chapter  13
A Gendered Reading of Security and Security Reform in Post-Confl ict Societies
Pages 23

In the immediate aftermath of armed confl ict, security is critical to the possibility that refugees, displaced persons, and former combatants will return home, that the rule of law can be established, and that the state can move forward in a positive direction. Security in a post-confl ict society is signifi cant in preventing further confl ict; within fi ve years of a confl ict’s end, some estimate that there is up to a 50 percent risk that the society will again become involved in violent strife (Rice and Patrick 2008). Security issues are at the heart of the reconstruction process for the local population, national leaders, and the international community, and they are central to the psychological notion of safety and well-being at the individual and communal levels ( Jensen 2008). But what does ‘security’ mean? We work from a layered conception of security that encompasses both security from further state-supported armed groups and militia (typically conceived of as encompassing only public violence) and security to live in society free from state-sanctioned violence, whether infl icted in public societal settings or in the home.