With a focus on Northeast Indian experiences and a comparative look at Nepal, this project addresses the role of women in local governance and politics, particularly within the context of peace and security processes, two of the thematic areas highlighted by the call. This is a collaborative effort by PRIO and six partner institutions in India and Nepal: Malaviya Centre for Peace Research (MCPR) at Banaras Hindu University, Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group (CRG), WISCOMP in New Delhi, North Eastern Social Research Centre (NESRC) in Assam, Nambol L. Sanoi College in Manipur, and National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South in Nepal. Our goal is to investigate what women’s empowerment might mean in different contexts, i.e. in protracted conflict without third party mediation in Northeast India, and a post-conflict setting with heavy multilateral and international involvement in Nepal. Recognising the active but understudied and often unacknowledged role of women in conflict as well as peacebuilding, we approach this question by studying how gendered political power is transformed in conflict, assuming that differences in the forms and expressions of gendered power relations during and after conflict impact on how ‘empowerment’ might be achieved. By contextualising and tracing manifestations of gendered political power in conflict as well as post-conflict settings, our project will contribute new knowledge on processes of ‘disempowerment’ and ‘empowerment’ in conflict and peace building.
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