Defying Victimhood

Women and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding

Albrecht Schnabel, Anara Tabyshalieva
Release Date: September 11, 2012

Opportunities for sustainable peacebuilding are lost—and sustainable peace is at risk—when significant stakeholders in a society’s future are excluded from efforts to heal the wounds of war and build a new society and a new state. Yet women are routinely marginalized, unnoticed, and underutilized in such efforts.

Defying Victimhood uses comparative case studies and country studies from post-conflict contexts in different parts of the world to produce insights for understanding women as both victims and peacebuilders. The book traces the road that women take from victimhood to empowerment and highlights the essential partnerships between women and children and how they contribute to survival and peace.

Drawing particularly on African cases, the authors examine national and global efforts to right past wrongs as well as the roles of women in political and security institutions. They argue that for women in post-conflict societies, “defying victimhood” means being an activist, peacebuilder, and—above all—a full participant in post-war social, economic, political, and security structures, access to which all too often has unjustly and unwisely been denied.