National Peace Essay Contest
- Topic: Gender, War and Peacebuilding - click to download a copy of the National Peace Essay Contest Guidelines
- Contemporary analysis of war and peace issues often draws on the idea of human security—in addition to national
security—to focus on the individual as well as the connections between individuals and groups within societies.
In that way, peace depends on the belief by all those affected (referred to as “stakeholders”) by the outcome
of a negotiated peace or the resumption of war and violence that their needs and aspirations will be taken into
account. Increasingly, for some, the inclusion of women is an essential, if not the most important, element
to understanding the roots of a conflict and also to develop innovative, viable solutions that can help establish
The importance of bringing gender into peacebuilding is not confined to redressing the violations of the human
rights of women or addressing women’s economic, social, or justice needs. Instead, for many, a gendered perspective
represents peace building as a process of inclusion. The inclusion of diverse groups in a society (the powerful
and powerless) is important, especially those who have been victims of war; those who have been dispossessed;
those who have been excluded from power, position, and access; those without a voice or capacity to influence or
shape the many political, economic, and social forces that determine their choices in life; and, finally, those who can
lead efforts or contribute to economic reconstruction, community development, or meeting the needs of displaced
peoples as societies transition from war to peace. One of the great challenges in peacebuilding today is how to
bring in marginalized groups, particularly women, most effectively into processes designed to address the effects of
war and to build lasting peace.
Please select two international or intranational conflicts from the past ten years and describe briefly the attempts
at peacemaking and/or peacebuilding. Choose one in which peace has been established and one in which peace
efforts have failed. In comparing the outcomes of the conflicts, discuss whether inclusive and gendered approaches
affected peacebuilding processes or an actual peace agreement.
- What does it mean to have a gendered approach to war and peace issues?
In 1500 words:
- Analyze how gender issues contribute to the success or failure of the peace efforts you have selected.
- What is it about the needs of sustainable peacebuilding today that makes gender relevant?
- What methods and approaches are the most effective in bringing marginalized groups, including women, into a
- Would you recommend for future peacemaking and peacebuilding efforts the inclusion of a gender orientation
to war and peace? Are there any limitations or drawbacks to the inclusion of gender issues and marginalized
groups in peacebuilding efforts?
- Eligibility: Grades 9 - 12
- Length: 1500 words (specific requirement for formatting - See Mrs. Stoner in the WC). One entry per person. Signed originality statement. Signature of sponsoring teacher. Completed registration form
- First place winner at the State level will receive a $1,000 scholarship and compete for the national awards.
- Three national winners will receive a college scholarship
- First place - $10,000
- Second place - $5,000
- Third place - $2,500
- Fifty-three State Awards of $1,000 scholarships are available as well as an all-expense paid trip to Washington, DC in June, 2013.
See Mrs. Stoner in the WC for submission packet
Click here to visit the United States Institute of Peace - National Peace Essay Contest web page.