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date: 20 October 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Civil society is often understood as a normative vehicle for the promotion of human rights and democracy, as it plays a central role in ensuring gender equality and advocating for local ownership in the decision-making processes of states. Civil society agents and organizations have been instrumental in promoting and advancing the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda. In this chapter, we examine the experiences of Bosnian Civil Society Organizations (CSO) and their activities to advance a gender-just peace. Drawing on examples from the Bosnian case study, we argue that women civil society organizations are key actors, as they not only set the agenda when it comes to WPS, they also play a key role in ensuring that the WPS principles are institutionalized and operationalized in policy. Moreover, we observe that women CSOs are particularly successful in advocating for the needs of victims of conflict-related sexual-based violence.

Keywords: civil society, Bosnia, conflict-related violence, sexual-based violence, agenda setting

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