The researchers will work in Somalia, Algeria, northern Nigeria, South Sudan and Sudan, exploring the cost of women’s exclusion and possibilities for their inclusion in peace talks, peacebuilding and political institutions in countries affected by war in Africa. With the exception of South Sudan, the study focuses on regions with predominately Muslim populations.
“Such questions of political inclusion have not been extensively researched in predominately Muslim countries that have suffered from extremist violence,” Tripp says. “Yet women and advocates of women’s rights have not only been among the first attacked by extremists, but they have also been among the most ardent opponents of this type of extremism.”
The two-year project, which starts in July, is funded by a $961,600 collaborative research grant awarded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is administered by UW’s Center for Research on Gender & Women as part of a consortium that includes the Chr. Michelsen Institute in Bergen, Norway, and the Isis-Women’s International Cross-Cultural Exchange in Kampala, Uganda. The consortium features nine researchers – including scholars and women’s rights activists – from Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Norway and the United States/Finland.
The project will also examine the struggle for legal reform and political representation as important arenas for stemming the tide of extremism related to violence in Africa, as well as policy implications for ongoing conflict elsewhere in Africa and in the Middle East.