RCE Salisbury - 2021

Socio-Cultural Perspectives on Conflict and Peace: with an emphasis on Gender Webinar
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Socio-Cultural Perspectives on Conflict and Peace: with an emphasis on Gender Webinar
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Salisbury
Contributing organization(s) : 
Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Dr. Brittany Foutz
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Salisbury, Salisbury University, Department of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution
Dr. Chris Kwaja
Organizational Affiliation: 
Dr. Brian Polkinghorn
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Salisbury, Salisbury University, Department of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution
Mrs. Alexandra Ginta-Martin, M.A.
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Salisbury, Salisbury University, Department of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution
Ms. Francesca Falasca, Bachelor’s in Law
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Salisbury, Salisbury University, Department of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution
Ms. Iye Ogbe, M.S.
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Salisbury, Kennesaw State University School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding and Development
Ms. Hannah Prouse, B.A.
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Salisbury, Salisbury University, Department of Conflict Analysis and Resolution
Ms. Shannon Rommel, B.A.
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Salisbury,
Ms. Cassandra Duncan
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Salisbury, Salisbury University
Ms. Sandra Zelaya
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Salisbury, Salisbury University
Ms. Erin Karrh
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Salisbury, Salisbury University
Ms. Brittany Bursa, B.A.
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Salisbury, Cambridge University
Format of project: 
Zoom Webinar
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Education focused on Gender Equality
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
United States
Virtual Webinar
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Host of the RCE location:
Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution
1100 Camden Ave, Salisbury, MD 21801 USA
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
The Eastern Shore began the twenty-first century with strong growth across multiple economic indicators. The region gained jobs at double the rate of the rest of the state from 2001 to 2007 while also outpacing the state in net business creation and keeping pace in wage growth. However, there are more people experiencing poverty now than there were 30 years ago. Maryland’s poverty rate is 19 percent higher than it was in 1990 – a year that the U.S. economy entered a recession – and there are nearly 200,000 more Marylanders trying to get by on incomes below the federal poverty line. Nearly every county in the state has a higher poverty rate than it had in 1990. While unemployment rates have continued to decline since the 2008 recession, wages often are not high enough to support a family. However, Maryland has a history of supporting effective programs that help lift people out of poverty. Working together, the state can do even better. Maryland is working strongly to support efforts to address the state’s many unmet needs and invest in the success of all Marylanders.

The State of Maryland has an estimated population of 6,052,177 people based on the most recent US census calculations. When broken down into regional populations, the Eastern Shore of Maryland region includes the following nine counties: Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Caroline, Dorchester, Wicomico, Worcester, and Somerset. The sparse populated counties of the Eastern Shore of Maryland have a combined population of 454,889 or 13% of the state population.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
SDG 13 - Climate Action

The core area in the region constitutes the “shore counties” or those that reside either within or on the Chesapeake Bay (watershed) and along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. This includes all of the counties in Delaware, Maryland, and nineteen of the forty counties in Virginia. These physical locations are being subjected to the quickest increases in climate change activities and the poorest residents in these locales will experience severe detrimental impact on their quality of life.

SDG 4 - Quality Education

Secondly, the citizens of the Delmarva Peninsula, by and large, have lower levels of educational attainment and lower incomes. RCE Salisbury will focus in part on communities in these areas that experience the highest high school dropout rates where the social reproduction of poverty is endemic.

SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

The most vulnerable members of this region are in the crosshairs of climate change and educational disadvantage. Both will lead to increased social conflict and with limited resources and limited planning the consequences are dire. These dynamics will impact the foundational resources that people and the institutions built on these resources - depending on for survival, security, and prosperity.
January, 2021 to May, 2021
The concept of gender underlines the cultural construction of sexual difference, that is, the fact that the different behaviors, activities and functions of women and men are culturally constructed rather than biologically determined. As a category of analysis, gender has been used in the social sciences since the anthropologist John Money proposed, in 1955, the term gender role to describe the behaviors socially assigned to men and women. In 1968, in his studies on disorders of sexual identity, the psychologist Robert Stoller defined gender identity and concluded that it is not determined by biological sex, but by the fact of having lived experiences, rituals and customs from birth. attributed to a certain genre.

Anglo-Saxon academic feminism promoted the use of this concept in the 1970s to emphasize that inequalities between women and men are socially constructed and not biological. Clearly distinguishing sexual differentiation - determined by people's chromosomal, gonadial, hormonal, anatomical and physiological sex - from the interpretations that each society makes of it, allowed a better understanding of social reality and pursued a political objective: to demonstrate that the human characteristics considered feminine are acquired by women through a complex individual and social process, instead of being derived naturally from their biological sex.

Later, in the 1980s, gender began to be used by various disciplines of the social sciences because it proved to be a useful category to delimit more precisely how the (biological) difference becomes inequality (economic, social and political) between women and men, placing the determinants of inequality between the sexes in the symbolic, cultural and historical terrain.

The adoption of gender as a category of analysis has meant the most important epistemological rupture of the last decades in the social sciences, since it has implied the recognition of a social inequality that had until then been subsumed in the economic dimension, both by the theory of classes as well as those of social stratification.

From anthropology, gender has been defined as the cultural and historical interpretation that each society elaborates around sexual differentiation. Such an interpretation gives rise to a set of social representations, practices, discourses, norms, values and relationships - in other words, a sex / gender system - that give meaning to people's behavior based on their sex. Consequently, gender structures both the perception and the concrete and symbolic organization of all social life.

For psychology, the gender concept refers to the process by which biologically different individuals become women and men, through the acquisition of those attributes that each society defines as characteristic of femininity and masculinity. Gender is, therefore, the psychosocial construction of the feminine and the masculine.

The Issue:
Many formal peacebuilding activities and policies suffer from an insufficient understanding or acknowledgment of the diverse communities in which they operate.
Men tend to dominate the formal roles in a peacebuilding process; there are mainly male peacekeepers, male peace negotiators, male politicians, and male formal leaders. Power is unequally distributed between men and women and the majority of women do not have a voice in local and national decision-making processes.
Women do play an important, oftentimes unrecognized role, in peacebuilding however, many arguments, towards gender inclusivity in peacebuilding, are instrumentalist in their approach, seeing women as instrumental in bringing about sustainable peace, and focusing narrowly on ‘what women can do for peace’, while neglecting the issue of what peace can do for women.
Numerous peacebuilding initiatives and movements employ essentialist definitions of women, confining them to their roles as mothers and caregivers, and thus denying them access to the broader agenda of peacebuilding and conflict resolution. (Puechguirbal, 2010, p.177).
The introductory 1 hour-long and 3 hour-long webinars will be presented by a variety of academics, practitioners of conflict resolution, and United Nations officials on the topic of sociocultural perspectives on conflict and peace with an emphasis on gender. The authors will present some successful cases, derived from scientific research that covers basic concepts and best practices on the gender perspective in the field of conflict and peace. The webinar begins with a brief introduction, then addresses identified crucial areas that introduce some key points in the debate on gender.

Webinar Outline
This webinar will focus on:
Gendered Identity
Am I my genes?
Gender terminology
The concept and construct of gender across disciplines
Intersectionality of identities
Gendered identities in reflexive modernity
Socio-cultural influences on gender
Elements of culture and social influence
The social construction and gender
Psychological explanations of gender development
Biological influences on gender
Media, gender, and conflict resolution skills
Gender stereotypes and reversed roles
Hierarchy and gender
Cultural framing of western values
Gender stereotypes and sexism
Gender, communication styles, and the hierarchy
Reflexive identities
United Nations and Gender
Future developments in understanding gendered identities
The field of conflict resolution and its relation to gender

Activities and/or practices employed: 
This webinar will address a systematic examination of the analysis of gender in reality and best practices. This type of analysis makes it possible to understand the social processes and institutions that produce and reproduce inequality; the mechanisms of domination that men use, as a social group; the ways in which others are expropriated of the benefits of their work; the asymmetric assessment of the capacity and behaviors of both sexes, as well as the different access to resources and power that is thus generated.
It is important to note that the fact of analyzing reality "from gender" does not imply considering all women as equals. Although women share experiences, forces and obstacles that give them common needs and interests - which can, in certain circumstances, promote their unity as a group - the forms of social and economic subordination and vulnerability are so complex and individualized like the people who suffer them.

This webinar is not addressing the ideology of gender but the perspective of gender. As a result of the lack of terminological precision that surrounds the expression gender, on many occasions this term is used in an ambiguous way and the gender perspective is understood as what actually corresponds to the ideological version of it. This is because, in some cases, those who follow the postulates of gender ideology use the word “perspective” to promote their proposals.

The perspectives that will be utilized for this webinar will come from a variety of socio-cultural lenses. The authors of this webinar have examined gender-based norms, values, expression, and relations across diverse Western and non-Western societies. We appreciate your interest in the webinar and look forward to producing other opportunities in the near future.
Size of academic audience: 
50 participants for the initial introductory webinar.
Gender identity is a concept mainly held in a binary, but as this webinar shows, gender is far more complex than that. Children learn gender roles through interpersonal means such as family and peers, as well as larger institutions such as media and public education. Traditional gender roles maintain the strong binaries, one of which femininity is equated to fragility and pureness; and masculinity is paired with physical strength and fiscal responsibility. These learned gender roles are then maintained by the social interaction cycle. Other social identities play off of gender, called intersectionality, and helps create one’s sense of self in relation to the world around us. Although gender is a complex social construct it’s indelible effect spares neither those acquainted with it nor those unwitting, and thus should be explored and discussed.

Relationship to other RCE activities: 
This RCE Salisbury project was submitted for the 2021 RCE SDG Youth Challenge and was accepted. The RCE SDG Youth Challenge “Youth for the Goals” is an international youth-led project-based initiative run annually that connects youth leaders working in their own communities to a larger global platform that includes mentoring support and peer validation. The initiative aims to engage and empower local youth leaders with the opportunity to have a voice and implement their own place-based projects on issues that mattered to them. Each project is shaped by its youth leader and/or youth team to address the needs of their communities in line with the Challenge theme. Using a peer-peer learning model, youth drive change from a grassroots level incorporating Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) principles. Supported by the Global RCE network, this initiative was originally developed and led by the A-P Youth Regional Coordinators.

This webinar is brought to you by RCE Salisbury.. RCE Salisbury, housed in the Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution, is acknowledged by the United Nations University and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The Directors of RCE Salisbury are Dr. Brittany Foutz and Dr. Brian Polkinghorn. The Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution is a nonprofit located in Salisbury, Maryland (USA) and the mission of the organization is to promote a systems-based approach to the effective analysis and practical resolution of social conflict. The Center utilizes a teaching hospital model whereby faculty and staff practitioners. Thank you to the Executive Director of the Bosserman Center, Dr. Brian Polkinghorn, for allowing this opportunity.

RCE Salisbury has also partnered with the United Nations Human Rights Council to exhibit this webinar.

This webinar is, also, supported by the RCE Global Network and was accepted for the RCE 2021 Youth Challenge.


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon Screen Shot 2021-03-14 at 2.21.27 PM.png (294.53 KB) Presentation Introductory slide
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
ESD for 2030-Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Priority Action Area 3 - Developing capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 4 - Mobilizing youth