to increased gender equality, while at other times they lead to reinforced or new inequalities and gendered differentiation which can be ascribed religious and cultural characteristics.
What these settings have in common, however, is international attention and often also interventions by external actors with a normative agenda. The dynamic of this relationship is often characterized by norm providers on the intervening side, and norm adapters on the conflict side. This project seeks to explore this dynamic through an empirical focus on United Nations and Norwegian peace mediation efforts, as examples of norm providers, and Bosnian and Rwandan experiences as examples of norm receivers. Our overarching research goal is to analyze the challenges of implementing a global framework on gender equality within the context of different cultural and religious understandings of gender and peace.
The project will make an important contribution to international scholarship on questions of peace and security since it addresses issues very rarely touched upon either theoretically or empirically, yet of great importance for the sustainability of the outcomes agreed upon by the parties to the conflicts. To this end, the project seeks to answer three main research questions:
In which issue areas are gender equality norms contested in transitional settings?
How are the contested areas of gender equality ascribed religious and/or cultural traits; by whom and in which ways?
Which strategies are developed by local and global actors to negotiate these contested intersections and what are the political outcomes?
The Equal Peace project is organised around the following sub-projects:
What are the challenges of implementing a global framework on gender equality within the context of different cultural and religious understandings of gender and peace? This is the central question that the Equal Peace project at PRIO has sought to answer since 2015. Now that the project is nearing its end, the research team met with international scholars for a two-day workshop in Oslo on 5–6 December to discuss their findings.
Jenny Lorentzen, Doctoral Researcher at PRIO, recently returned to Oslo after three months on fieldwork in Bamako, Mali. During this time she collected data for her doctoral research project on Women, Peace and Security in Mali and has now published a policy brief based on some initial findings.
Inger Skjelsbæk, Research Professor at PRIO, has been appointed Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Women, Peace and Security at the London School of Economics. She will be affiliated with the centre in the period 2017-2019 and will attend workshops, meetings and contribute with guest lectures. Skjelsbæk leads the project ‘Equal Peace? Women’s Empowerment and Multicultural Challenges in War-to-Peace Transitions’ at the PRIO Centre on Gender, Peace and Security.
“I am very pleased and honoured to have been accepted as a Visiting Fellow,” says Skjelsbæk. “This is a great way to establish closer collaboration between the PRIO Centre on Gender, Peace and Security and the LSE centre.”
Application deadline: 13 May 2016
This position is financed as part of a grant from the Research Council of Norway (FRIHUMSAM) to PRIO for the project “Equal Peace? Women’s Empowerment and Multicultural Challenges in War-to-Peace Transitions” (EPP), led by Research Professor Inger Skjelsbæk.
Application deadline: 1 June 2015
This position is financed as part of a grant from the Research Council of Norway (FRIHUMSAM) to PRIO for the project “Equal Peace? Women’s Empowerment and Multicultural Challenges in War-to-Peace Transitions”(EPP), which will be led by Research Professor Inger Skjelsbæk.
The lead story in the first 2015 issue of the GPS Update is a report from a conference on ‘Somali Women’s Civic Engagement: Past, Present and Future’ organized in Nairobi on 6 February by the GENSOM project. In this issue you can also read an interview with PRIO Senior Researcher Inger Skjelsbæk about a new project at PRIO entitled ‘Equal Peace? Women’s Empowerment and Multicultural Challenges in War-to-Peace Transitions’. You will also find reports from the launch of the new Norwegian National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, the fifth High-Level Seminar on Gender and Inclusive Mediation Processes, a seminar at PRIO on national action plans with the Institute for Inclusive Security, and PRIO Senior Researcher Torunn L. Tryggestad’s recent appointment to the 4th Advisory Group of the UN Peacebuilding Fund. As usual, the GPS Update also gives you an update on relevant seminars, reports and policy briefs, as well as a list of publications which might be of interest to our readership.
Journal Article in The Journal of Modern African Studies
Journal Article in International Affairs
Journal Article in Swiss Political Science Review
Journal Article in Foreign Policy Analysis
Book Chapter in The Oxford Handbook of Women, Peace, and Security
Journal Article in Nytt Norsk Tidsskrift
Journal Article in Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning
Book Chapter in Perpetrators and Perpetration of Mass Violence: Action, Motivations and Dynamics (Routledge Studies in Genocide and Crimes against Humanity)
Popular Article in Morgenbladet
Journal Article in Third World Thematics: a TWQ Journal
Journal Article in Political Psychology
GPS Policy Brief
Report - External Series
Journal Article in Culture and Psychology
Journal Article in Internasjonal Politikk