Kosovo: missed opportunities, lessons for the future
The growth in the number of ‘small wars’ has led to a proliferation of post-conflict reconstruction efforts. The experience in the Balkans with post-war reconstruction can provide a significant contribution to further learning, as much learning still needs to be done from the messy, poorly conceived, and chaotic manner in which the outside world stepped in and tried to help in the 1990s. Among the most important lessons that transpired is the need to include women fully in peace building. In the case of Kosovo, as elsewhere, the international effort was dominated by men, with little insight into or concern about addressing gender inequalities. This indifference in turn pervaded assistance programmes, with particularly damaging effects for local women.
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