The Sophie Davis Forum on Gender, Conflict Resolution and Peace was established in 2011, thanks to the generous contribution of Mr. Alan Davis, and has since operated within and as part of the Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
The forum focuses on gender mainstreaming in conflict studies and in international relations studies, on expanding research on these intersections, and on promoting collaborations with relevant civil society organizations. The forum engages with both general and conceptual questions regarding the gender-conflict-peace relations, as well as specific case-studies in the global, regional and local arenas.
The importance of including a gender perspective in the analysis of conflicts and their resolution is reinforced by the growing international recognition that women, girls and children experience armed conflicts differently from men. In addition to conflict related risks affecting the entire population, they are exposed to gender (and sex) based violations, which are further exacerbated due to historical reality of social, economic and political marginalization. It is also evident that women, by virtue of their social roles and lived realities, have different perspectives on conflicts and their resolution. Women’s participation in peace negotiations often led to overcoming obstacles and barriers, and more importantly, had an impact on the stability of these agreements over time.
Understanding that armed conflicts are experienced and perceived in diverse ways helps us recognize the partial and limited scope of existing analytical frameworks and the need to engage multiple perspectives in order to offer more complex and holistic explanations.
These insights were prominently expressed in the UN Security Council statement on Women, Peace and Security (Resolution 1325).
The local reality of living in a protracted conflict brings to the forefront numerous empirical examples of gender-related issues. For example: women's activism in grassroots movements such as "Four Mothers"; or "The Gun on the Kitchen Table"; women's experiences in the peace process; the experiences of Palestinian women under occupation; questions related to the military service in a gender inclusive armed forces, and so on. The ongoing process of implementing resolution 1325 in Israel is an additional key topic for this discussion.
Despite the importance of the gender perspective in conflict analysis, the issue is usually addressed through broader academic frameworks such as gender studies or international conflicts. The Sophie Davis Forum offers an integrative and intersectional perspective, thus more comprehensive, for the analysis of armed conflicts and of conflict resolution.
In order to encourage gender mainstreaming in conflict studies and in international relations studies, the forum promotes two lines of action:
First, introducing the gender perspective in the analysis of conflicts and their resolution to students and researchers who are less involved and engaged (exposed to?) in the subject, thereby inviting them to examine such questions within their fields of knowledge.
Second, providing support for scholars who are engaged in this subject, mainly by creating a supportive academic research community and building connections to activities in relevant societal organizations.
Accordingly, the work of the forum is diverse and aimed at different audiences and collaborations between them. Among other things, the forum offers post-doctoral scholarships, organizes special issues on the subject in the journal "Politika", organizes international conferences, seminars, thematic tours, theoretical and methodological workshops, courses, and film screenings, and brings together scholars from various universities in Israel and abroad and leading activists from civil society organizations engaged in related fields. Additionally, a special effort is made to record and archive these intellectual meetings and make them accessible to the academic community and the general public.
The forum's activities take place in English and Hebrew, in person and as online meetings, depending on the topic and circumstances. .
The Forum's Academic Coordinator is Dr. Tal Nitsán
To join the forum mailing list, fill out the electronic form