Thursday, May 12, 2011

Abstract 2011 Ingvild Jacobsen

Ingvild Jacobsen, The Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Aas

Women's Security in a Post-Conflict Context (Pakistan: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Afghanistan)

Women's security needs in post-conflict situations continue to be poorly understood, despite increased focus on women in international conventions such as CEDAW and UN Security Council Resolution 1325. What seems to be lacking are bottom-up approaches which are able to identify how women themselves actually experience insecurity, and which can as well deal with the complexity of development in such volatile contexts.  This study will therefore explore local women’s perceptions of security in relation to access to and control over resources, livelihoods, health, and protection from violence. By linking women's rights, security, development and livelihood, this project aims to bring women's security to the centre of the security agenda through a focus on human security.  The focus on gender will ensure that gendered power relations and roles in society and community remain of central concern in the analysis.
To be able to grasp the complexity of security, gender and development on the local level, the government, the legal sector, the police, local authorities, NGOs and women’s organisations roles will be examined. The implementation and role of both CEDAW and The UN Resolution 1325 on the local level will also be studied.
The main objectives are: to understand what main forms of insecurity women at the local level face, how they perceive their security situation in a certain post-conflict context, and what kind of actors address this insecurity and how. It will also explore how the different levels and actors cooperate or not, and the extent of inclusion of women in these responses at all levels.  In the process of the study, we hope to create dialogue between actors and contribute to policies which address the challenges and the constraints at the local level to improve women's security.
In this project I will mainly use qualitative data collection based on in depth interviews, group discussions, and focus group with the main aim to include women at the local level to address what kind of security challenges they face and their experience of their everyday security. This includes local women from different groups regarding background, age, wealth and ethnicity. Additionally I will interview and have focus groups with local NGOs, networks, local police and local bodies that address women's security.
Analysis of findings will be done through presentation, dialogue and workshops in collaboration with local actors in the communities in addition to analysing after fieldwork is done. This will be done to increase the dialogue between the different actors that play a role in addressing women's security, and to increase the awareness of what the main security issues women face are. The findings can therefore be used to develop policies and strategies that are based on women's own experience.

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