The Sophie Davis Forum on Gender, Conflict Resolution and Peace
The issue of the role of gender in the field of violent conflict and transition to peace has received growing attention in recent years, however it is most often addressed in broad academic frameworks such as gender studies or conflict studies. Thanks to a new generous contribution of Mr. Alan Davis, the Leonard Davis institute for International Relations (LDI) is now creating a research forum that will focus more specifically on the various links between gender, conflict and peace studies (for example, the role of women within conflicts and conflict resolution, in peace-making processes, and gender-based approaches to understanding conflicts and conflict resolution).
Exploring gender studies, peace and security is especially salient in the local reality of protracted conflict which offers an abundance of empirical examples of gender-related issues. Such examples include women’s activism in protest movements such as the Four Mothers Movement (which called for Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon) or during the recent "Arab Spring”, women's experience in and approach to peace negotiations, the experience of Palestinian women under occupation, questions related to gender and the military and the changing perspectives in Israeli society and institutions regarding military service and gender. At the same time, Israel can benefit from learning about events and processes outside Israel, how gender is affected by protracted conflicts, how it affects conflict resolution, etc.
The new research forum will contribute significantly both to the development of the field of gender, conflict and peace studies in Israel, as well as to the field abroad, through outreach to the larger academic community in North America, Europe, and the Third World, and will link the issue of gender studies to that of international studies. In addition, raising interest in and awareness of such issues may also help empower women in Israel, both within the academic arena and beyond it.
The research forum on Gender, Conflict, and Peace will address both general conceptual gender-conflict related issues as well as cases that are unique to the Israeli and Middle Eastern environment. To promote this broad agenda the Forum plans to provide a post-doctoral fellowship, grants for research groups, organize conferences on related issues and invite prominent scholars from abroad to offer short courses and give public talks on topics related to Gender, Conflict, and Peace.