Salwa Mansuri. Resident Intern, Princeton Foundation for Peace & Learning; and Graduate Candidate at the London School of Economics. firstname.lastname@example.org
International Development focuses on “improving the lives of individuals worldwide through areas of need and interest”. These areas of interest typically range from healthcare and gender equality to robust governing structures in armed conflict to sustainable and renewable energy production. These areas of interest are formally documented as part of the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They are a list of 17 goals adopted by member states of the United Nations on the 1st of January 2016. Rather than merely focusing on development in isolation, the goals focus particularly on development interventions that are sustainable and seek to foster inclusivity.
In the most recent speech at the United Nations, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres galvanized the international community and called for a “Decade of Action”, highlighting that there are just under 10 years to accomplish the SDGs . He called upon members of civil society, youth, business leaders in the private sector, researchers in academia and other stakeholders to collectively work towards the accomplishment of the SDGs. Civil society members and organizations have called for a “super year of activism” that accelerates and bolsters efforts towards achieving the 2030 targets. At the core of such discourses lie three key agendas: tackling growing poverty, the empowerment of women and girls, and climate emergency.
This blogpost focuses particularly on educational interventions for women in armed conflict in the Global South. The argument commences by evaluating contemporary education development interventions implemented in areas of conflict and finds them as homogeneous, one that implement a “one-size fits all” approach. Our analysis suggests the current interventions largely dismiss the heterogeneous, dynamic and diverse experiences of women in armed conflict in the Global South. In particular, it focuses on the lack of integration of individualized voices of women in the contemporary interventions. Developmental interventions must do more than just create blanket frameworks curated by experts and implemented across all fragile zone contexts without any customization. More importantly, a participatory approach is required to fulfill the diverse and individualized educational needs of women and girls in armed conflict.
Contemporary Educational Interventions for women in armed Conflict (the Global South)
The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action launched in 1995 by 189 member states of the United Nations was one of the few nascent development interventions that recognized the role and impact of women in armed conflict as an area of urgent and critical concern. Educational Interventions for Women in Armed Conflict are adopted by various stakeholders including but not limited to international organizations, civil society and grassroots organizations, government entities and philanthropic initiatives. However, considering the limited scope of this blog and the wealth of education-related development interventions, this blogpost focuses particularly on international development organizations like the United Nations Girl’s Education Initiative and other entities that work in various country contexts simultaneously. This is not to say, however, that grassroots level organizations or governments should implement homogenous interventions, but rather, that the homogeneity visible in contemporary interventions stems largely from institutions and organizations that work in an international context as discussed subsequently
Evidence 1: “Operational Framework for Effective Support in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Contexts of the Global Partnership for Education