by Cheryl Bernard et al.
This study examines gender-specific impacts of conflict and post-conflict and the ways in which events in these contexts may affect women differently than they affect men. It analyzes the roles of women in the nation-building process and considers outcomes that might occur if current practices were modified. The recent nation-building activities in Afghanistan are used as a case study. Despite the difficulty of collecting data in conflict zones, the information available from Afghanistan provides several pragmatic points for consideration. Gender issues have been overtly on the table from the beginning of U.S. post-conflict involvement in Afghanistan, in part because of the Taliban’s equally overt prior emphasis on gender issues as a defining quality of its regime. Also, the issue of women’s inclusion is an official part of Afghanistan’s development agenda, so all the active agents in the nation-building enterprise have made conscious choices and decisions that can be reviewed and their underlying logic evaluated.