Gender and ‘Peace Work’: An Unofficial History of Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations

Citation:

Aharoni, Sarai. 2011. “Gender and ‘Peace Work’: An Unofficial History of Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations.” Politics & Gender 7 (3): 391–416. doi:10.1017/S1743923X11000274.

Author: Sarai Aharoni

Abstract:

Unlike earlier attempts to theorize Israeli women’s peace activism in civil society, this article examines the involvement of women in backstage roles of formal negotiations during the Oslo Process. On the basis of a qualitative analysis of the organizational structure and gender division of labor in Israeli negotiating bodies, I find that women were placed as midlevel negotiators and professional and legal advisors, and also served as spokeswomen and secretaries. This pattern of participation reveals 1) that the “security logic,” developed by Israeli negotiators led to, and reinforced, a structured gendered division of labor, providing a rational justification for gender inequality; 2) that the ability to control administrative capacities and women workers generated symbolic masculine power and assisted in maintaining asymmetries between Israeli and Palestinian delegations; 3) and that midlevel Israeli negotiators’ narratives reveal the extent to which conceptual confusion and self-contradictory approaches toward the Oslo Accords reinforced women’s overall invisibility. I conclude that patterns of rigid gender roles in official negotiating structures not only minimize women’s meaningful inclusion in peace negotiations but also affect the production of public historical narratives about gender, peace, and war.

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Peace Processes Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2011

© 2017 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.