Tag Archives: conflict

Democracy that Delivers Podcast #23: Julie Arostegui on Empowering Women in Post-Conflict Situations

Podcast guest Julie Arostegui.

Podcast guest Julie Arostegui.

Gender and security expert Julie Arostegui discusses the opportunities that arise in post-conflict situations to empower women and increase their role in democratic processes. Arostegui talks about the important role that law plays in creating these opportunities and explains the impact of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, which mandates women’s participation in peace processes. The discussion also covers the role economic development plays in creating stability post-conflict and how economic empowerment of women often leads to their greater political participation. Arostegui also talks about her involvement in programs to empower women politically in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Middle East and North Africa.

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Arostegui developed a toolkit on Using Law to Empower Women in Post-Conflict Systems.

Read Arostegui’s articles Gender, conflict, and peace-building: how conflict can catalyse positive change for women and  Gender, Migration and Security: Migration policies must empower women and men.

Visit her LinkedIn page to access other articles she has written and follow her on Twitter at @JulieLArostegui. Her website is jlaconsultingllc.com.

Charting a Way Forward for Business in Kandahar, Afghanistan

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On April 27, the Kandahar branch of the Afghan Chamber of Commerce & Industries and 28 other major business and sectoral associations in Kandahar province, with CIPE’s support, released the Kandahar Provincial Business Agenda report at an official launch event in Kandahar City.

The PBA report lists the primary concerns of the private sector and impediments to commercial growth in Kandahar and other neighboring provinces, as well as a set of concrete policy recommendations intended to overcome these barriers.  These policy recommendations include requests to simplify business registration procedures and documents, lowering tax rates, and improving public infrastructure, as well as recommendations more specific to Kandahar province, including taking steps to improve security conditions at the border crossing in Boldak, on the Pakistani border.

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Democracy that Delivers Podcast #11: Brenda Oppermann of GameChangers 360 on the Importance of Involving Women and Youth in Efforts to Transition from Conflict to Peace

Podcast hosts Julie Johnson and Ken Jaques with Brenda Oppermann (left).

Podcast hosts Julie Johnson and Ken Jaques with Brenda Oppermann (left).

This week on Democracy That Delivers, Founder and Director of GameChangers 360 (Facebook, Twitter), Brenda Oppermann, talks about the importance of including women and youth in projects that assist countries transitioning from conflict to peace.

Oppermann, who has worked for more than 20 years in countries dealing with conflict, including Iraq and Afghanistan, shares best practices for involving women and youth in the rebuilding process.

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Democracy That Delivers Podcast: #8 State Department’s Jessica Long on Counterterrorism Policy

Podcast hosts Ken Jaques and Julie Johnson with Jessica Long (center).

Deputy Director in the U.S. State Department’s Counterterrorism Bureau Jessica Long discusses how international cooperation and partnerships underpin best practice in counterterrorism policy.

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Listen to past episodes of our show here.

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Democracy That Delivers Podcast: #7 Sameer Lalwani on Security Issues in South Asia

Sameer Lalwani (center) with podcast hosts Ken Jaques and Julie Johnson.

Deputy Director of the South Asia Program at the Stimson Center Sameer Lalwani (@splalwani) discusses how counterinsurgency and state-building efforts interact with issues of governance and economic development in South Asia.

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Listen to past episodes of our show here.

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Girl Rising: Civic Education and its Role in Economic Empowerment

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Participants in the civic education program (photo: SEF)

Women comprise more than half of those displaced by the Syrian civil war, a conflict affecting more than 12 million people. As entire communities’ social services and educational structures have been upended and 3 million children forced to abandon their education, girls and young women have been disproportionately affected by the unrest. Those who would otherwise attend school, complete their educations, and pursue diverse careers are being forced into early marriages and motherhood, sexually exploited, and used as unskilled labor in dangerous working conditions in large urban centers like Amman, Beirut, and Istanbul.

There is a strong correlation between education and positive health and socioeconomic outcomes for women and girls, yet education is often one of the first things to be disrupted when conflicts break out. In areas where traditional educational models become unavailable or unfeasible, civic education courses that nurture cultures of peace, promote dialogue and non-violent conflict resolution, and build the cognitive and participatory skills of participants can help fill a critical gap.

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Keeping the Economy on the Radar, Even in the Hardest Times

A new job category in Aleppo -- "the crosser" who ferries good across the border under dangerous conditions. (Photo: Syrian Economic Forum)

A new job category in Aleppo — “the crosser” who ferries good across the border under dangerous conditions. (Photo: Syrian Economic Forum)

In Beirut during Lebanon’s civil war, people continued to go to school and attend theater performances. One woman once told me how, to get to her university, she would take a taxi to the line between East and West Beirut, dash to the other side behind overturned trash dumpsters to avoid snipers, and then catch another ride to university — always with a change of clothing in case she could not get home again for a while.

Not every war sees people able to defiantly and bravely continue school and go to the theater, but the story underscores an important point left out of most news reports: conflict is not a permanent state…even during conflict.

Media reports show the most bullet-ridden, shell resounding, civilian-fleeing dramatic moments, but even in situations of all-out war, pockets of fighting revolve and front lines move. Whenever there is a lull in violence, civilians generally try to make life go on as much as they can, however they can. And that includes the economy. Farmers will return to their fields and factories will resume operation as often as possible, and people will buy, sell, and barter what they need to survive. And yes, sometimes they even study for exams by candle in hallways lined with mattresses during shelling (another story I once heard from another Lebanese).

Recently, a group of CIPE staff with experience in conflict-affected settings formed a task force to do some more thinking about CIPE’s own projects in conflict-affected areas. We found it interesting that we work with local groups in areas that range from unstable to war-torn, but that we rarely think of them as “conflict projects” per se. So we started throwing around a lot of questions: is it worth even thinking of our projects through a conflict lens ? (Short answer: yes.) What is our approach to conflict and is it unique? What are the various ways CIPE has either reacted programmatically to conflict, or designed programs to be conflict sensitive?

We’re still thinking, but we have started to articulate what we think we know (more on that at the end of this post). So here it goes…

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