Peace-building is comprehensively defined by the UN Secretary- General’s Policy Committee as a “range of measures targeted to reduce the risk of lapsing or relapsing into conflict by strengthening national capacities at all levels for conflict management and to lay the foundation for sustainable peace and development.” Peace transformation and reconstruction processes were perceived to provide windows of opportunity to reshape existing political settlements, especially through addressing underlying power dynamics. One very prominent actor and stakeholder that should be actively engaged in peace transformations, political settlements, and state reconstructions is, by all means, women. In line with the Security Council Resolution 1325, the essay explores whether or not Iraqi women have been able to take advantage of opportunities opened up through state reconstructions and peace-building, such as negotiations over new state structures, peace agreements, and political settlements. The following reviews the literature on women and peace-building, at large, which then moves to illustrating women’s roles and initiatives in peace-building in Iraq in particular. In doing so, I employ a qualitative methodology that combines review of literature and documents with in-depth interviews with four activists and members of Iraqi women civil-society organizations (CSOs). Based on the literature review and the interviews, the essay draws on a set of lessons learned to strengthen peace-building knowledge and actions.
Khodary, Y. (2016). Women and Peace-Building in Iraq. Journal of Peace Review, 28(4), 499-507.