Religion, Gender, and Peacebuilding

Susan Hayward

Susan Hayward
Roundtable Chair

In recent years, diplomats and peace practitioners have acknowledged the limits of past peace efforts that marginalized the religious sector and have developed significant programs engaging religious ideas, actors, and institutions in efforts to advance sustainable peace. At the same time, with the passage of UN Security Resolution 1325 calling for the equal participation of women in peacebuilding, the international community acknowledged the limits of past peace efforts that marginalized women. Despite the advances in understanding and engagement of religious actors and women in peacebuilding, the experiences of religious women peacebuilders is little known. A good deal of existing religious peacebuilding scholarship has focused on exemplary male religious figures or failed to address with depth gender dynamics in (and implications of) religious peacebuilding. Meanwhile, a good deal of the scholarship on gender, conflict, and peace has focused little on religious dynamics hampering or propelling women’s full participation in peacebuilding (particularly religious dynamics propelling women into peace work). This seminar will examine the obstacles and opportunities that women religious peacebuilders face as they navigate both the complex conflicts they are seeking to resolve and the power dynamics in the institutions and societies they must deal with in order to accomplish their goals. We will learn about women leaders from across faith traditions and regions who draw on religious resources in their efforts to build peaceful and inclusive societies, and draw general conclusions about the unique contributions these actors offer.


Student Assistant: TBA
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