Publication Date

Summer 2011

Degree Name

MA in Conflict Transformation

First Advisor

Tatsushi Arai

Abstract

This paper will present an analysis of several women’s peacebuilding movements and describe their efforts to participate in formal peace negotiations. This analysis includes the design, development and implementation of the female and community-based initiatives as well as the strategies, tactics and approaches used by these women throughout the peace negotiation process. It is important to consider the central role women’s organizations have played in ensuring women’s involvement when examining peace negotiations. Despite a lack of formal invitations to participate in negotiations, many female community-based initiatives have gained entry through efforts outside the political realm.

To provide a framework on the current global standards, UN Security Council Resolution 1325 is presented in the first pages of this report, demonstrating the UN’s acknowledgement and interpretation of the pivotal role women can play in the peacebuilding process. Though several other UN SCR’s have been adopted since Resolution 1325 augmenting the UN’s position on women’s participation, it is imperative that we consider where this issue stands within a conflict transformation discourse? As such an analysis and argument is thus presented through a conflict transformation lens for the inclusion of women in peace processes.

Moving beyond academic deliberation and focusing squarely on the intricacies of peace negotiations, the pragmatic benefits to women’s inclusion during this period of the peacebuilding processes are outlined and six case studies of women’s participation in peace negotiations are presented. These case studies illustrate the various women’s efforts, the pivotal role of civil society organizations and their strategic approaches throughout the peace negotiation process and the development of the peace agreement. Despite the differences in geography and culture these women’s initiatives share common trends in their organization and approach to peacebuilding, specifically as it pertains to the breakdown of social divisions and through their connection to civil society and community. In addition to these significant commonalities across global initiatives, there are also similarities in the strategies the women used throughout the formal peace negotiations, as will be demonstrated.

Disciplines

Inequality and Stratification | Peace and Conflict Studies | Women's Studies

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