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Master Thesis

Participation of women in post-conflict reconstruction processes. The example of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Abstract : The increasing number of conflicts around the world is accompanied by the increasing attention of planners, both in academia and practice, of topics related to planning in fragile situations, post-war recovery and construction. This study is specifically concerned with women’s participation in reconstruction activities in the aftermath of conflict. It started from the assumption that women’s participation in post-conflict reconstruction (PCR) is crucial to the success of reconstruction efforts, and embarked on an attempt to understand what influences this participation. The first research objective was to arrive to an understanding of post-conflict reconstruction as a process, its changing dynamics, and the question of participation in post-conflict context. A literature review was conducted in order to establish connections between these three topics, and identify the main questions for the analysis. Because of the overlapping nature of literature over multiple disciplines and the relatively recent interest in the ‘women and PCR’ debate, this thesis relies on cross cutting themes from three different disciplines; development by looking into characteristics of post-conflict reconstruction, gender studies and women in particular, and participation. The second objective was to examine an example and investigate the extent of women’s participation in it, based on the points of analysis and questions acquired from the literature review. A case study methodology was chosen to respond to this second objective. The reconstruction of Bosnia and Herzegovina suggests that the specific settings for the reconstruction have directly and profoundly influenced the role of women in every aspect of public life. In addition, it shows that post-conflict reconstruction is dynamic, where women participation relates to changing interests of main actors at different phases of the reconstruction process. Finally, the study concludes that real participation of women in post-conflict reconstruction relates to the changing priorities and goals of the reconstruction phase (here called temporal dynamics), negotiation over influence between international and local actors, and the power women can exercise in situations of vulnerability. It also suggests that there’s little attention given to understanding women’s influence in the private sphere and its potential to create change and overall increase women’s participation although in a less visible manner.
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Master Thesis
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  • HAL Id : dumas-01269661, version 1

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Rasha Kanjarawi. Participation of women in post-conflict reconstruction processes. The example of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Humanities and Social Sciences. 2015. ⟨dumas-01269661⟩

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