The Political, Social and Economic Consequences for Women of Decisions Made

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This significantly involves getting the
political and legal structures back in some sort of order, often by a
hurried and haphazard process of appointing numbers of people to powerful
posts by diktat. Apparently gender-balanced, most of the time this process
has completely excluded women, with little or no space created for the
nation’s women to have a more flexible, dynamic future. It often looks like
a process of recreating the past, where ‘the history and culture of the
region’ takes complete precedence over women’s human rights as accepted as a
universal norm, and despite being signatories to UN SCR1325.

In Sierra Leone, for sheer expediency, 100 Paramount Chiefs were appointed
as legal authority, in a political, social and economic atmosphere where
women had had few rights over the Centuries, often unable to inherit
property or seek elected office. 98 were men and 2 were women. This was
funded by British aid money in a political, social and economic atmosphere
where women had had few rights over the Centuries, often unable to inherit
property or seek elected office.
In Kosovo, Bernard Kouchner appointed 17 members of the interim authority,
all of whom were men.
In Iraq, there is already a repeat of this process, with clerics being given
important political power in Basra, and overwhelmingly men in that famous
tent.

What are the downstream effects of this chaotic, rapid and customary
hand-over by men to men as far as women are concerned? How does this habit
of handing power back to the men distort women’s aspirations, rights and
expectations for years beyond the peace settlement? How aware or not aware
are the players in post-conflict reconstruction, especially the successful
Powers, that sidelining, overlooking or excluding women from the process at
the top levels can have decades of negative consequences for economic
growth, social and political stability, and even the development of
Democracy itself – often the chief aim of the conflict in the first place,
viz Iraq?

Clearly an examination of the conflicts of the past decade could give
important pointers. It would be a really valuable service to the world if
someone and/or some organisation could pick this research need up and run
with it, to be available to the prevailing Power in the many conflicts and
settlements to come, as in the DRC or Sudan.

Tim Symonds

Partner

Eyecatcher Associates/Shevolution

Park Farm Oast

Burwash Etchingham

East Sussex TN19 7DR

United Kingdom

Tel. +44 (0) 1435 882 655

Mobile +44 (0) 7773 776314

[email protected]

http://www.shevolution.com