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date: 17 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter demonstrates the complex interplay between victimhood and agency when viewed through a gender lens. Understanding the diverse ways in which women experience conflict provides a solid foundation for the production of a more inclusive dialogue on peace and security. Indeed, greater consideration needs to be given to how structural constraints and enabling spaces impact women’s capacity to participate substantively in peacemaking. As demonstrated throughout this chapter, women not only confront overt gender-based violence that strips them of bodily integrity, they also experience structural violence that exacerbates social and political discrimination. Drawing on the experience and research of WISCOMP, a South Asian initiative that seeks to facilitates women’s participation and leadership in conflict transformation and peace-building, this chapter highlights efforts by women’s civil society to mobilize and claim their rights and assert agency. It is also reveals the obstacles faced by women as they seek to claim substantive citizenship, and impact the public discourse following conflict.

Keywords: victimhood, agency, substantive citizenship, South Asia, WISCOMP, civil society

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