Scholarly article on topic 'Civil Society and Gender Mainstreaming: Empirical Evidence and Theory-Building from Twelve Post-Conflict Countries 2005–15'

Civil Society and Gender Mainstreaming: Empirical Evidence and Theory-Building from Twelve Post-Conflict Countries 2005–15 Academic research paper on "Law"

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World Development
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{women / "gender mainstreaming" / "civil society" / post-conflict / discourse / theory}

Abstract of research paper on Law, author of scientific article — Paul Chaney

Summary Using critical discourse analysis, this twelve-country study addresses a key lacuna by examining civil society perspectives on the implementation of the Participative Democratic Model (PDM) of gender mainstreaming in post-conflict states. The findings reveal specific data, transitional justice, and governance challenges in war-affected states as policy actors press for heightened attention to issues such as the effects on women of war-induced poverty, human rights violations, and women’s empowerment in state reconstruction and peace-building. The analysis shows the aftermath of war accentuates frame misalignment between civil society and governing elites. In order to address this a Transformative Model (TM) of Participative Mainstreaming in Post-conflict States is proposed. Building on conflict theory it argues for the engendering of “transitional justice” in order to secure equality in public policy and law-making. In particular, it details how future attempts to apply the PDM need to be adapted across four Transformational Domains: actors, issues, rules, and structures. Each is populated by “post-conflict issues/actions”. When CSOs successfully advance claims for modifying policy and practice “frame-alignment” occurs and the implementation of PDM may be adapted to the specificities of war-affected states.

Academic research paper on topic "Civil Society and Gender Mainstreaming: Empirical Evidence and Theory-Building from Twelve Post-Conflict Countries 2005–15"

World Development Vol. 83, pp. 280-294, 2016 0305-750X/© 2016 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://


Civil Society and Gender Mainstreaming: Empirical Evidence and Theory-Building from Twelve Post-Conflict Countries 2005-15


Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD), Cardiff' University, Wales, UK

Summary. — Using critical discourse analysis, this twelve-country study addresses a key lacuna by examining civil society perspectives on the implementation of the Participative Democratic Model (PDM) of gender mainstreaming in post-conflict states. The findings reveal specific data, transitional justice, and governance challenges in war-affected states as policy actors press for heightened attention to issues such as the effects on women of war-induced poverty, human rights violations, and women's empowerment in state reconstruction and peace-building. The analysis shows the aftermath of war accentuates frame misalignment between civil society and governing elites. In order to address this a Transformative Model (TM) of Participative Mainstreaming in Post-conflict States is proposed. Building on conflict theory it argues for the engendering of "transitional justice" in order to secure equality in public policy and law-making. In particular, it details how future attempts to apply the PDM need to be adapted across four Transformational Domains: actors, issues, rules, and structures. Each is populated by "post-conflict issues/actions". When CSOs successfully advance claims for modifying policy and practice "frame-alignment" occurs and the implementation of PDM may be adapted to the specificities of war-affected states. © 2016 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license ( by/4.0/).

Key words — women, gender mainstreaming, civil society, post-conflict, discourse, theory




Post-conflict states present a challenging yet under-theorized context for the implementation of gender mainstreaming, a pro-active and holistic approach to promoting gender equality in policy and law. In particular, insufficient scholarly attention has been paid to how mainstreaming interacts with transitional justice during state reconstruction. In social theory-terms the post-conflict phase can be viewed as a "policy window"—or what neo-institutionalism refers to as a "critical juncture". It is the point when the restoration of the rule of law ("transitional justice") presents an opportunity to redraft structures and processes of governance to embed gender equality in ways consistent with the mainstreaming ethos. Yet for this to be done effectively first requires understanding of the specific issues related to the implementation of the Participative Democratic Model of gender mainstreaming (PDM) in war-affected states.

Originally developed in work by Nott (2000), the PDM requires governments to engage with civil society and promote gender equality in all aspects of policymaking (see also Barnett Donaghy, 2003; Sen, 2000). It is an imperative originating from the UN Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BDPfA), a landmark conference on women's rights held in 1995 (Bunch & Fried, 1996).1 The Beijing Declaration also requires civil society organisations' (CSO) perspectives to be taken into account in the UN's monitoring of the 180 signatory-states' progress in realizing the BDPfA's goals. Thus this study's original contribution is to use the rich dataset comprising CSO reports to the UN in order to advance understanding of the challenges of the PDM in post-conflict countries.

The findings show that in war-affected states the PDM has specific data, transitional justice, and governance requirements as policy actors press for heightened attention to issues such as the effects on women of war-induced poverty and human rights violations—as well as the need to promote women's

empowerment in state reconstruction and peace-building. In addition, the ensuing discussion suggests that, in the twelve post-conflict states studied, the legacy of war impedes the PDM by disrupting and weakening civil society networks and engagement, thereby adding to a disjuncture between the discourse of CSOs and governing policy elites. In turn, the present empirical analysis forms the basis for a Transformative Model of Participative Mainstreaming in Post-Conflict States. It is a heuristic that draws on the transitional justice literature in order to build a conceptual analytical framework that captures the challenges of mainstreaming in post conflict environments. Rather than being a universal, unvarying schema, the Model is adaptive to the specificities of individual countries. Its purpose is to inform future practice and pave the way for further empirical investigation via single-country or comparative regional studies.

The overall focus of this study is apposite because, since its launch in 1995, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action has been applied to a global context in which there has been over 100 episodes of major armed conflict (Derouen, Heo, & Heo, 2007).2 However, notwithstanding the ubiquity of war and the PDM's status as the leading international approach to gender equality, there has been a dearth of cross-national analysis of its implementation in post- conflict societies. Ni Aolain, Haynes, and Cahn's seminal work (2011, p. 11) concurs, noting: "further concrete research on the successes and shortcomings of gender mainstreaming in development and post-conflict settings is needed before a more thorough evaluation can emerge". Moreover, as Omona and Aduo (2013, p. 119) cogently note, "stakeholders need to effectively consider analysis of need by gender in their programmes

* The author acknowledges the helpful and constructive comments of three anonymous referees when revising an earlier draft of this paper. Funding for this research was provided by the Economic and Social Research Council under Award No. ES/L009099/1. Final revision accepted: January 10, 2016.

if sustainable post-conflict, peace, participation and prosperity is to be realised". Accordingly, 20-years on from Beijing Declaration, this paper addresses these lacunae. As noted, attention to civil society views is appropriate because the Participative Democratic Model of mainstreaming is predicated on Article 20 of the BDPfA. This asserts "civil society cooperation with Governments [is] important to the effective implementation and follow-up of the Platform for Action". Governments should secure, ''the participation and contribution of all actors of civil society, particularly women's groups and networks and other non-governmental organizations and community-based organizations, with full respect for their autonomy" (UN, 1995). Thus, far from being a top-down, imposed political "project"—progress depends upon effective engagement and co-working between the state and civil society.

The current use of critical discourse analysis is underpinned by diverse strands of social theory including the interpretive school of policy analysis (Yanow, 1999) and the literature on social constructivism (Kukla, 2000). Both place emphasis on language—specifically, policy discourse—in order to reveal policy actors' "cognitive maps". In other words, their beliefs, values, interpretations, and knowledge relevant to addressing a given policy issue (Eden & Ackermann, 2004). The analysis explores "issue salience" or the level of attention to areas or topics of concern. Reference to the literature on qualitative analysis using framing shows how this matters. As Snow et al. (1986, p. 464) note it "render[s] events or occurrences meaningful... [it] function[s] to organize experience and guide action, whether individual or collective" (emphasis added). Thus, the level of attention to a frame—or "issue areas of con-cern"—is central to understanding policy intervention. Particularly, as in the present case, it tells us whether implementation is attuned to the needs of a given social and political context—such as societies adapting from earlier episodes of conflict. "Issue-salience" here is a technique borrowed from electoral studies (cf. Volkens, 2001); it focuses on the level of attention to a given topic among competing issues and agendas in political discourse. The underlying rationale is grounded in the literature of political agenda setting (Cf. Cobb & Ross, 1997) and states that the greater the focus and prioritization of an issue, probabilistically, the greater likelihood it will ultimately translate into effective policy outcomes. Overall, framing and issue-salience come together in the underlying logic that policy actors with shared understandings, priorities for action are better placed to achieve strategic policy goals.

On definitional matters, for the present purposes ''armed conflict" signifies ''a contested incompatibility which concerns government and/or territory where the use of armed force between two parties, of which at least one is the government of a state, results in at least 25 battle-related deaths" (UCDP, 2014, p. 7). Whereas "civil society" refers to associa-tional activities involving the family, non-governmental organizations, pressure groups, charities, community groups, social movements and campaigning organizations (Cohen & Arato, 1994; Keane, 1988).

The key data sources in this study are: 1. A stratified random sample of 120 reports submitted to the United Nations by women's CSO operating in post-conflict countries 200515 3; and 2. national Beijing +20 reports (circa 2014-15) from a dozen post-conflict UN member states, along with a second ''control group" from 12 non-conflict countries. These datasets allow an assessment of the issues, progress, and challenges related to the implementation of mainstreaming as required by the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

The remainder of the paper is structured thus: following an overview of the literature on mainstreaming, civil society and conflict, the methodology is summarized. Next, analysis of state discourse is presented. It is followed by an exploration of civil society organisations' discourse on the implementation of mainstreaming in war-affected states. The empirical data are then used to build theory and a Transformative Model of Participative Mainstreaming in post-conflict states is outlined. The concluding section reflects on the way that PDM is affected by post-conflict contexts and the implications for future policy and practice.


The international spread of gender mainstreaming over the past quarter century has been promoted by the United Nations. Its uptake also owes much to its holistic and proactive nature (notably, through the application of key principles, tools, and techniques to all stages of the policy process, see Ghodsee, Stan, & Weiner, 2010)—as well as its democratic credentials (Luciak, 2001). A full discussion of its development is beyond the present purposes (for a discussion see for example Rees, 2005). The UN (2002, p. v) defines it as follows:

the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes, in all areas and at all levels. It is a strategy for making women's as well as men's concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic, and societal spheres so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated. The ultimate goal is to achieve gender equality.

Despite the rapid spread of mainstreaming this has not been a uniform process. Thus, Hafner-Burton and Pollack (2002, p. 339, emphasis added) allude to the varied impact that mainstreaming has had in a global context: "we suggest, however, that the rhetorical acceptance of mainstreaming by various international organizations obscures considerable diversity in both the timing and the nature of mainstreaming processes within and among organizations. This variation, we argue, can be explained in terms of the categories of political opportunity, mobilizing structures and strategic framing put forward by social movement theorists". Accordingly, this study responds to the latter call and examines these aspects in post-conflict countries.

As a burgeoning literature reveals, gender mainstreaming is more successful if it is informed and advanced by women's movements as well as wider civil society engagement (see for example Carney, 2002; Chaney, 2013, 2016; Madsen, 2012; True, 2003). In contrast to technical and bureaucratic approaches, this has been dubbed the ''participative democratic model" of mainstreaming, for it places emphasis on involving those targeted by mainstreaming initiatives in both the design and delivery of policy (Barnett Donaghy, 2003; Nott, 2000). As noted, it has wide international ''reach". It has received particular attention in the UK, notably in the wake of devolution in 1998-99 (Beveridge, Nott, & Stephen, 2000; Chaney, 2012). Other prominent examples include Ireland, the United States, and Italy—where it has been used by governments and CSOs alike in order to boost the uptake and ''ownership" of attempts to embed gender equality in policy making (see Mackay & Bilton, 2003, p. 6).

As Debusscher and Van der Vleuten (2012, p. 326) observe, participative "mainstreaming is constructed, articulated, and transformed through discourse. Policy-makers carry the

responsibility to push [...]equality further by involving civil society and individual activists promoting [...]equality". In turn, "participation" and "engagement" here can be defined as the full range of formal and informal means employed by individuals and groups to influence the aims, scope, design, and implementation of public policy (Hogwood & Gunn, 1984). These include networking, protest, boycott, lobbying, and campaigning. Notwithstanding the centrality of civil society to the PDM a recent survey of the strategic plans of leading international development organizations found that under a half acknowledged capacity building and civil society engagement as a prerequisite for successful mainstreaming outcomes (Moser & Moser, 2005, p. 14; see also Tiessen, 2007).

As noted, the term civil society refers to the realm of dialog and human relations that is connected to, but distinct from, the state, markets, and personal or familial sphere (Cohen & Arato, 1994; Keane, 1988). It is a social arena that is of pivotal significance to understanding contemporary gender relations because of its potential to challenge the largely maledominated character of state institutions, act as a source of pluralism and solidarity around norms of equality (Alexander, 1998), and be a locus for rights and recognition (Fraser, 1998; Honneth, 2005). It thus constitutes a key social and political nexus with the state where CSOs may advocate, politicize, and provide services for women through representation and gendered claims-making cognizant of a history of marginalization and oppression (Pascall & Lewis, 2004).

From an international perspective there have been over 300 episodes4 of major armed conflict since 1945 ( 2007).5 In consequence, post-conflict countries are subject to a burgeoning literature (for a discussion see Downs & Stedman, 2002). Here they are defined here by adopting Brown, Langer, and Stewart's definition (2011, p. 4):

Rather than pick one or other condition to define the beginning and end of "post-conflict," a more productive approach to conceptualizing the post-conflict scenario is to see it not as a period bounded by a single specific event, but as a process that involves the achievement of a range of peace milestones. Taking a process-oriented approach means that "post-conflict" countries should be seen as lying along a transition continuum (in which they sometimes move backward), rather than placed in more or less arbitrary boxes, of being "in conflict" or "at peace."

Examples of the "milestones" in the post-conflict transition alluded to include: cessation of hostilities and violence; signing of political/peace agreements; demobilization, disarmament and reintegration; refugee repatriation; establishing a functioning state; achieving reconciliation and societal integration; and, economic recovery.

Recent work has called for increased attention to gender equality in the aftermath of war. For example, Mckay (2000, p. 561) has questioned "whether justice can be achieved when judicial and reconciliation processes enable and give power to a select group"? In response, she proposed analytical emphasis on gender justice or "legal processes which are equitable, not privileged by and for men, and which distinguish the nefarious forms of injustice women experience during and after armed conflict". Notwithstanding this call, the literatures of mainstreaming, civil society and conflict have largely traveled on parallel tracks. Noted exceptions include Ni Aolain et al.'s (2011, pp. 231-232) work. Here the conclusion was that:

Governance programs, even those now required to "mainstream gender" trend toward securing formal political rights within official political structures and institutions. Existing programs in general try to slot women into new or reformed institutions and secure women's de jure political and civil rights, reflecting our general critique of gender mainstreaming as being grafted on, rather than initiated from an organic assessment of what women want and need.

Against this backdrop it is germane to underline why gender mainstreaming is so important in post-conflict contexts. It is because state rebuilding in war-affected states constitutes a unique opportunity to embed gender equality when the structures, institutions and processes of governance are being remodeled. This resonates with no less than three strands of social theory. It is an example of Kingdon's theoretical notion of a "policy window" (Kingdon, 1995). Furthermore, it is what neo-institutionalist theory dubs a "critical juncture" (Collier & Collier, 1991). Alternatively, as noted, expressed in terms of social movements theory (McAdam, McCarthy, & Zald, 1996), the post-conflict state possesses singular ''political opportunity structures"—as resources, mobilization, and framings seek to rebuild effective governance. In order to see whether theory is borne out in practice the following methodology is employed.


This study combines qualitative and quantitative critical discourse analysis of policy "framing". As Creed, Langstraat, and Scully (2002, p. 37) explain; frames can be viewed as "a necessary property of a text—where text is broadly conceived to include discourses, patterned behavior, and systems of meaning, policy, logics, constitutional principles, and deep cultural narratives". The aspect examined here is the level of attention to different ''issue areas", in other words the way that states and CSOs frame their discourse in the UN reports in terms of different policy topics. To operationalize this a deductive coding schemata (Boyatzis, 1998; Joffe & Yardley, 2003) was used to identify key topics—or issue areas—in state and CSO discourse. For example, equality, human rights, reconciliation, economic inequality, education, and gender-based violence (see Figure 1—for a full listing). In addition, a number of tropes are associated with the issue-areas in the discourse. These are themes associated with the issue-areas (see Fischer & Forester, 1993). For example, under the "rights" issue-area a reoccurring trope was the need to embed rights in new governance/constitutional frameworks. In the case of the gender-based violence issue-area a common trope was retrospective pursuit of rights violations that occurred during conflict.

The current methodology involves measuring ''issue-sal ience"—or the level of attention to a given topic among competing issues and agendas in the discourse. It is determined by content analysis (Krippendorff & Bock, 2008)—or the frequency of key words, ideas or meanings in policy documents. This was done by adapting a procedure derived from electoral studies, whereby texts are divided into ''quasi-sentences" (or, ''an argument which is the verbal expression of one political idea or issue," Volkens, 2001, p. 96). Dividing sentences in this manner controls for long sentences that contain multiple policy ideas. To operationalize the methodology electronic versions of the policy documents were analyzed using appropriate software. Official UN translations were used when the original document was in a language other than English.

A purposive sample of twelve states drawn from Africa, Asia, and Europe was selected. In each there had been significant conflict in the past two decades (see Table 1). Three continents formed the basis of the sample in order to present manageable dataset while at the same time offering an international perspective and a range of development contexts. The research design was constructed in order to identify particular issues in the implementation of mainstreaming related to war-affected countries. The first phase in this process was aggregate

■ Post-conflict ■ Non-conflict

1.1. II

Figure 1. State framing on the implementation of the BDPfA: post- and non-conflict states compared (N = 16,815).

Table 1. The post-conflict states: a summary

Principal years of conflict


Afghanistan 1996-2014

Bosnia 1992-95

Croatia 1991-95

Ethiopia 1961-91, 1998-2000

Georgia 2008

Liberia 1989-96, 1999-2003

Namibia 1966-90

Nepal 1996-2006

Sierra Leone 1991-2002

Sudan 1955-72, 1983-2005, 2013-15

Rwanda 1990-94

Timor 1999-2000

Afghan Civil Wars 1996-2001; followed by US wars in Afghanistan officially ended on December 28, 2014. US-led NATO troops remain training & advising Afghan govt. forces. 90,000+ direct war-related deaths (Cramer & Goodhand, 2012; Zenkevicius, 2007)

Bosnian War—an international armed conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina 1992-95. Part of the breakup of Yugoslavia. 100,000 people were killed (Jeffery, 2006)

Croatian War of Independence—conflict between Croat forces loyal to Govt. Croatia—which had declared independence from Republic of Yugoslavia —and the Serb-controlled Yugoslav Army/local Serb forces. 20,000 fatalities (Clark, 2013)

1961-1991, Eritrea fought war of independence against Ethiopia. Ethiopian Civil War began September 1974. Eritrean-Ethiopian War 1998-2000 between. Estimates 100-300,000 casualties (Clapham, 2009)

Russo-Georgian War—conflict between Georgia, Russia, and the Russian-backed self-proclaimed republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Est. 1000 causalities (Lynch, 2002)

First Liberian Civil War—1989-96 Samuel Doe led coup d'etat overthrew the elected government in 1980 (100,000-220,000 killed). Second Liberian Civil War—1999-2003 Liberian dissidents "Organization of Displaced Liberians" invaded from Guinea (150,000-300,000 killed) (Reisinger, 2009)

Namibian War of Independence—nationalist SW Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) and allies fought against the apartheid government of South Africa/ intertwined with the S. African Border War (11,500 casualties) (Kabia, 2010)

Armed conflict between government forces and Maoist rebels. 18,000 killed (Siitonen, 2011) Began when Revolutionary United Front & National Patriotic Front of Liberia attempted to overthrow govt. of Joseph Momoh (over 50,000 dead) (Kabia, 2010)

Complex civil conflict between the central Sudanese government and the Sudan People's Liberation Army combined with factionalism and inter-ethnic tensions. February 2015, agreement signed in Addis Ababa, for future transitional government of national unity (Baker & Scheye, 2009) Conflict between the government of President Juvenal Habyarimana and the rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front—sparked genocidal mass ethnic slaughter of Tutsi and Hutus (estimated 500,000-1,000,000 killed) (Uvin, 2001)

1999 civil conflict after majority of eligible voters in the population of East Timor chose independence from Indonesia. 2006 East Timorese crisis—a conflict between sections of the military, expanded to a coup attempt and general violence throughout country (1,400 died) (Huang & Harris, 2006)

comparison of the framing in post conflict and non-conflict countries.6 Subsequently, the issues identified were further explored by analyzing civil society organisations' discourse in a stratified random sample of 120 CSO annual reports submitted to the UN Commission on the Status of Women follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women.7 Twelve reports were selected from each of the post-conflict countries 2005-15. To increase reliability both phases of coding (i.e., frames and policy areas) were repeated by a research assistant. This revealed a limited number of discrepancies. In total seven incidences were identified (under 1%) these were resolved through discussion between coders. Attention now turns to the study findings—first in relation to state discourse on mainstreaming in post-conflict societies, followed by findings from civil society discourse.


(a) State discourse on the implementation of the Beijing declaration and platform for action

Comparative analysis of state discourse on gender mainstreaming in the 12 post-conflict states' and a "control" group of twelve non-conflict states shows statisticall significant differences framing (p = <0.001) (Figure 1). This matters because, as the following discussion outlines, it reveals the way post-conflict contexts shape the implementation of PDM—and, compared to other states, it points to the specific requirements or demands of war-affected societies.

Accordingly, in the post-conflict states the first-ranked frame in the state discourse was "rights/ justice" (15.9% of all quasi-sentences); whereas in the "control" set of non-conflict states this was fourth-ranked (8.7%) (p = <0.001).9 In the former case the discourse was dominated by the legacy of conflict. In part, the prominence of the frame reflects the findings of earlier work (Adelman & Peterman, 2014) underlining how the absence of rights in post-conflict contexts can perpetuate the threat of civil violence. Allied to this the discourse centered on transitional justice matters, principally rebuilding institutions to uphold rights. For example, the need for "the establishment of many of the structures, mechanisms, and official supporting institutions for the advancement of women... and mechanisms for deployment of international conventions, and women's rights, human rights, the dissemination of legal culture" (Sudan, 2015, p. 33). A further aspect was embedding rights in new constitutional frameworks. For example, "legal reforms have been adopted by the government on the basis of the foundation document—the constitution which guarantees fundamental human rights and principles of equality and non-discrimination" (Ethiopia, 2015, p. 17). Another key trope was the pursuit of rights violations during conflict. For example, "the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission... in the event that government authorities do not pursue human rights violation cases or violation occurs in relation to this, individuals can visit the Human Rights Commission and request it to pursue the case" (Afghanistan, 2015, p. 12).

The present findings showing the emphasis on rights in post conflict states' discourse aligns with recent work (Bell & O'Rourke, 2007, p. 43) calling for a (re-)appraisal of the "how transitional justice debates help or hinder broader projects of securing material gains for women through transition". Specifically, rather than solely focusing on judicial and non-judicial measures implemented to redress the legacies of human rights abuses, it is argued that "transitional justice"

may usefully be seen as a broader concept that resonates with attempts to apply the Participative Democratic Model of mainstreaming in war-affected states. This viewpoint encompasses ''the normative proposition that various legal responses should be evaluated on: 1. the basis of their prospects for democracy" (Teitel, 2000, p. 7; 2003) and; 2. They should be informed by the idea of''gender justice"—or, ''legal processes that are equitable, not privileged by and for men, and which acknowledge ways in which women uniquely experience harm" (Mckay, 2000, p. 24). Accordingly, as the following discussion of study findings from post-conflict societies suggests, ''transitional justice" needs to be seen in the context of legal processes and women's ''voice" in shaping policy and law-making through their societal position and the extent to which they are included in the representative structures of the state (cf. Menkel-Meadow, 1988; Tomlinson, 2011). In turn, these empirical data inform the theoretical framework proposed at the end of the paper.

Generic references to ''gender equality" constituted the second-ranked frame in post-conflict states, constituting 14% of quasi-sentences; whereas it was first-ranked in non-conflict states (27.1%, p = <0.001).10 For example, the effects of ''armed conflict... [means Nepal] continues to suffer from political transition and instability. Although the political chaos has hampered the promotion of gender equality... it is recognized that disparity still remains and much effort is needed to achieve gender equality" (Nepal, 2015, p. 5). This resonates with earlier work by Moser (2005, p. 588) who notes that, ''in the [global] north equality may be more of a priority than empowerment; gender mainstreaming may be seen more as the responsibility of government than other institutions (such as donors or civil society)".

The third-ranked frame in post-conflict states was gender-based violence (GBV) (12.3% of quasi-sentences), in non-conflict states it was second-ranked (19.3%), (p = <0.001).11 In the former case it is principally concerned with the interplay of war and GBV. The dominant theme was securing justice for victims of GBV during conflict. Examples include: ''in Afghanistan, women... face an even more complicated matter, namely the diverse forms of violence rooted in war and insecurity. Other factors go hand in hand and create this dire phenomenon, the most significant of which are: the lack of law enforcement" (Afghanistan, 2015, p. 5); and: ''the Program for Victims of War-related Rape, Sexual Abuse and Torture in Bosnia and Herzegovina 2013-16 was developed with the aim of ensuring full protection and support to victims of war-related rape, sexual abuse, and torture, and their families, through the improvement of their access to justice, better rehabilitation, re-socialization, and compensation programs, with active participation of all stakeholders" (Bosnia Herzegovina, 2015, p. 27). The discourse also alludes to the lingering cultural and attitudinal effects of war: ''unfavourable social norms which take violence as part of culture and norm of society hinder the adequate implementation of the [GBV] laws" (Ethiopia, 2015, p. 26).

The fourth-ranked frame in post-conflict states is ''education" (11.4% of quasi-sentences), whereas in non-conflict states it was sixth-ranked, 7.1%) (p = <0.001).12 Not only are there significant differences in the attention to this frame, there are also marked contrasts in its use. In the former case there is repeated emphasis on the gendered impact of war. For example, ''unfortunately, one of the areas that has been most affected by war in Afghanistan is the education sector... The women have suffered the most and that is why education authorities pay more attention to this matter... Therefore, women's promotion in education lays

the foundation for possibilities of economy, social, cultural, political, social and nurturing development" (Afghanistan, 2015, p. 13). Textual analysis of the education frame reveals a hybridization between mainstreaming and positive action. It is illustrated by the case of Liberia: ''The Education Reform Act of 2011.. .continues to further build on the Girls" Education Policy of 2006 and addresses... Recruitment and training of more female teachers; providing counseling in schools for girls... Offering life skills in school to raise the self-esteem of girls so they can say no to sexual abuse; and increasing the availability of school scholarships for girls" (Liberia, 2015, p. 5).

In post-conflict states the fifth-ranked frame was gender and economic inequality/poverty (10.1% of quasi-sentences), whereas it was third-ranked (9.2% in non-conflict states). Again, there is a qualitative difference in the frame's usage. In post-conflict environments the key issue is the gendered impact of war on poverty. For example, ''emerging issues beyond the year 2015... women in conflict areas and refugee camps: [war-related factors] threaten women in development as the most vulnerable as they face displacement, homeless-ness, poverty, and the burden of household..." (Sudan, 2015, p. 48). Further to earlier work underlining the scale of the challenges facing post conflict states (Hill, 2001), the present findings show how gender and poverty are articulated in the context of nation-building. For example, ''women and poverty... since independence in 2002, Timor-Leste's social and economic policies have focused on alleviating poverty to address the immediate needs of our people, consolidating security and stability, and providing a foundation for nationhood through building institutions of State" (Timor-Leste, 2015, p. 15).

Women's participation in decision-making was the sixth-ranked frame in post-conflict states (8.7% of quasi-sentences); it was fifth in non-conflict states (7.3%, p = <0.001).13 The low ranking of this frame is striking given the centrality of state-civil society engagement to participative mainstreaming. It is all the more surprising given governments' repeated acknowledgment of how war has often set back women's participation in representative structures. Yet it is also the case that this may reflect the fact that these issues have already been addressed to a greater extent that other issues, since post-conflict countries are more likely to adopt quotas for women's representation than non-post-conflict states. Examples of the discourse include: ''greatest challenges in achieving gender equality... it will be necessary to increase participation of women in decision-making processes in political, economic, and financial areas, as well as in all other areas of life" (Bosnia-Herzegovina, 2015, p. 7); and ''A strategic plan covering the period 2011-30 was approved by the Council of Ministers in 2012... gender equity in participation is one of the priorities" (Timor-Leste, 2015, p. 38).

The post-conflict discourse under the ''participation" frame places particular emphasis on the transition to democracy. Thus, for example, the Rwandan discourse alludes to, ''effective civil society engagement is a key feature of good governance as an important framework for citizens to voice their needs. [This is] Key to making accountability systems work" (Rwanda, 2015, p. 51). A further noteworthy aspect is how civil society participation is largely unproblematized in state discourse. This aligns with research by Pouligny (2005, p. 495) that questions the way that official discourse often homogenizes ''civil society" in post-conflict peacebuilding and ''tend[s] to forget the large diversity of local civil societies, creating many counter-effects in the way international programmes purport to support or empower local people

and... may contribute to post-conflict peacebuilding" (see also Cornwall, 2003, p. 1325).

Overall, as the data in Table Two reveal, the prioritization of issues in post conflict countries varies significantly between regions (p = <0.001).14 Key differences are apparent in the issue-salience of topics. For example, state discourse in African countries places significantly more emphasis on education (26.3%) and skills and training (7.3%), compared to Asia (10.9% and 3.0%, respectively) and Europe (4.8% and 2.8%, respectively) where provision is, generally, more extensive. Whereas greater attention is placed on ''participation" in European states (21.4%), compared to Africa and Asia (3.8% and 9.2%, respectively). The same is true of ''data" (i.e., the availability of gender equality indicators) (4.4% compared to 0.5 and 2.8). While African and Asian states place significantly more emphasis on rights (13.7 and 17.3—com-pared to 8.1%) (see Table 2).

Notwithstanding the existence of statistically-significant differences between issue-areas, the profile of issue salience for post conflict and non-conflict states is broadly similar. As noted, principal differences relate to the key frames ''rights", ''equality", and GBV. The explanation for this lies in the rubric of the UN reporting requirements. It is problematic and may help to explain past under-recognition of the specific challenges of mainstreaming in war affected states. The reason is the prescriptive nature of the reports (that are structured around a series of questions). This exaggerates the degree of concordance; thereby masking the specific issues that apply to war affected states. To address this and gain fuller cognizance of the particular demands of mainstreaming in post conflict countries the following section of this study analyses the discourse in civil society organisations' reports to the UN. They provide a rich account of the demands and challenges of mainstreaming in war-affected states. In theoretical terms, in contrast to the state texts, CSO reports draw on ''situated knowledge" (Stoetzler & Yuval-Davis, 2002)—or firsthand accounts from civil society organizations located in post-conflict communities. They affirm that in war-affected states participative mainstreaming has specific data, transitional justice, and governance requirements as policy actors press for heightened attention to issues such as the effects on women of war-induced poverty and human rights violations—as well as the need to promote women's empowerment in state reconstruction and peace-building.

(b) Civil society organisations' discourse

Two key aspects standout in the following analysis. First, the distinctive needs and challenges of mainstreaming in post-conflict contexts. Second, and crucially from the perspective of social theory on ''frame alignment" (see below), there are key contrasts in issue-salience (or ranking of issue-areas of concern) when state and civil society organizations are compared (Table 3). This is significant in a number of important respects. It underlines the distinctive requirements and issues attached to mainstreaming in war-affected societies. It also confirms a global ''one-size-fits-all" approach to PDM that spans post- and non-conflict states is inappropriate. Thus it points to the need for adaptive practice in post-conflict environments. Furthermore, the contrasting issue-salience or prioritization that CSOs attach to frames compared to governments is evidence of a ''governance disjuncture" (p = <0.001).15 It may be seen as symptomatic of a failure to fully embed participative practices so that in-depth idea-tional exchange and dialog between CSOs and state elites is weak or absent. It is exacerbated by war and the way it has

Table 2. Regional differences in issue-salience of policy frames in State Beijing +20 reports (N = 2,498)

Africa Asia Europe

Rights 13.7 17.3 8.1

Generic—equality 6.2 25.5 30.9

GBV 18.4 13.5 18.4

Education 26.3 10.9 4.8

Economic inequality/poverty 15.1 8.1 3.4

Participation 3.8 9.2 21.4

Data 0.5 2.8 4.4

Empowerment 7.5 5.9 2.4

Changing attitudes/discriminatory norms 1.2 3.9 3.4

Training/skills 7.3 3.0 2.8

Table 3. Ranking of lead frames in post-conflict State and CSO discourse

State CSO Frame

6 1 Participation/equal representation of women in decision making

1 2 Rights

3 3 Gender-based violence

4 4 Education

5 5 Economic inequality/poverty

- 6 Widows

2 7 Generic—gender equality

8 8 Training needs

- 9 Displacement/refugees

7 - Data

weakened civil society networking and mobilization—and undermined CSOs' general ability to engage with, and make its "voice" heard by state elites in fulfillment of the BDPfA.

While post conflict contexts may present civil society organizations with more room to mobilize freely and allow forms of mobilization to become more national (not just local, as during conflict), a burgeoning literature describes the manifold arresting effects that conflict may have on CSOs' participation. For example, as Brinkerhoff (2010, p. 69) observes:

some fragile states, especially those in the deteriorating and post-conflict categories, mobilize public opinion and put a media spotlight on intervention efforts. These factors often exacerbate organizational wrangles and uncoordinated cross-purposes among donors and their partners on the ground as they respond to their constituencies, and pursue their mandates and individual interests. Donors do not act as a unified decision-maker; turf battles, and bureaucratic infighting result.

In a similar vein, Anand (2005, p. 27) notes a further range of issues including how: "conflict may exacerbate ethnic rivalry or weaken trust, and diminish possibilities for collective action", with further challenges arising from "diminished human resource capacity of institutions in the post-conflict phase due to displacement and migration". Moreover, Evans-Kent and Bleiker (2003, p. 103) paint a picture of the particular challenges of post-conflict settings for participation: "NGOs remain severely limited by ad hoc and project-specific funding sources, as well as by the overall policy environment in which they operate. Unless these underlying issues are addressed, NGOs will ultimately become little more than extensions of prevalent multilateral and state-based approaches to post-conflict reconstruction". In addition, Wessells (2007, p. 264, chap. 15) also alludes to the psycho-social damage of conflict on civil society. This means "mobilization approaches [to boost NGO participation] face numerous practical and conceptual obstacles. In some situations, organizational cultures provide significant challenges... the provision of direct services can become a surrogate for consultation,

partnership, and empowerment. It can also become a mind-set and part of organizational culture that is difficult to change". Moreover, Kandiyoti (2006, chap. 15) observes how years of gender oppression during conflict undermines women's social capital and negatively impacts on both skills and propensity to engage in policy and politics, a pathology compounded by the bureaucratization of aid programmes in the aftermath of war. This resonates with the work of Fitzduff and Church (2004, p. 3, chap. 1) who note that "many NGOs, perhaps the majority, do not feel as yet they have the experience, skills, confidence, time or resources to step away from their daily activities and engage in the policy arena. For some this has led to a sense of powerlessness where official actors and the policy process are concerned which inhibits their ability to strategize and engage effectively". Lastly, Antlov, Brinkerhoff and Rapp's (2010, p. 417) account points to difficulties stemming from "overreliance on confrontational advocacy strategies, shallow organizational capacity, inability to cooperate to leverage impact, limited outreach to indigenous constituencies and sustainability problems".

In the present study the foregoing challenges facing civil society organizations manifest themselves in a dissonance; state and civil society are shown to be pursuing different actions and priorities. Taken together, they point to the dis-tinctiveness of the post-conflict environment for the application of mainstreaming. Importantly, they underline that mainstreaming needs to be adapted to the needs of post-conflict states through state-civil society dialog in order that it is supported and "owned" by citizens as well as elites.

The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action is explicit on the foregoing point. As noted, Article 20 highlights the need for civil society engagement in the implementation of gender mainstreaming. A strong indication that current practice falls short of this is the fact that the lead frame in the civil society organisations' discourse is increasing women's participation in decision-making. It accounted for almost a third of

PC State


Figure 2. Civil society organisations' and state framing on the implementation of the BDPfA in post-conflict countries (N = 15,428).

all quasi-sentences (31.1%), whereas it was a lowly sixth-ranked in the state discourse (Figure 2). The current findings show civil society organizations repeatedly calling on governing elites to increase opportunities for women to participate in matters like peace-building and reconstruction. As noted, the CSO discourse also underlines how the legacy of war disrupts and diminishes civil society organizations' networks and capacity to engage in policy work. Examples of this include: ''Firstly, threats and attacks on the right to life by the various combatants force women to move, for the most part, away from the rural areas, where they are conducting productive projects that empower other women and strengthen society, which causes a disruption of organizational processes" 16; and

Along with the deepening violence women experience during war, the long-term effects of conflict and militarization create a culture of violence that renders women especially vulnerable after war, because institutions of governance and law are weakened and social fragmentation is pronounced. .. We reaffirm the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and in peace-building, and to stress the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security, and the need to increase their role in decision-making with regard to conflict prevention and resolution'.17

This is a troubling finding because, as a burgeoning literature attests, post-conflict contexts may present propitious political opportunity structures for feminist activism (Handrahan, 2004; Kandiyoti, 2006, chap. 15; Smet, 2009). As noted, the ''policy window" (Kingdon, 1995) following the cessation of conflict creates opportunities to challenge prevailing attitudes, establish new norms, propose new rules, select and empower new leaders, and embed gender equality in new institutions (Goetz & Hassim, 2003). In the parlance of (neo-)institutionalist theory (Collier & Collier, 1991; Ertman, 1997) post-conflict societies present a ''critical juncture" and avail opportunities to disrupt the ''path

dependency" (Pierson & Skocpol, 2002, p. 6) of male-oriented norms and practices that have hitherto characterized contemporary culture.

The analysis also reveals that framing in relation to participation frequently invokes the UN policy framework as a raison d'etre for revised practice by government—emphasizing the need to embed women's participation in peace treaties and the policies of reconstruction. For example, ''We call on the United Nations and its Member States to implement and expand the provisions of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), by... integrating the role of women into decisionmaking in post-conflict reconstruction and in peacemaking" 18; ''women continue to be left out of formal peace processes. The continued marginalization of women in formal peace processes is a huge impediment to sustainable development, democracy, and lasting peace"19; and ''main goal is to guarantee that gender equality and women full participation in post-conflict society is effectively included as one of the goals of peace agreements and women full participation in post-conflict society".20 The prominence of the ''participation" frame is both a reflection of an apparent strong demand on the part of CSOs to engage and an indication that women remain under-represented and marginalized in the process of reconstruction. The signal message emerging from the data is that implementation of the PDM in post-conflict states requires specific adaptive measures to overcome this; it is an issue that is returned to in the penultimate section of the paper.

The second-ranked frame was ''justice/rights" (10.7%). As in the case of the state discourse, this underlines the interplay, (often overlooked in the mainstreaming literature), between "transitional justice", gender justice and post-conflict reconstruction (cf. Mckay, 2000; Tomlinson, 2011). However, in contrast to the earlier state discourse, CSOs placed particular emphasis on the enforcement of rights. The distinction here is that government discourse can be characterized by an over-

riding concern with public administration whereas CSOs' emphasis is on citizen protection and empowerment. Examples of the civil society discourse include: ''to defend fundamental human rights, including freedom of thought, expression and assembly or organization... promotes the growth and development of free and vigorous civil societies",21 and ''Women's rights as human rights are indeed fundamental to societal growth and well-being". 22 True to the normative vision of mainstreaming the discourse demands that human rights be embedded in all aspects of governance and policy. For example, we ''call on all donor countries to place women's human rights at the core of funding policies for reconstruction and development by ensuring that women avail of funds directly" 23; and ''We urge [government] to endorse the idea of integrating peace/human rights education into all systems of education as a positive means of preventing violent con-flict".24

A further prominent concern in the CSO discourse related to damaged and dysfunctional justice systems in post-conflict states. In particular, attention centered on the diminished capacity to uphold laws promoting gender equality. For example, ''discrimination in the justice system may result in a number of ways, including from laws that do not at first glance appear to be discriminatory, or from a lack of enforcement of laws".25 Allied to the foregoing, the data also show CSOs calling for incorporation of UN obligations into domestic law. For example, ''Since international mandates are often not implemented, even within signatory countries, national laws that promote women's rights need to be adopted and enforced".26

Within the frame a reoccurring trope was gender and access to justice. A burgeoning literature attests to widespread and deep-set problems in ensuring that prevailing legal structures and processes are accessible and promoted gender equality (cf. Askin, 2002; Manjoo & McRaith, 2011; Meertens & Zambrano, 2010). Examples of the present discourse include: ''discrimination in the justice system may result in a number of ways, including... from a failure to institute special measures to redress the historically unequal opportunities provided to men and women or from women's lack of access to justice... they symbolize the clear disrespect of Governments for the fundamental right of women to equality"27; and there is a continuing need ''to remove the obstacles to access to justice by women and girl survivors of violence... [and] to empower organizations fighting violence against women and girls so they can intervene as civil plaintiffs by 2015".28

Raising awareness of gender rights is a further key theme under this frame. For example: ''Women and girls should have access to justice. While all people are entitled to justice, women and girls are often unaware of their rights and significant barriers are put in their way in seeking to exercise those rights. Cultural as well as institutional barriers must be traversed so that women's human rights are not trampled upon. Gender-friendly police and courts are important".29 The discourse also underlines the need for the descriptive representation of women in the institutions of justice, in other words, as a burgeoning literature attests (cf. Razavi, 1997) gender balance in official positions—such as the parliament and the judiciary. For example, ''it is only through the participation of women in peace-making, and protection in their role as vital witnesses in post-conflict war crimes tribunals, that other women will feel safe enough to confront their oppressors".30 Moreover, analysis of the CSO discourse underlines the need to secure gender equality in

leadership roles in civil society organizations. For example, "to place women's human rights at the core of funding policies for reconstruction and development by ensuring that women... participate and take leadership in reconstructing community life and to participate in decision-making at local, regional and national levels".31

Gender-based violence was the third-ranked frame (9.8%). As Chrispus Okello and Hovil (2007, p. 433) note, over recent years "gender-related crimes have been pervasive [yet] the nascent field of transitional justice is only just beginning to grapple with these issues or design appropriate measures of redress". This is reflected in the CSO discourse. For example, we "urge national governments and the international community to ensure full implementation of international humanitarian and human rights law that protects the rights of women and children during and after conflicts [and] Address the roots of conflicts such as 'gender-related' violations including rape".32 Greater attention to the health implications of GBV was a further prominent trope. For example, ''In Rwanda, widows who were victims of rape during the genocide, continue, nearly a decade later, to face abuse and stigma, and without the most rudimentary health care for lack of

funds". 33

The fourth-ranked frame was education (9.2% of quasi-sentences). Two main tropes characterized this frame. Education as a means of empowerment—and embedding peace, respect, and tolerance in the school curriculum. In the former case Sorensen (1998, p. 25) observes, ''efforts to create democratic institutions and recognize basic human rights are manifold in most post-conflict countries. From a gender perspective, these efforts are often welcomed as a step to creating greater gender equality and women have been active in trying to protect this new space by organizing civic education". This is reflected in the CSO discourse. For example, ''Strengthening women's capacities to act through systems and in public forums can be accomplished by well-developed 'popular education' at the community level as well as through academic higher education, which, though valuable and necessary, is not available to many women".34 The discourse on community-based initiatives is complemented by that on state schooling. For example, ''there is a need for curriculum reform and teacher training for higher quality schools to provide a more robust and relevant educational opportunities for girls".35

Fifth-ranked, ''economic equality/poverty" was a frame that accounted for 8.6% of quasi-sentences in the CSO discourse. For example, ''gender equality is absolutely essential both for the progressive realization of women's rights and for any successful development strategy. Women continue to bear the brunt of poverty. It is estimated that 70% of the poor are women, and their lack of power and assets is a major obstacle to poverty eradication".36 Notably, the discourse places particular attention on the negative social consequences of poverty. For example, ''poverty is taking new shapes, such as human trafficking, and is increasing... those who fall prey to human traffickers are those in extreme poverty... Without addressing the root cause of poverty, its consequences, such as human trafficking, child marriage, prostitution, and other social evils, cannot be prevented".37

Underlining the distinctiveness of the post-conflict environment for mainstreaming practices, meeting the policy needs of war widows was the next ranked frame (5.9%). Diverse tropes made up the frame including attention to participation and human rights.

Armed conflict creates millions of widows and wives of the "disappear ed"... In the reconstruction process these women are so often neglected, their voices are not heard. They have no legal rights. Neither their immediate nor their long-term needs are adequately addressed. These abandoned women should be crucial players in the reconstruction process... They are the very backbone of society and we should empower them.38

In addition, attention centered on greater attention to ''the link between the poverty of children and the lack of widows' human rights" 39; as well as the need for more accurate data to underpin policy: ''there is a lack of reliable data on, among others, numbers, ages, needs, roles, lifestyles, experiences of violence, coping strategies, support systems and aspirations of widows".40 Moreover, CSOs called for more measures to prevent the exploitation and end the vulnerability of widows. For example, ''in Afghanistan and Iraq young widows and the daughters of widows have been sold into forced marriages, exploited labor, prostitution, and trafficking. Widows, because they have no longer the protection of a male partner, are exposed to rape and other violence. Traditional customs may deny them rights of inheritance or land ownership so that there is no possible escape from their poverty".41

It is also notable that CSOs generally eschew specific reference to ''mainstreaming". The latter accounted for under 1% of quasi-sentences overall. This is striking and suggests that CSOs generally lack both knowledge and awareness of the concept. Such a ''disconnect" is deeply problematic for, as Walby (2005, p. 332) explains, ''the level of sophistication of the gender equality awareness within the political environment affects whether state functionaries can effectively implement gender mainstreaming". Thus the present findings resonate with earlier work on African states by Wendoh and Wallace (2005, p. 75). This concluded that: ''gender mainstreaming is largely an external concept. It has been adopted by governments and by some local NGOs, usually those headed by women and urban based. Gender mainstreaming is often perceived by other NGOs to be for the benefit of donors, rather than the benefit of communities'.

Furthermore, the findings reveal how gender mainstreaming in post-conflict contexts requires attention to women's training and skills. It is an issue outlined by Das (2014, p. 206) who notes, ''understanding of the gap between women's motivation to participate and their ability or agency to do so... highlights how bridging this gap could be pivotal in strengthening women's role in...governance". Examples of the discourse include, ''Enabling Environment... Needed are more mentoring and training programs so that women will be ready to step into such roles" 42; ''the priorities in justice for these widows are for security, protection from violence, enjoyment of the right to education and training for paid work" 43; and ''the gender sensitizing training of peacekeeping forces has not progressed sufficiently nor has there been adequate publication of monitoring or evaluation".44

A further key aspect of the CSO discourse was the way that post-conflict states present the need for adaptive implementation of the PDM in order to address gendered patterns of care. Examples include: ''Many young women are carers of adults disabled by conflict. They themselves experience long-term physical and psychological effects of conflict. Furthermore there has been little focus on how they can be more effectively involved in peace building processes"; and ''Many young women are carers of adults disabled by conflict. They themselves experience long-term physical and psychological effects of conflict. Furthermore there has been little focus on how they can be more effectively involved in peace-building processes. Young women are crucial stakeholders in post conflict reconstruction yet in many countries there has been little or no

attempt to engage girls in constructing future peaceful societies, and in doing so to tackle the domination of political are-

nas by men .

Lastly, "gender budgeting" refers to a gender-based assessment of budgets, incorporating a gender perspective at all levels of the budgetary process and restructuring revenues and expenditures in order to promote gender equality" (Quinn, 2009). It is a further frame in the discourse where CSOs emphasize the need for adaptive practice in post-conflict contexts. Examples of the discourse include: "the participation of women in creating gender-responsive budgets is critical to enhancing this process [of promoting gender equality]. However, the lack of adequate resources has been one factor at the national level that has hindered progress toward the fulfillment of commitments made by governments on financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women".46


The foregoing empirical analysis is the basis for theory-building. Specifically, based on government and civil society discourse, the data identify the ways in which the implementation of PDM needs to be adapted in war-affected countries. The resulting Transformative Model of Participative Mainstreaming proposed here is based on Vayrynen's (1991) work on conflict theory and transformation (Figure 3). However, in contrast to the original, it is not directly concerned with conflict, but rather its aftermath—and gender mainstreaming in war-affected states across diverse aspects including peace-building, reconstruction and democratization. As Figure 3 reveals, four Transformational Domains apply to the application of PDM: actor (internal changes in civil and civic society); issue (altering the agenda of gender relations); rule (changes in the norms or rules governing gender relations); and structural (revising the structure of gender relations and power distribution in the post-conflict society).

Based upon the foregoing empirical analysis, each of the domains is populated by ''Post-conflict issues/Actions". They represent the issues emerging from the discourse analysis needing specific attention in post-conflict states. In other words, in contrast to practice elsewhere, they are areas where the implementation of participative mainstreaming needs to be adapted to the specifities of the war-affected states. The following examples provide illustration using the CSO discourse:

• Actor Transformations (meaning: internal changes in civil and civic society)—Training for gender-equality in labormarket, public-life etc. denied through conflict. For example a Sudanese CSO calls for action to: "develop women's capacities and impart skills to women with the aim of improving their economic situation... Improve women's leadership abilities on the basis of project implementation and provide a database for the purpose of forecasting women's needs in the different core areas of development".47

• Issue Transformations (meaning: altering the agenda of gender relations)—Embed peace/tolerance and gender equality in school curriculum. For example: "Recommendations for Governments, international actors, and civil society organizations. There are several barriers that prevent girls from going to school... There is a need for curriculum reform and teacher training for higher quality schools to provide a more robust and relevant educational opportunities for girls".48

Transformation Domain Post-conflict issues/ Actions

Actor transformations - internal changes in civil and civic society; Redress - pursuing rights violations/ GBV that occurred during conflict

Increase women's access to education - disrupted/ denied through conflict

Promote women's health and well-being negatively impacted by war

Training - for gender-equality in labour-market, public-life etc. denied through conflict

Improve women's access to justice to address rights violations during war

Measure to develop women's social capital/ associative life to promote participative democracy/ policy engagement - and seize post-conflict political opportunity structures

Secure gender equality in leadership roles in civil society organisations

Issue transformations - altering the agenda of gender relations; Data-gathering - address general absence of social data-gathering during war/ retrospective data-gathering during peacetime to inform understanding of gendered impact of conflict

Policy intervention to meet welfare needs of war widows

Embed peace/ tolerance and gender equality in school curriculum

Address gendered impact of war-induced poverty

Promote women's rights as fundamental to state reconstruction/ societal growth

Address the gendered impact of war-related people-displacement/ refugees

Implement policies designed to address intersectional issues linked to conflict (e.g. gender, poverty and age; gender and ethnicity/ faith)

Social care policies need to be adapted to meet and address the specific issues related to war survivors/ veteran and their carers

Rule transformations - changes in the norms or rules governing gender relations; Embed gender rights in new post-conflict governance

Enshrine women's rights/ gender equality in revised/ post-conflict constitutional frameworks

Promoting cultural / affitudinal change in peacetime - end association between androcenticism and bellicosity

Promote societal awareness of women's rights/ gender equality in context of rights violations during war

Adoption of mainstreaming tools/ techniques as fundamental tenet of government policy-making to address legacy of war

Structural/ institutional transformations - changing the structure of gender relations and power distribution in the post-conflict society. Transitional justice - rebuilding of state institutions to uphold women's rights (e.g. equality and human rights commissions)

Women's participation in post-conflict decision-making/ women's role in peace-building and reconstruction

Address discrimination in the justice system - repeal laws that are discriminatory/ address under-enforcement of equality and HR laws

Ensure gender-equal (re-)distribution of wealth (gender budgeting) as part of move away from a war economy

Rebuild state-civil society nexus set-back/ weakened by episodes of conflict

Figure 3. A Transformative Model of Participative Mainstreaming in Post-conflict States.

• Rule Transformations (meaning: changes in the norms or rules governing gender relations)—Enshrine women's rights/gender equality in revised/post-conflict constitutional frameworks. For example: "voices must be heard...They must be involved in decision-making at every level, from the national to the village. Reforms in the law and new constitutions must reflect the rights they have under international conventions, in keeping with the Beijing Platform for Action".49

• Structural/Institutional Transformations (meaning: changing the structure of gender relations and power distribution in the post-conflict society)—Women's participation in post-conflict decision-making/ women's role in peace-building and reconstruction. For example: "Participate in peacebuilding... women continue to suffer from marginal-ization [... we advocate action] to facilitate the direct engagement of women in decision-making and in public life... building a better means of participation for women during peace processes".50

The model underlines the discursive underpinnings of political

and policy intervention to promote gender equality. In doing

this it draws on Snow and Benford's (1988) seminal work on social movements and the notion of ''frame-alignment". As noted, this is an important element in social mobilization. Specifically, it identifies the issue areas where the frames of key policy actors—such as government and civil society—need to be aligned (''frame resonance"). When this occurs actors ' 'mobilise"—in other words, they successfully advance claims on government, in turn leading to revised policy and practice (Snow et al., 1986). Such frame alignment may occur in any and each of the four domains of the Model. The underlying premise of the model is that effective mainstreaming is contingent on alignment between CSOs' and governing elites' framing of gender mainstreaming in relation to the Post-conflict issues/Actions. There needs to be cooperation, collaboration, and dialog between government and civil society founded on state recognition and appropriate response to CSO claims across the four domains—such that both sides are following shared cognitive maps for action. This is necessary for when CSOs' and governing elites' framing of mainstreaming differs progress is likely to be diminished—or even prevented— though a range of factors. The latter include: conscious or unconscious resistance, the over-extension of available

resources (for they are not targeted in a strategic manner), and uncoordinated (and possibly conflicting) actions as government and CSOs pursue contrasting aims and priorities.


This study makes an original contribution to contemporary understanding of the promotion of gender equality. When post-conflict states are compared to non-conflict states, the analysis shows that distinctive policy framing and issue salience applies to war-affected counties. This is important to policy and practice because it underlines that it is inappropriate to apply a universal approach to implementing the Participative Democratic Model of gender mainstreaming across all 180+ states that are signatories to the United Nations Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

Instead, as the foregoing critical analysis of government and civil society discourse reveals, post-conflict societies present specific issues and challenges. These extend across four domains: actor transformations (internal changes in civil and civic society), issue transformations (altering the agenda of gender relations), rule transformations (changes in the norms or rules governing gender relations) and structural/institutional transformations (changing the structure of gender relations and power distribution in the post-conflict society). They include data, transitional justice and governance requirements that are specific to post-conflict societies as policy actors press for heightened attention to issues such as the effects on women of war-induced poverty and human rights violations—as well as the need to promote women's empowerment in state reconstruction and peace-building.

The contrasting issue-salience and prioritization that CSOs attach to frames compared to governments identified in this study can be seen as evidence of a "governance disjuncture". A primary reason is the failure to fully embed participative practices so that in-depth ideational exchange and dialog can take place between CSOs and state elites. The present analysis shows governments have failed to give sufficient

attention to the issue-areas of concern emphasized by CSOs. This "disconnect" is exacerbated by war and the way it has weakened civil society networking and mobilization—and thus undermined CSOs' general ability to engage with, and make its "voice" heard by state elites in fulfillment of the BDPfA.

The way that the aftermath of war may accentuate a dis-juncture between the discourse of civil society organizations and governing policy elites (frame misalignment—or dissonance) is captured by the Model of Transformative Mainstreaming outlined in the foregoing discussion. It shows how such a situation may hamper progress toward gender equality because a necessary pre-condition for effective mainstreaming is absent; namely alignment in the policy framing of government and civil society organizations—such that both parties have shared understandings, priorities, and "cognitive maps" for action. The current study also suggests a number of avenues for future research including: analysis of the changing issue-salience of policy frames over time following the cessation of war; study of how attempts to implement the participative democratic model of mainstreaming are shaped by past-governing traditions in the polity (including electoral politics, dominant political ideologies, voting systems, and the power of the military); and examination of the inter-connections between political communication, citizen education and the promotion of mainstreaming.

In summary, the present analysis underlines that where there is dissonance between state and civil society policy framing effective implementation of gender mainstreaming may falter. This is because of factors like conscious or unconscious resistance to reform, failure to target finite resources in a strategic manner, and uncoordinated (and possibly conflicting) actions—as government and CSOs pursue contrasting policy aims and priorities. To ward against such pathologies, the current study emphasizes the need for adaptive practice utilizing the Transformative Model of Participative Mainstreaming in order that the implementation of mainstreaming is tailored to the specificities of war-affected states and founded on effective participation and co-working between state and civil society.


2. See for example, and http://www.systemicpeace. org/warlist/warlist.htm [accessed 25.01.2015].

3. As part of the follow-up to the Fourth UN World Conference on Women and the 23rd special session of the General Assembly.

4. See Uppsala Conflict Data Program (2010) research/UCDP/data_and_publications/definition_of_armed_conflict.htm [accessed 25.01.2015].

5. See for example, and http://www.systemicpeace. org/warlist/warlist.htm [accessed 25.01.2015].

6. Australia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Japan, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Sweden and the UK.

7. Out of a population of 600.

8. v2 = 795.176, df= 9.

9. v2 = 113 006, df= 1.

10. v2 = 239.67, df= 1.

11. v2 = 15.131, df = 1.

12. v2 = 142.2, df = 1.

13. v2 = 33.292, df = 1.

14. v2 = 477.276, df = 18.

15. v2 = 1681.654, df= 9.

16. Colombian Commission of Jurists, a nongovernmental Organization; E/CN.6/2004/NGO/40.

17. 3HO Foundation, Asian Women in Cooperative Development Forum, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, Canadian Federation of University Women et al.; E/CN.6/2008/NGO/26.

18. Soroptimist International, E/CN.6/2003/NGO/12.

19. Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, International Volunteerism Organization for Women, Education, and Development, Istituto Internazionale Maria Ausiliatrice delle Salesiane di Don Bosco and Salesian Missions; E/CN.6/2014/NGO/84. Fifty-third session 2-13 March, 2009.

20. Africa Muslims Agency and Muslim World League; Federation of Muslim Women's Associations in Nigeria, International Islamic Committee for Woman and Child, et al., E/CN.6/2004/NGO/36.

21. Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa; E/CN.6/2013/ NGO/115.

22. Integrated Development Services; E/CN.6/2014/NGO/105.

23. European Women's Lobby; E/CN.6/2004/NGO/12.

24. Canadian Voice of Women for Peace; E/CN.6/2004/NGO/33.

25. Equality Now, E/CN.6/2010/NGO/3.

26. International Federation of Social Workers; E/CN.6/2012/NGO/12.

27. Equality Now, E/CN.6/2010/NGO/3.

28. ABANTU for Development, Association of African Women for Research and Development, Coalition nationale de Guinee pour les droits et la citoyennete des femmes, E/CN.6/2013/NGO/73.

29. Zonta International; E/CN.6/2014/NGO/170.

30. National Alliance of Women's Organizations; E/CN.6/2004/ NGO/30.

31. European Women's Lobby; E/CN.6/2004/NGO/12.

32. World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts; E/CN.6/2008/ NGO/5.

33. Empowering Widows in Development; E/CN.6/2004/NGO/7.

34. Grail; E/CN.6/2004/NGO/26.

35. Femmes Afrique Solidarite, International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms and Women's International League for Peace and Freedom; E/CN.6/2011/NGO/49.

36. Christian Aid, E/CN.6/2014/NGO/25.

37. Society of Catholic Medical Missionaries, E/CN.6/2014/NGO/126.

38. Empowering Widows in Development; E/CN.6/2005/NGO/7.

39. Widows Rights International; E/CN.6/2006/NGO/7.

40. Guild of Service, E/CN.6/2014/NGO/43.

41. Empowering Widows in Development, E/CN.6/2005/NGO/7.

42. World Veterans Federation; E/CN.6/2006/NGO/21.

43. Empowering Widows in Development; E/CN.6/2004/NGO/7.

44. Women's National Commission; E/CN.6/2004/NGO/28.

45. Northern Ireland Women's European Platform; E/CN.6/2007/ NGO/31.

46. International Council of Women, International Federation of Business and Professional Women, International Federation ofUniversity Women, Soroptimist International and Zonta International; E/CN.6/2008/NGO/1.

47. Sudanese Women General Union, E/CN.6/2011/NGO/31.

48. Femmes Afrique Solidarite et al. E/CN.6/2011/NGO/49.

49. Empowering Widows in Development E/CN.6/2004/NGO/7.

50. South Sudanese Women Christian Mission for Peace, E/CN.6/2014/ NGO/72.


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