in: African Conflict & Peacebuilding Review 10 (1), 1-27
This article draws from qualitative research with Zimbabwean women and men in peacebuilding. It argues that the sociocultural construction of femininity and configuration of gender roles in Zimbabwe portray women's participation in peacebuilding as value-laden and anomalous. Using Galtung's (1969, 1990) concepts of structural and cultural violence, the article shows that women's interpretation of peace is informed by their gendered experiences. It incorporates the broader sociocultural, economic, physical, religious, and political factors and accommodates the absence of structural, cultural, and symbolic violence embedded in patriarchy. The article discusses how masculinization of peacebuilding exposes women to patriarchal retribution for "encroachment" into male space, and this retribution manifests itself in the form of cultural violence conveyed through language. Lastly, the article argues that normative femininity, which is used to rationalize structural and cultural violence against women in peacebuilding, is adaptable in ways that render it and peacebuilding mutually constitutive.