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Laura J. Shepherd

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Laura J. Shepherd and Caitlin Hamilton

Despite the recognition among peacebuilding agencies of the need ‘to integrate a gender perspective’ into their operations, some scholars in the field of peace research and research on peacebuilding still tend to assume that peacebuilding activities are experienced similarly by all, irrespective of gender identity and performance. At the same time, a significant body of literature has developed that specifically engages with gendered logics and practices of peacebuilding. Scholarship on gender and conflict more broadly insists that to seek to understand the socio-political dynamics of war and peace without paying attention to gender is to construct a partial and thin account. Weaving together insights from a range of disciplinary perspectives (including Peace Studies, Development Studies, International Relations, Anthropology and Economics), these scholars remind us not only that the individuals involved in peace processes are embodied agential subjects, but also that the concepts deployed in policies aiming to facilitate peacebuilding, including ‘peace’ itself, are inherently gendered. We begin this chapter with an overview of the academic literature on gender and peacebuilding, before moving on to discuss the institutional architecture supporting gender-sensitive peacebuilding efforts. We conclude with some suggestions for future research in this area.