Who needs the Women and Peace Hypothesis? Rethinking modes of inquiry on gender and conflict in Israel/Palestine

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24 Scopus citations


This article considers the evolution of scholarship on the Women and Peace Hypothesis (WPH) in light of evidence obtained from longitudinal research and multilevel analysis of women’s different engagements with the question of peace as citizens/civilians, peace activists and peace negotiators in Israel/Palestine. Evidence from this case suggests that: (1) feminist scholars no longer adhere to a one-dimensional prescription of the WPH but are more interested in developing intersectional methods to understand how nonlinear logics of conflict produce and sustain uncoherent gender stereotypes, roles and possibilities of action for women and men; (2) at all levels of analysis (individual, civil society, national) contextual factors, including patterns of political violence, collective identity, class and unequal gender regimes, affect women’s political engagement with peace much more than any other factor. Political context and the double gender regime in Israel/Palestine determine specific forms of insecurity experienced by women and are linked to political institutions, social norms and cultural frames that inform choice of action and opportunity for change; and (3) although empirical testing of this hypothesis repeatedly fails to confirm that women are more peaceful than men, the WPH remains a strong conceptual frame that enables women’s groups to politically mobilize for change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-326
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Feminist Journal of Politics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2017


  • Israel
  • Palestine
  • Women and Peace Hypothesis
  • maternal politics
  • neoinstitutionalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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