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In a Human Security Framework


Anuradha Chenoy

WOMEN BUILDING PEACE BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN
Edited by Shree Muley and Jackie Kirk
Anthem Press, Delhi, 2007, pp. 245, price not stated.

VOLUME XXXII NUMBER 2 February 2008

Official spokespersons of both the Pakistan and Indian Governments have recently stated that ever since the partition of these countries, the relations between India and Pakistan have never been as good as they currently are. Some attribute these improved relations to the troubles of Pakistan on their western front that keeps the army occupied there. Others argue that it is US pressure on both India and Pakistan, so they both concentrate on the US war against terror and the US can sell F-16s to both. But the reality is that the confidence building measures that have been initiated over the past two decades by the civil societies of these states as well as by their governments have finally begun to show some minimal results. The contribution of women to the process of peace building between India and Pakistan has been a steady and significant aspect of this process. This edited collection records and analyses the moves towards an otherwise reticent peace, clearly within the human security framework that focuses on people’s security as opposed to the narrow national security frameworks used by realists and neo-realists.   There are three types of essays in this volume that is the end product of a workshop that brought Indian and Pakistani peace activists together with Canadian experts on conflict resolution. One theorizes around the issue of women and conflict, and applies conflict resolution models to the India-Pakistan conflict. The second lot of essays views women’s roles in the peace building process from the two sides of India and Pakistan, and the third lot looks at specific issues in internal conflicts like Kashmir and the communal carnage in Gujarat, the role of the press and education in reflecting stereotypes.   Women’s role in peace building has been underlined by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, and many governments, NGOs and institutions initiated research and conferences around women’s roles in war and peace. This book is the outcome of one such seminar organized by the McGill Centre for Research and Teaching on Women. The introduction by Professor Ranabir Samaddar encapsulates the core arguments around this effort as well the necessity of involving women at every stage of peace making, if not politics and discourse as well. The idea of peace as mere absence of violence gives way to the concept of peace which incorporates justice and rights. This addresses the core issues ...


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