Women and Peacebuilding: Local Perspectives on Opportunities and Barriers
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The UN Security Council Resolution 1325 has made strong provisions to include women in peace‐building interventions and actions. This is, however, rarely observed in practice beyond local‐level activities. This article discusses new qualitative evidence on the opportunities and barriers to women's participation in peace‐building processes, based on a comparative analysis of case studies conducted in Afghanistan, Liberia, Nepal and Sierra Leone. The findings show that women's engagement in peace‐building activities, beyond their immediate social relations, is restricted by institutional, economic, cultural and social obstacles. These barriers prevent the realization of gender equality objectives in peace‐building initiatives. Moreover, local understandings of peace typically place family relations at the centre of how women engage with peace‐building processes, and how other community members perceive women's roles in peace building.