Bringing diverse sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) into peacebuilding policy and practice

Publication date

20 Mar 2018

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Peacebuilding sets out to respond to societal breakdown in times of violent conflict, but the needs and experiences of people with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities (SOGI) have been notably absent from peacebuilding research, policy, and practice thus far. Individuals who fall outside the binary categories of women and men, or who do not adhere to heterosexual norms, confront a spectrum of violence that transcends conflict itself. War and displacement function to add layers of vulnerability, precariousness, and danger to lives already under threat. This article draws on primary research conducted with refugees, activists, service providers, and lawyers in BosniaHerzegovina, Colombia, Nepal, and Lebanon, as well as a survey of published research from around the world. We argue that it is essential to broaden the debate on gender in peacebuilding and humanitarian response so that it includes diverse SOGI issues. We then elaborate on possible ways that humanitarian and peacebuilding work can better address these issues in future.