UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, calls for a greater participation of women in conflict resolution and peacebuilding. However, figures on the participation of women in peace negotiations remain worryingly low. Between 1992 and 2011, women made up only 2% of Chief mediators, 4% of witnesses and signatories, and 9% of negotiators. Although there have been visible improvements in some areas, for example in the Colombian context, there is still a long way to go. Research has identified that women face multiple challenges when seeking to find space within negotiations. These predominantly stem from the dominant narrative that portrays negotiations as a masculine domain. This is both problematic from a rights perspective, and also in practical terms. Evidence shows that including women in negotiations tends to result in a more inclusive and comprehensive agreement. Mediation teams can be strengthened by greater gender parity and diversity, leading to a higher propensity for success. Moreover, changes in the nature and complexity of global conflict require a shift towards a transformative approach to conflict resolution, which greater gender parity in international peacebuilding can contribute to.
ECDPM’s Philomena Apiko participated in this meeting. Read the document which provides an overview of the day and a summary of discussion points from the expert round table.