The Center for the Study of Gender and Conflict is an intellectual community of students, researchers and practitioners dedicated to understanding gender and conflict, founded on the recognition of the increasing need for attention to gender in peace-building and post-conflict reconstruction efforts. CGC facilitates a number of events, courses and research opportunities throughout the year, and supports students to initiate programs and research.
In fall 2012, The School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution’s Dean and Faculty Board approved the creation of a new Center for the Study of Gender and Conflict (CGC). Building upon a decade of intensive faculty-student engagement in gender-related work at S-CAR, CGC serves as a link between the academy and the field to deepen and expand our understanding of the gendered dimensions of conflict. The Center serves as a nexus point for student and faculty driven research, uniting current students with alumni directed peacebuilding and conflict resolution work in the field, and training the next generation of highly trained practitioners and scholars to work on issues of gender and conflict in NGOs, governmental agencies, universities, and community organizations.
CGC addresses gender and conflict through three primary scopes of initiatives- Research, Theory and Practice. Our goal with all of our teaching, practical work in conflict and post-conflict settings, programs on campus, consultation services, and research projects is to create space for critical reflection and to push the theoretical boundaries of the field of gender and conflict. Recognizing that gender impacts all facets of life, the CGC represents not a boundary marking off a specialized set of interests, but a true center point around which a diverse group of faculty, students and international partners can cohere and collaborate.
Each semester CGC brings together members of the S-CAR community with leading gender scholars from around the world to push the theoretical boundaries on emergent issues, provides formal programming to engage faculty and students in discussions on gender and conflict, and offers courses related to gender, conflict and violence. The increasing attention to gender in conflict at the UN, USIP, and other organizations has led to a need for highly skilled practitioners and scholars- a need that CGC is uniquely positioned to address.
Outside the walls of S-CAR, the CGC collaborates with a range of partners to expand our theoretical and practical work. Along with S-CAR alumni, we are developing a capacity-building program for grassroots peace builders that will offer students valuable experience working on gender issues in field settings. Directly undertaking a consultative role, the CGC was invited to submit a working paper to the UN to assist in thinking through their agenda once the Millennium Development Goals draw to a close in 2015. We delivered a paper arguing for a need to innovate our measures of inequality, moving past the neoliberal assumptions that reduce equality and empowerment to narrow economic indicators. CGC will continue to build these external partnerships as a way to both expand our own base of knowledge and create a pipeline to employment for our graduating students.
Over the next twelve months, CGC will be increasing our curricular offerings on gender and conflict research, theory and practice. Through our specialized courses, along with the efforts we have undertaken to increase our students’ engagement in organizations working in the field, and our collaborations with scholars around the globe, CGC will train and inspire the next generation of gender scholars and practitioners.