Gender Analysis as a Predictor in Conflict Early Warning Systems: Theories from the Ivory Tower

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"Conflict early warning systems (CEWS) for predicting state armed conflict have in recent years begun to integrate gender into their construction and implementation processes (OSCE 2009; Schmeidl 2002). This is supported by the logic that both men and women must be equally considered and integrated into the CEWS process in order to ensure that appropriate security measures are taken and that both groups can feel safe in their communities (OSCE 2009: 2). Less explored is the possibility of using gender analysis as a CEWS instrument to more effectively anticipate conflict in a state, as well as assess risk more generally. Drawing on two dominant approaches to gender analysis of conflict and violence, the paper contributes to the growing field of gender research in pre-conflict contexts, and specifically CEWS, by arguing that integration of gender analysis not only ensures equal security for men and women, but it also increases CEWS operational effectiveness generally. The approaches include the quantitative relationship analysis above mentioned, and constructivist international relations (IR) feminism. The strengths of these two approaches to gender analysis are analysed and instrumentalized to develop and propose an appropriate form of gender analysis that can be applied to CEWS in order to ultimately increase CEWS, and other risk analysis system, effectiveness."