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The Essential Role of Women in Post Conflict Reconstruction

            Historically women have not played any significant role in post-conflict peacebuilding. The international and national communities have shown little concern for gender-oriented collaboration. However, in recent years the United Nations has strengthened its commitment to encouraging more balanced gender representation.i Four Security Council resolutions were passed in the year 2000 on women, peace, and security.ii UN research has concluded that the role of women in peacekeeping is both significant and essential. Peacebuilding in post-conflict Iraq has denied women a role, but in Sri Lanka, progress has been substantial in reconstruction and it has included women in every stage. While Sri Lanka has made some positive progress, Iraq is still in the grips of an ongoing insurgency.iii Ignoring the needs of half the population has been Iraq's major stumbling block, as the marginalization of women has hindered successful peacebuilding. .
             There are many reasons why women's participation in peace making is important. Women must have the chance to influence such decisions because they set the stage for early recovery activities. These include disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) of former combatants into civil society as well as security sector reform. They also play a part in long term peacebuilding including worldwide electoral and judicial processes. Their participation can also have a defining and long-lasting impact on women's conditions. Women are particularly motivated to prevent conflict, since they and their dependents are frequently the targets of gender-based violence.iv According to UNIFEM's 2000 Independent Experts Assessment on Women, War, and Peace, the presence of female police, interpreters, politicians and specialists in peace operations has had a positive significance in 14 war-torn countries including Afghanistan, East Timor, and Kosovo.v In post-conflict reconstruction, women can improve access and support for other women, especially those who have been victims of assault, sexual abuse and violence.

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