Project: Women’s Rights After War

Over the past 25 years, a groundswell of attention has been directed towards the inclusion of women in the process of ending wars. Much of this attention has stemmed from the realization that – in addition to being a force for destruction – war can also serve as a critical juncture, giving rise to rapid and sometimes progressive periods of social change and institutional transformation. A large body of work, including our own, posits that periods of rebuilding after war can offer unique windows of opportunity for forging more gender-equal societies. Whereas the global average of women in parliament hovers right under twenty-five per cent, countries that have more recently emerged from war – such as Burundi, Ethiopia, Mozambique, East Timor, Nicaragua, and Rwanda – each have more than thirty-five per cent women in their national legislatures.

Image credit: At the Gisozi Genocide Memorial in Kigali, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka lays a wreath to pay respect to those who died in the Rwandan genocide. UN Women, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0