Conflict, violence, and organised violence are the use or threat of physical force by groups (civilians, states, social groups). Conflict and violence takes many forms, including outright civil war, large- or small-scale communal conflicts based on regional, ethnic, religious or other groupings, and domestic violence (World Bank, 2011, p. xv).
Conflict sensitivity implies understanding conflict dynamics and the potential effects of interventions on them, to avoid negative impacts and maximize positive ones (Conflict Sensitivity Consortium, 2012, p. 2).
Gender means ‘the socially constructed roles and relationships, personality traits, attitudes, behaviours, values, relative power and influence that society ascribes to the two sexes on a differential basis. Gender is relational and refers not simply to women or men but to the relationship between them’ (UN Women, 2014, p. 42).
Gender relations are relations between men and women, between men, and between women, characterized by negotiation, bargaining and exchange (True, 2013, p. 2). Gender relations, including constructions of masculinities and femininities, determine access to power and resources in society (True, 2013, p. 2).
Gender mainstreaming involves assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, so that the concerns and experiences of both sexes are considered in their design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation (UN Women, 2014).
Gender sensitivity implies an understanding of gender differences and their role in producing social norms and power relations, and adapting approaches to respond to these dynamics (Saferworld, 2014, p. 6).
Peace means either the absence of violence (negative peace) or the presence of cooperation, freedom from fear, equality and integration (positive peace) (Galtung, 1967, p. 14).
Peacebuilding aims to create conditions in which violence will not recur, including strengthening national capacities for conflict management, and laying the foundations for sustainable peace between social groups (UN Peacebuilding Support Office, 2010, p. 5).
Statebuilding is ‘an endogenous process to enhance capacity, institutions and legitimacy of the state’ (OECD, 2008, p. 1). Statebuilding involves developing reciprocal relations between a state that delivers basic functions and services, and citizens who confer authority and legitimacy on it.
Key sources defining gender and conflict
- Saferworld. (2014). A gender sensitivity resource pack: Community safety training, outreach, and advocacy in Nepal.
- OECD. (2008). Statebuilding in situations of fragility – Initial findings. Paris: OECD.
- Galtung, J. (1967). Theories of peace: A synthetic approach to peace thinking. Oslo: PRIO.
- UN Peacebuilding Support Office. (2010). UN peacebuilding: An orientation. New York: United Nations.
- World Bank. (2011). World development report: Conflict, security and development. Washington, DC: World Bank
- Conflict Sensitivity Consortium. (2012). How to guide to conflict sensitivity.