Gender in peacebuilding: Taking stock

This report reflects the findings of the preparatory stage of a three-year research project exploring the role of gender in peacebuilding.

The starting point for the research was International Alert’s belief that a gender approach, as a key component in the understanding of power dynamics, is critical to successful peacebuilding. The research hypothesis was that gender dynamics form a resource for peacebuilding which peacebuilders generally make insufficient use of, but that examples of projects and research do exist from which to draw lessons, and thereby improve peacebuilding practice.

This first stage of research confirmed the hypothesis, but identified a number of conceptual challenges and contradictions in the field of “gender and peacebuilding”. To facilitate the further exploration of these, a broad typology of peacebuilding programmes was proposed, based on the identification of three different approaches to gender.