Despite increasing recognition among international organizations that livelihood security, sustainable peace, conflict prevention and gender equality are complementary goals that require integrated policy approaches, there is to date limited evidence about the links between these key development pillars. This article provides an analysis of the links between food security, sustainable peace and gender equality, by making use of three case studies including Abyei to illustrate how specific policy interventions can simultaneously address the differentiated priorities of men and women with relation to food security, building sustainable peace processes and achieving gender equality. The relationship between these three key pillars of sustainable development is examined using a conceptual framework grounded on five pathways that interact in a variety of ways in different contexts. These pathways include changes in (i) behaviour, agency and aspirations; (ii) social norms about gender roles and equality; (iii) institutions and governance; (iv) agriculture and employment markets; and (v) social cohesion and inclusive collective action. The article illustrates how these pathways have operated and interacted in three selected FAO interventions, and discusses a number of data, research and policy challenges that emerged from this analysis.
Professor Patricia Justino is a development economist specialising in applied microeconomics. Her current research work focuses on the impact of violence and conflict on household welfare and local institutional structures, the microfoundations of violent conflict and the implications of violence for economic development.