Small Wars Journal

Women Make Peace Stick

Women Make Peace Stick by Olivia Holt-Ivry - Foreign Policy

… In recent decades, a growing body of research has shown that when women’s groups are able to meaningfully influence peace processes, the resulting agreements are stronger and more likely to last.

As a result, inclusive peace processes have gained traction internationally. Women made up over 30 percent of the negotiators of the 2016 Colombian peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which was also the first peace process to include a Gender Subcommission. They participated at similar rates in the negotiation of the 2014 peace agreement between the Philippines government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, where they helped push for the inclusion of women’s civil society groups and gender provisions.

Cease-fires, however, remain the stubborn exception. They are often seen as standalone elements that deal mostly with military technicalities, so mediators may not find the inclusion of women’s groups particularly relevant at this early stage of a peace process. But new research from Inclusive Security reveals that from bringing warring parties to the peace table to defining the terms of the cease-fire and monitoring its implementation, women’s groups can help transform these fragile, tenuous agreements into more comprehensive, lasting peace processes.

In a study of 40 peace processes since the Cold War, researchers noted four reoccurring actions, the first being the frequency with which women mobilized to pressure warring parties into reaching a cease-fire. The second was the tendency of women’s groups to pressure parties to remain at the peace table until they reached an agreement. In none of the 40 cases did women’s groups organize against peace; in fact, they mobilized in favor of it more than any other group…

Read on.