Photo: United Nations

Mari Norbakk

Post Doctoral Researcher

Women’s protection needs in war zones has been brought to the forefront of the international security agenda. It is argued that women and children constitute the most vulnerable civilian victims in armed conflict. Men are portrayed as combatants and women and children as ‘innocent’ and ‘vulnerable’ in need of protection, particularly from acts of sexual violence. Are civilians increasingly distinguished from combatants according to who they are rather than what they are actually doing? How can humanitarian and security actors attend to women’s and men’s protection needs without reinforcing patriarchal gender relations or other intersecting hierarchies?

12.45 Welcome by Liv Tønnessen, senior researcher at CMI

13.00 Session 1: Key note speeches
Chair: Astri Suhrke, senior researcher at CMI

13.00 "From Social to Policy Construct: Redefining the Essential in Gender" Chris Dolan, Director of the Refugee Law Project (RLP), an autonomous community outreach project at the Faculty of Law at Makerere University

Questions and discussions

14.00 "Force Projection/Civilian Protection: Gender and the Paradox of War Norms" Charli Carpenter, Associate Professor in the Department of political science at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Questions and discussions

15.00 Coffee break

15.15 Session 2: Roundtable on Gender Essentialisms in Protection Practices
Chair: Ole Jacob Sending, research director at NUPI

Panel participants:
Kristin Sandvik on Colombia, senior researcher at PRIO and Centre Director for the Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies
Torunn Wimpelmann on Afghanistan, researcher at CMI
Berit Angelskår on Palestine, PhD candidate at the Institute of social anthropology, University of Bergen
Liv Tønnessen on Sudan, senior researcher at CMI

This seminar is arranged by The Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies. 

The The Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies aims to promote and facilitate critical and relevant research on key humanitarian issues. The centre serves as a hub for research and policy discussion, and features a national network of scholars working on humanitarian issues from outside the three core institutions. It also features an extensive network of international humanitarian scholars. The centre is a joint CMI, NUPI and PRIO initiative.