Even in 2022, women and men continue to face gender-specific struggles which are oftentimes brought about by harmful stereotypes, failures to recognize differential vulnerabilities between genders, and equality initiatives that fail to take a holistic and nuanced approach towards achieving gender equality. While the growth in women’s legal rights as well as society’s acceptance of these rights has grown exponentially over the last 50 years, there is still more work to be done. Women’s participation in peace agreements increases the sustainability of agreements by 35% and peace agreements negotiated with women involved are more likely to last beyond 15 years, yet we still see a lack of women’s engagement in peace processes across the world. Women have an important role to play in both formal and informal peace processes as well as development initiatives, and ensuring their meaningful participation requires a nuanced understanding of the particular social and cultural barriers to women’s engagement, as well as a commitment by local communities and governments to redress them. Furthermore, we can’t leave men out of the equation. Advancing gender equality requires the active participation of men to facilitate the process as well as work to address the harmful gender stereotypes they encounter which are holding them back. Transformative Peace is committed to implementing nuanced and inclusive approaches to empowering women in their respective communities by amplifying indigenous voices from the ground up.
So far this year we’ve been working to strengthen the WPS agenda through initiatives in both Afghanistan and Morocco. Afghanistan: We’ve been working closely with our partners to develop an Islamic Framework for WPS practitioners to advance and promote women’s rights in line with indigenous practices and international human rights standards. Morocco: TP provides workshops within Morocco for CSOs and International Organizations on a range of topics including structural inequalities, restrictive gender norms and the harmful effects of toxic masculinity. Through our workshops, we explore the gendered push and pull factors towards violent extremism as well as advise on best practices for gender-mainstreaming rehabilitation and reintegration programs to ensure a gender-sensitive approach to PVE.
Gender and Community Action
No one can quite understand the needs of a local community like the individuals indigenous to that area. As such, community action has been and will continue to be an integral part of local transformation and sustainable peace. But, when we say community action, what do we mean? Community action refers to the coming together of individuals or groups in order to identify their own needs, determine their own forms of action to meet those needs, and as a result can take many different forms. For example, community action can be taken to advocate for anti-violence; provide food; fight poverty; or combat harmful gender norms. This year, Transformative Peace has been working alongside local partners in Morocco to advance indigenous community action targeting gender stereotypes and promoting gender equality. Study after study has shown that gender norms and behaviors are taught and learned. To be gender-aware means to be in tune with the differences, expectations, and needs of people of different genders. As a result, gender equality is not just about women, it is about the differences between men and women in terms of gender roles, access to resources, the differential vulnerabilities they face, and the ability to fully participate in and have access to opportunities. As such, gender-equality is not a ‘womens-only’ club. Rather, gender-equality requires both male buy-in and active participation, as well as a recognition of the harmful stereotypes and norms men encounter as a result of this inequality. Here are 5 Challenges Men Face as a result of gender inequality:
Women and Entrepreneurship
Female entrepreneurship is not a new phenomena. For centuries women have worked as farmers, textile producers, merchants, artists, writers, scientists and more to provide a life for themselves and their families. That being said, the time, obligations, and social pressures women encounter can make their free-time to network and engage in developing their professional careers more challenging than it may often be for their male counterparts. When we talk about women’s empowerment, we must avoid viewing women solely through a victim lens or as an entity in need of saving. Rather, we must acknowledge and empower women as autonomous and capable agents, unique from men as well as unique from one another. This past month, Transformative Peace facilitated a workshop which brought together female entrepreneurs from across Morocco to share in their experiences and have the opportunity to network. During this workshop, Transformative Peace shared the following 4 gender biases to avoid:
Women's History Month
March is Women’s History Month! Every week in March, TP will be:
Spotlighting the achievements of women within the conflict resolution and peacebuilding fields
Sharing facts you may not know about the impact Muslim women have had throughout history.
Join us on our social media platforms to stay up to speed!
This past month we said goodbye to our Program Associate, Victoria Stephens and hello to our new Researcher, Jasper Vaughn.
Victoria has been a valued member of our team, starting as an intern and leaving as a program associate, and we wish her the best as she continues her journey within the private sector.
Meet Jasper Jasper Vaughn is an experienced researcher with a particular focus on religion, peace, conflict, and the MENA region. Prior to joining Transformative Peace, he held a variety of research, writing, and programmatic roles, including supporting the Stimson Center's Protection of Civilians in Conflict program; conducting research on health and education in fragile contexts; serving in refugee resettlement; and providing technical assistance to peacebuilding programs. He is in his final semester of earning an MA in Global Affairs from Yale University's Jackson Institute, and holds a BA in Religion with a minor in Arab Studies from Davidson College.