pdf What Can Applying a Gender Lens Contribute to Conflict Studies? A Review of Selected MICROCON Working Papers
Author: Colette Harris
Publication Date: March, 2011
This MICROCON policy briefing paper highlights lessons from a range of their research studies which show the importance of applying a gender lens when conducting conflict analysis. It is relevant to all those involved in conflict analysis and assessment and is particularly timely as the new Joint Analysis of Conflict and Stability (JACS) guidance and methodology is being formed to ensure there is an agreed cross-Whitehall approach to conflict assessments. This paper is a summary briefing paper drawn from a more in depth paper available here.
This paper emphasises the need to understand the role which gender plays in conflict dynamics, both in terms of the situation on the ground and the top level politics. It uses a selection of MICROCON papers to show the significance of gender in attitudes and behaviour in conflict and post-conflict zones.
The paper introduces a conceptual framework for applying a gender lens to conflict assessments. It is based upon four different levels:
i) Gender and sex-disaggregated data
ii) Gender as a proxy for women
iii) Gender and identity
iv) Gender and global politics
For example, analysis of the Calderón and Ibáñez paper (2009) that it is rural women who more easily find urban employment after conflict-related forced rural-urban migration is counter-intuitive until the skills issues are considered. This suggests several important implications for policy around both the labour market and probable repercussions at domestic level.
The key lesson highlighted is applying a gender lens to conflict analysis can often produce surprising revelations which are crucial to understanding what lies behind surface manifestations with important policy implications and recommendations.