Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Spring 2013

Abstract

Although peacebuilding aims to address root causes of conflict, while constructing stable institutions and social relations, conventional peacebuilding’s negligence of gender in post-conflict societies and peace processes has restricted its potential. Most actors that contribute to peacebuilding efforts have participated in this ignorance, causing an outburst of feminist literature highlighting the severe need to integrate gender perspectives into peacebuilding. However, existing literature provides few specific recommendations and insufficiently examines mechanisms for integrating gender into state-led peacebuilding. Major actors, such as the United States, have recently embarked on attempts to incorporate gender perspectives into peacebuilding, creating large scopes of policy in need of analysis. This paper investigates the integration of gender perspectives into US Department of State peacebuilding strategies under Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who significantly elevated the importance of women’s rights and brought attention to gender considerations in US foreign policy. Through the review of policy changes and the study of US peacebuilding in Afghanistan, this paper concludes that the integration of gender perspectives in Department of State peacebuilding efforts is incomplete, leaving policy altered, but not transformed, and inhibiting hopes for gender equality and inclusive, sustainable peace.

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