"They teach us to hate each other" : A Study on Social Impediments for Peace-Building Interaction Between Young Cypriot Women

University essay from Umeå universitet/Umeå centrum för genusstudier (UCGS)

Abstract: The yet unresolved interethnic conflict on the island of Cyprus known as the ‘Cyprus Problem’is one of the longest persisting conflicts in the world stretching over five decades. The conflictis between the Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots and has consequently divided the Islandinto a Greek-Cypriot administrated southern part, and a Turkish-Cypriot administrated northernpart. Despite the opening of the borders in 2003, which granted permission to cross over to eachside, studies show that the peace-building interaction between the younger generations remainslimited. Through in-depth interviews with ten young Cypriot women, the thesis analyses socialfactors impeding the interaction across the divide and provide an understanding of the women’sperception of peace in Cyprus. The politicisation of the construction of belonging continues todisconnect the women from a shared Cypriot identity and hence impedes interaction across thedivide. Further, the context of the negotiations has created a stalemate on peace-buildinginteraction for many of the women and had a negative impact on their views on politics ingeneral. The study reaffirms that women’s political involvement is essential to bring aboutpeace and reconciliation in Cyprus.

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