Women's Role in Peacebuilding: Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala Compared

Monday, March 1, 2010
Stacie Dawn Beever
Central America
El Salvador

Peacebuilding has become increasing important as a means of preventing continuinghostilities among previously warring factions. Traditional peacebuilding strategies to datehave included activities that strive to address challenges related to security, governance,relief, development, and reconciliation with the goal of curbing potential volatile situationsfrom once again becoming full-fledged conflicts. However, peacebuilding strategies ordesigns have not fully recognized the particular needs of women and have not acknowledgedthe significance of women's contributions to peacebuilding in war torn communities. InNicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala women responded to this marginalization byinitiating unique peacebuilding mechanisms and making space for themselves during theprocess of rebuilding.

This analysis therefore begins with an analysis of traditional peacebuilding, introducingfour areas that have been identified as important during peacebuilding, and outlining some ofthe concerns, problems and limitations that plague the peacebuilding process in the post-warsetting. It then turns to an examination of women's role in peacebuilding in three casestudies, namely Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala.

This study is significant because it demonstrates that women have played an integralrole in the peacebuilding process in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala. Whilemarginalized from traditional peacebuilding processes, women's experiences and knowledgebuilding peace post-conflict have the potential to contribute to an improve and more inclusivepeacebuilding design that may result in increased effectiveness for future operations.

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Women Peacebuilding Nicaragua El Salvador Guatemala, Beever, March 2010