Women's Participation In Peace Processes Essay

1098 words - 5 pages

The 1995 Platform for Action states that “the full participation [of women] in decision-making, conflict prevention and resolution and all other peace initiatives [is] essential to the realization of lasting peace.” (The Institute for Inclusive Security, 2009: 2) In October 2000, Security Council Resolution 1325 reinforced this recognition of the important role played by women in peace and security. This pioneering resolution attempted to correct the disproportionately low representation of women in formal peace processes (Mcghie & Wamai, 2011: 5) however realisation of this obligation is limited. (The Institute for Inclusive Security, 2009: 1) Women remain the largest group of stakeholders regularly excluded from official negotiation processes.(The Institute for Inclusive Security, 2009: 1) Whilst gender sensitive conflict mediation is not a panacea to cure the ills of peacemaking, it is an under-utilised practical necessity (Potter, 2008: 56) Influence of women on peace agreements are always beneficial (Buchanan, 2011: 6)and importantly, when women are actively involved, peace agreements are more credible and cover a broader range of issues. (The Institute for Inclusive Security, 2009: 2) women’s participation has an impact not only on the peace process but also on its outcome and on the durability of peace The advantages of participation of women in mediation and peacemaking processes can be divided into three: effects on the nature of the process itself allowing for a smoother process, broadening the concerns addressed to include more community wide needs and improving the legitimacy and sustainability of the final agreement by securing benefits for the whole population. (Mcghie & Wamai, 2011: 3). This essay will address these advantages in turn.
Women often use different approaches to men when dealing with conflict situations, transforming the atmosphere of negotiation (Potter, 2008: 64). Women are usually perceived to be more trustworthy and less corruptible, favouring a non-competitive negotiating style. This perception allows them to build trust between negotiators and their respective constituencies, establishing positive relationships and steering talks away from zero-sum games over political domination. (The Institute for Inclusive Security, 2009: 2) Furthermore, considering the ‘other’ when identifying areas of compromise, empathy, active listening, attention to detail and consensus-building are innate qualities that flourish in negotiations. (Buchanan, 2011: 10) Such qualities and abilities are important to the negotiation process and therefore with the participation of women and the exploitation of such natural attributes, the mediation and peace-making processes have the potential to be much more efficient and effective.
Furthermore, women raise unique insights and concerns during negotiations which broaden discussions (Potter, 2008: 64). Their participation widens negotiations beyond topics of military action, power, and wealth...

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