At Crisis Group, we believe the interaction of gender and conflict is of central importance. But we consider carefully what a gender perspective entails and the conceptual pitfalls we should avoid. For instance, women are not just victims, but have agency and choice.
Originally published in The Guardian
Our work is informed by research that explores gender and conflict as ideas, political challenges and lived realities.
Too much of the public discussion around repatriating Western citizens, male or female, hinges on an assumption that letting them come home is equivalent to leniency or forgiveness.
While ending the insurgency and countering the militants’ appeal is obviously vital, it is also essential to recognise what precisely has guided women to join [Boko Haram] in the first place.
[Under sanctions] women, as organisers of family life, healthcare, education, will often carry the burden of trying to come up with alternatives for their families in all instances.
The crux of the recent crisis at the [U.S.-Mexico] border is that there are fewer male migrants in their 20s or 30s making the crossing, and many more families, newborns, children, and pregnant women escaping life-or-death situations as much as poverty.
Female peacekeepers can serve as role models for local women, improve relations with the host community, and facilitate information-gathering.