Gendering the study of children and youth in peacebuilding

Lesley Pruitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Building on the work of feminist scholars and others arguing for considering the
'everyday' in peace and conflict studies, this article applies a gendered lens to
understanding young people's everyday experiences of peace and violence. It draws on case studies using participant observation and semi-structured interviews with peer leaders in programs that use dance and creative movement to involve young people in peacebuilding in the USA and Colombia. These programs are unique in that their leaders are mostly young women. Gender has a significant impact on the everyday ways young people experience conflict and whether and how they will become involved in building peace; likewise, accounting for gender in a context-specific way may have valuable impacts for the design, implementation, and evaluation of programs aimed at supporting and encouraging youth participation in peacebuilding. Based on what has been learned from the participants, this article argues that by applying a gendered lens in a way that develops a focus on everyday gender-inclusive hospitality, rather than focusing on 'fixing' excluded individuals, youth peacebuilding programs may fruitfully challenge existing norms around achieving gender equity in participation and thus improve options for building peace.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-170
Number of pages14
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • gender
  • youth
  • norms
  • violence
  • peacebuilding
  • hospitality

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