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Tribal Mediation in Yemen

Najwa Adra’s working paper examines indigenous dispute resolution in Yemen. What makes this paper so interesting is that it includes seven (7) case studies from her extensive fieldwork between 1978 and 2005 in Yemen’s Central Highlands. These case studies, in addition to Adra’s apt description of what mediation looks like, allows the reader to leave the oh-so lofty (and somewhat tedious) realm of concepts to get a feel for what it’s like to live with and experience customary law. Another highlight is her coverage of women’s participation in dispute resolution. Although told that women play no role in tribal affairs, Adra learns that this is a myth. In fact, “women actively taking part in mixed gender mediation, again in contradiction to formally stated principles.” Read the full paper to learn how “c]ustomary law not only maintains peace among an armed population in a region of widely dispersed communities that are difficult of access, but it affirms, and the mediation process enacts, tribal values…”

 

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July Newsletter: Women + Foreign Policy = Gamechanging
Hey, foreign policy wonks! Interested in robust economies, healthy populations, good governance, decreased corruption, and overall peace and stability? One sure-fire way to achieve these ends is for nations to develop feminist foreign policies. Yes, f-e-m-i-n-i-s-t foreign policies.  (GC360 likes that particular “F” word.)So what exactly is a feminist foreign policy? According to Margot Wallström, Sweden’s current Foreign Minister, “It’s about standing against the systematic and global subordination of women.” It’s clear that progress made in empowering women by increasing their representation and guaranteeing their rights benefits society as a whole, while countries that deny women basic human rights are some of the poorest and least stable. In fact, research shows that the very best predictor of a state’s peacefulness is not its level of wealth, its level of democracy, or its ethno-religious identity; the best predictor of a state’s peacefulness is how well its women are treated.
Margot Wallstršm, styrelseordfšrande fšr Lunds universitet sedan april 2012
The need to develop a feminist foreign policy — i.e., one advocating social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men – seems to be a no brainer. So what is everyone waiting for?  Hopefully, this month’s recommended readings will help to speed things up.

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Mary Edwards Walker

Mary Edwards Walker
(November 26, 1832 – February 21, 1919)

As of 2015, she is the only woman ever to receive the Medal of Honor. Prior to the American Civil War, she earned her medical degree and later volunteered with the Union Army serving as a surgeon. Captured by Confederate forces after crossing enemy lines to treat wounded civilians, Walker was arrested as a spy. She served as a prisoner until released in a prisoner exchange.

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Dolours Price

Dolores Price
(1951-2013)
A former member of a secret I.R.A. unit called the Unknowns, that conducted clandestine paramilitary work, including disappearances. Price became the first woman admitted to full membership in the I.R.A. in 1971 when she was twenty. She went to prison for a 1973 London bombing that injured 200 people.

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Tabassum Adnan

Tabassum Adnan
(b. 1977)

Tabassum Adnan, from Swat Valley, founded the first-ever women-only Jirga in Pakistan. She was awarded the 2015 Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award in recognition of her services of women’s rights.

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