Gender and Conflict Early Warning

A Framework for Action

This paper presents an initial framework on how to ‘engender’ early warning and signs of conflict. More specifically, the process, and benefits can be understood as follows:

  • incorporating gender-sensitive indicators into information collection and subsequent analysis allows for previously overlooked signs of instability to be taken into account and concentrates early warning at a grassroots level, anticipating conflict before it spreads to high politics; and
  • incorporating gender analysis and perspectives into the formulation of response options ensures discriminatory policies are not perpetuated in post-conflict situations, or new found freedoms reversed. It also ensures that responses at a political and humanitarian level address the vulnerabilities specific to women and men.

These proposals aim to make early warning more comprehensive, ‘earlier,’ and preventive actions more effective and permanent.As more comprehensive and quality early warning that include gender analysis increase the likelihood of political will, engendering early warning has far-reaching benefits that go beyond the protection of vulnerable groups.

The paper also proposes a list of gender-sensitive early warning indicators for the purpose of verification and expansion. It concludes with a set of recommendations for future research and action, with particular emphasis on conducting empirical tests on the assumptions put forth.