21st –22nd February 2015, New Delhi
In an attempt to analyse how gendered political power transforms in situations of conflict, WISCOMP organised a Policy Dialogue titled ‘Women and Peacebuilding” in 2015 with the underlying assumption that differences in the forms and expressions of gendered power relations, during and after conflict, impact on how ‘empowerment’ can be achieved. Through contextualization and tracing the manifestations of gendered political power in conflict and post-conflict settings, the focus was towards contributing new knowledge on processes of ‘disempowerment’ and ‘empowerment’ of women in conflict and peace.
The Dialogue sought to explore how policy spaces perceived and negotiated these conundrums, and how action research could feed into and assist policy in arriving at nuanced responses that are able to foreground and build women’s agency and visibility in crafting robust peace processes — processes that connect the local with the national — so that the exhortation ‘from the village council to the negotiation table’ becomes a tangible possibility.
It envisaged the creation of a dialogic space where disparate discourses of civil society, academia and policy could converge in exploring the opportunities and obstacles to women’s agency in democratic polity. Addressing the question of spaces available to enhancing women’s roles as agents of peace, the consultation attempted to identify mechanisms that could be put in place to take on board women’s experiences in framing policy.
Some of the participants at the Dialogue were: Nirmala Sitharaman, Meera Shankar, Meenakshi Gopinath, Ashild Kolas, Rita Manchanda, Gita Mittal, Kavita Ramdas, Rashmi Singh, Vani Tripathi, Anuradha Chenoy, Bishnu Upreti, Gopal K. Pillai, Rakee Kalita Moral, Ranjana Kumari, Seema Mustafa, Rosemary Dzuvivhu, Seema Khajooria Shekhar, Ashok Sajjanhar, Anju Sharan Upadhya, Jayant Prasad, Veena Sikri, Kheshili Chishi, Wajahat Habibullah, Rekha Chowdhury, Vrinda Grover, Hameeda Bano, Vinayak Patankar, Mallika Joseph, Ravinder Pal Singh, among others.