Video on Women’s Participation in Peace Negotiations

My co-authored article on women’s participation in peace negotiations has recently been cited in the 2018 Report of the Secretary-General on Women and Peace and Security.

A summary of this research has also been published as a policy brief by the Conflict, Security and Development Research Group in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London.

On 29 October 2018, I presented this research at King’s College London. You can watch a video of the presentation and discussion of this research here:

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Gender, Peace and Security: Implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1325

Here is the link to the timely Launch and Discussion of the edited volume  Gender, Peace and Security. Implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (edited by Louise Olsson and Theodora-Ismene Gizelis), which I moderated on 18 September 2015 at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

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Opening remarks:

  • Ambassador Veronika Bard, Permanent Representative of Sweden to the UN in Geneva, on Feminist Foreign Policy
  • Ms Ursula Keller, Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC)

Discussion:

  • Dr Louise Olsson, Folke Bernadotte Academy
  • Prof Theodora-Ismene Gizelis, University of Essex
  • Prof Håvard Hegre, Uppsala University
  • Dr. Sari Kouvo, European External Action Service
  • Moderator: Dr Jana Krause, PGGC, The Graduate Institute

The Gender Dimensions of Conflict & Peacebuilding – Indonesia Kick-off Workshop and Local Researcher Training

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The international research project ‘The Gender Dimensions of Social Conflict, Armed Violence and Peacebuilding’, that I lead and coordinate, held its kick-off workshop for the research period in Indonesia on 3-4 November 2014 at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta. We were delighted to have Judith Large present a keynote on this topic and welcomed a large number of scholars, practitioners and activists from various regions in Indonesia for dialogue and mutual learning.

Subsequently, a two-day research training on gender, conflict and peacebuilding and on field research and interviewing took place with researchers from Aceh, Maluku and East Java.

This project receives funding within the Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development, a joint initiative of the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. Between 2014 and 2020, researchers from Indonesia, Nigeria and Switzerland will investigate how gender relations link to armed violence, and how international and civil society efforts can strengthen and/or constrain women’s and men’s agency for nonviolent conflict management.

Why are combatant-aged men over-represented in Gaza casualty figures? A gender analysis could shed light on conflicting claims

Casualty numbers from conflict zones are notoriously difficult to gather and verify. According to a UN report, as of 10 August, 1,948 Palestinians have been killed, of which at least 1,402 were civilians. An analysis of these numbers by the New York Times found that “the population most likely to be militants, men ages 20 to 29, is also the most overrepresented in the death toll. They are 9% of Gaza’s 1.7 million residents, but 34% of those killed whose ages were provided.” Why are combatant-aged men so over-represented in Gaza’s casualty figures?

Assessing estimates on civilian versus combatant deaths requires understanding of civilian behavior on the ground. A potential explanation other than combatant roles could be that families expect young men to be the first ones to leave shelters in order to care for hurt relatives, gather information, look after abandoned family homes or arrange food and water, as I suggest in a comment to a background analysis by BBC News. Furthermore, one might expect males of combat age to be over-represented in civilian casualty figures because by definition they are seen as potential combatants.

More analysis is needed to discuss and verify these numbers. A gender perspective could shed light on why casualty numbers do not mirror demographic statistics.

For more information relating to the context of international humanitarian law, see also Human Rights Watch’s Q&A on the 2014 Hostilities between Israel and Hamas.

Podcast ‘THE ACT OF KILLING – Dealing with the Past in Indonesia’, available on youtube

The podcast ‘Dealing with the Past in Indonesia’ is a recording of a public talk I chaired at King’s College London in December 2013. Prof. John Sidel (LSE) and Mr Paul Barber (TAPOL) provided extensive analysis and commentary on the event that the movie deals with: the 1965/66 mass killings of at least 500,000 alleged ‘communists’ in Indonesia.

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One of the most powerful and provocative documentaries, the film shows local gangsters in Medan, Sumatra re-enacting in vivid and sometimes sickening detail the killing of alleged communists during the events that followed former President Suharto’s rise to power in Indonesia in 1965. At least 500,000 people were murdered and up to one million were held without charge or trial, many of them tortured. Since the end of the Suharto regime in 1998, former political prisoners, researchers and human rights activists have started documenting the widespread human rights violations, including crimes against humanity. The movie invites reflection on the perpetrators of mass violence, and on dealing with a violent past in Indonesia and elsewhere.

The documentary ‘THE ACT OF KILLING’ has won many prestigious film prices around the world, including a nomination for the Oscars in the category ‘best documentary’. It also won best documentary at the 2014 BAFTA awards.

A list of important commentaries and reflections on the movie and information on the human rights campaign ‘minta maaf! say sorry for 65’ can be found here.