Scholars and Practitioners Focused on Women and Peacebuilding Need to Take Religion More Seriously

Author: Katherine Marshall

May 25, 2022

Katherine Marshall argues that the missing link of understanding and integrating religious dimensions in broader analyses, specifically in relation to women, results in significant gaps in appreciating and advancing peacebuilding. Religious factors can lead to a double exclusion of women’s perspectives, first from the classic “diplomatic” perspective, and second because religious traditions rarely give visibility and influence to women. This obscures significant areas of work and roles, positive and negative, actual and potential, that infuse the realities of conflict and peace. She concludes that two related fields—peacebuilding and women’s studies—would benefit in countless ways by looking more deliberately and thoughtfully to the very diverse roles that religion plays in understanding conflicts and developing and creating better paths towards positive peace. This article was included in Peace Policy no. 51, published by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

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