EEAS Mediation Support Project Factsheet: Women’s Participation and Gender
The 2009 EU Concept on mediation and dialogue notes the role of the EU as a mediator, but also that the EU can play a role promoting, leveraging, supporting, and funding mediation and dialogue activities, all of which are relevant to women’s participation and gender. The 2009 Concept notes that women's under-representation in mediation processes and peace negotiations, as well as the lack of gender expertise among mediation teams, has serious consequences.
The chance of lasting peace increases if not only the warring parties but also representatives from different groups in civil society, including women, sit at the negotiation table. A gender dimension (for example addressing gender-based violence, women in Demobilisation, Disarmament and Reintegration processes, women in post-conflict governance structures) is systematically lacking or of poor quality in agreements resulting from processes of mediation and dialogue – this weakens them, their relevance, and their sustainability. The international community and the EU specifically have commitments to, and can practically undertake, specific measures to promote, leverage, support or fund women’s participation and/or the addressing of gender issues in mediation and dialogue processes. The message the EU itself sends in terms of women appointed by EU institutions and member-state bodies is important for its own credibility in promoting women’s participation more widely. While EU indicators and commitment exist, follow-thorough and monitoring are continually necessary and additional complementary measures may have to be taken. The EU has to appreciate, discuss and act on not only the perceived obstacles to the inclusion of women and gender in sensitive on-going processes of mediation and dialogue, but also the risks of exclusion