In the year 2012-13, WISCOMP established a multi-year partnership with Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and five other research institutions in India and Nepal to collaboratively work on the project ‘Making Women Count for Peace: Gender, Empowerment and Conflict in South Asia’. With a focus on contemporary Northeast India and post-conflict Nepal, the project addresses the role of women in governance and politics, particularly within the context of peace and security processes.
The goal is to investigate what women’s empowerment might mean in different contexts, i.e. in protracted conflict without third party mediation in Northeast India, and a post-conflict setting with heavy multilateral and international involvement as in Nepal. The investigators approach this question by studying how gendered political power is transformed in conflict, assuming that differences in the forms and expressions of gendered power relations during and after conflict impact on how ‘empowerment’ might be achieved. By contextualizing and tracing manifestations of gendered political power in conflict as well as post-conflict settings, the project seeks to contribute new knowledge on processes of ‘disempowerment’ and ‘empowerment’ in conflict and peacebuilding.
The project will produce both academic and policy-relevant output, including recommendations to policymakers on how women can play a more prominent role in peacebuilding and how such a role may be linked to the goal of women’s empowerment.