Funded by the Research Council of Norway (NORGLOBAL), the PRIO project Gender Equality, Peace and Security in Nepal and Myanmar (WOMENsPEACE) starts up in February 2016. It will be led by Wenche Iren Hauge and includes Åshild Kolås, and researchers in Nepal and Myanmar.
This project focuses on the gender dimension of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) processes in Nepal and Myanmar, and on the post-conflict political participation of female and male ex-combatants. In addition, it investigates the consequences of DDR processes for post-conflict gender equality, women and men's social inclusion and women's rights. A considerable amount of theoretical studies have been conducted on the gender dimension of DDR processes, but so far very few case studies exist. The WOMENsPEACE project is important - not only for providing new case studies - but also for bringing in case studies from two different types of conflict; the primarily ideological conflict in Nepal and the ethnic conflicts in Myanmar. With this new perspective, this project will contribute to moving the frontiers of knowledge on women, peace and security in particular and on post-conflict transformation in general. The WOMENsPEACE project is a collaborative effort between PRIO and the partner institutions Nepal Centre for Contemporary Research (NCCR) in Nepal and Ar Yone Oo (AYO) in Myanmar. In addition, the project will work with local women's associations in Nepal and Myanmar. In 2016 NCCR will organize a workshop in Kathmandu and in 2017 AYO will organize a workshop in Yangon. The objective of these workshops is to bring together women's organizations, female politicians, activists and civil society, to share experiences on the role of women in conflict, peace processes and post-conflict contexts. An international conference will also be organized in Bangkok in 2018. The conference will bring together all project partners in addition to key people from NGOs, multilateral organizations, relevant Norwegian embassies and researchers working on women's empowerment and gender equality in peace processes.