Rosemary Jaji is a senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of Zimbabwe. She holds a PhD in Anthropology from Bayreuth University, Germany, as well as a BSc in Sociology and an MSc in Sociology and Social Anthropology from the University of Zimbabwe. Her doctoral thesis focused on “Refugee Women and the Experiences of Local Integration in Nairobi, Kenya.” Her research areas of interest are migration/refugees, peace and conflict studies, identity, belonging, citizenship, and gender. She has published on refugee masculinities and femininities, refugee containment, refugee hosting and identity, asylum seekers, and border crossing. Her current research is on return migration and peacebuilding in Zimbabwe.
The project focuses on gender and peacebuilding in Zimbabwe. It acknowledges the abundance of literature on women and peacebuilding but critiques extension of the gender binary of male perpetrators and female victims in literature on conflicts to peacebuilding, which obscures men's contributions to peacebuilding. Based on this critique, the project argues that there is need to study cooperation between women and men, acknowledging complementarity in their roles instead of treating them as diametrically opposed. The project uses Zimbabwe as an intriguing case study which deviates from the norm in contexts of widespread discontent. Despite the political and economic crisis prevailing in the country since the turn of the twenty-first century and the concomitant political disgruntlement, the country has managed to avoid full-scale war with the state and its sanctioned actors maintaining monopoly on violence. Political disgruntlement has not bred gun-toting masculinity and submissive femininity. Instead, men have championed non-violent and peaceful masculinity which has been complemented by women's rejection of normative, subservient femininity and adoption of a politically active femininity observable in their role in peacebuilding. The project focuses on women and men in the main organizations involved in peacebuilding. It aims to provide insights into academic conceptualization of gender and peacebuilding and inform policy relating to sustainable peace through its emphasis on inter-gender cooperation. It is hoped that the project will provide a new perspective on gender and peacebuilding emphasizing inter-gender cooperation and that the findings will find relevance to other African countries and beyond.