The gender of coffee

Women and reconciliation initiatives in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina

in Focaal
View More View Less
  • 1 Central European University helmse@ceu.edu
Restricted access

This article explores the gendering of reconciliation initiatives from the perspective of Bosniac women active in women's NGOs in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina. I illustrate how established patriarchal gender relations and socialistera models of women's community involvement framed the ways in which some women's NGO participants constructed essential ethno-national and gender differences, in contrast to dominant donor discourses. This leads to exploration of how gender patterns embedded in the institution of komšiluk (good-neighborliness), particularly women's coffee visits, provided both obstacle and opportunity for renewed life together among ethnic others separated by wartime ethnic cleansing. Distinguishing between the two concepts, I show how, from the perspective of women's roles and experiences, “life together” may be all that displaced women want or expect out of “reconciliation” initiatives, and that even this may be beyond the capacity of many displaced people to forego talk about injustices and guilt stemming from the war.

Focaal

Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 37 37 11
Full Text Views 13 13 0
PDF Downloads 16 16 0