Women, men, boys, and girls all experience and are impacted by violence and armed conflict in different ways. Gendered experiences of injustice and marginalisation can be drivers of armed conflict, and armed conflict can have profound impacts on traditional gender roles. Understanding how cultural norms around gender and other identities can contribute to violence and conflict is an essential step towards promoting justice and lasting peace.
At PAX we take an intersectional approach to gender. This means that we understand that gender is just one aspect of a person’s identity, and that their experience of conflict and violence can also be affected by other identity markers including ethnicity, age, (dis)ability, class, sexual orientation, religion and so forth.
PAX aims to respond to the intersectional gendered aspects of violence and conflict in many different ways, such as integrating gender-sensitivity throughout all its work, launching gender-specific pilot projects, and supporting gender-transformative initiatives, whereby we seek to challenge harmful gender norms and pursue inclusive peace and security processes. Inclusive peacebuilding means addressing, challenging, and trying to transform the power dynamics and actors which create divisions and exclude certain groups of people.
During this webinar, we will explain some of the nuances of these different approaches and share examples of our work across the world. We will then have the opportunity to converse with Florence Bateson and Zainab Kadhim about the challenges and impacts of practically integrating a gender approach into peacebuilding in Iraq.
About the speakers:
- Linda al Sharif is a bicultural feminist activist driven by social justice, lucky enough to have been able to blend her academic career and professional path with her intrinsic interests. This includes (but isn’t limited to) being one-third of PAX’s current Gender, Peace, and Security team. She has done research on gendered cultural artefacts in the MENA region, as well as anti-colonial resistance in Palestine specifically, and made grassroots activism her home. Her other comfort-zones are intersectional feminist spaces, political squats and indoor jungles.
- Florence Bateson is a Senior Project Officer for the Iraq programme at Pax. She has worked at PAX for over two years, initially on the Gender, Peace and Security team. She has conducted research in El Salvador, Iraq and Syria on the role of women in revolutionary movements. Since graduating from her Masters in 2015, she has worked extensively with refugees in the Netherlands, specifically with women’s empowerment projects. Her previous job focused on holistic security support for human rights defenders at risk. She is a feminist activist, that tries to fight daily for a better world.
- Zainab Kadhim is the Team Leader and Project Coordinator at Iraqi Al-Amal Association for several Gender, Peace and Security projects, including transgovernorate gender-sensitive advocacy campaigns and Engendering the Transition to Peace and Security in Iraq 1325. Upon attaining her degree in psychology, she joined Psychologists Without Borders as a trainer, coordinator and organiser, and went on to become a trainer of Psychosocial Support and Psychological First Aid Techniques. Additionally, she holds memberships in both the Coordinating Committee at the Iraqi Women Network – containing more than 100 Iraq CSO’s and women activists – as well as the Iraqi Human Rights Defenders and Activist Forum.