Gender Equality & Development after Violent Conflicts: The Effects of Gender Policies in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
This thesis analyses the effects of gender inclusive policies or the lack of such on development at a time of conflict transformation. It has nowadays been established that the presence of women and the existence of gendered policies at a time of peace building are vital for the development of any country or region presently in this situation. Despite this knowledge, inclusion of women and gender has remained scarce and effects of their integration have thus proven difficult to measure. It is the aim of this thesis to support research in this area, by demonstrating the implications of incorporating or failing to implement different types of gender inclusive policies on the example of the actions taken in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The Kurdistan Region is currently in a unique position of its development. After withstanding decades of armed conflict, the region today is greatly autonomous and economically prosperous. For the previous decade it has been the government’s aim to decrease the potential of new conflict, to become internationally competitive and to increase positive development for its people. One of their stated foci was thereby the promotion of gender and women’s inclusion in public policies. By comparing the policies deployed in the Kurdistan Region with experiences and knowledge from around the world, and by using the citizens of the region themselves as validators, this thesis will examine if the existing policies have had the desired effect, and if not, what should be changed. This will be done in the political, economic and social sphere (focusing on education), with the outcome that policies introduced by Kurdistan’s decision makers are partly positive, but lack in consistency, inclusiveness and gender sensitivity. This leads to a loss of human resources for the region, as well as to unequal effects within society, and thus to a lack of sustainable peace.
PhD in Kurdish Studies