Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

Peace Processes

Progress and Challenges in Implementing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in the African Union's Peace and Security Architecture


Hendricks, Cheryl. 2017. "Progress and Challenges in Implementing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in the African Union's Peace and Security Architecture." Africa Development 42 (3): 73-98.

Author: Cheryl Hendricks


This article provides an initial overview of the African Union’s progress and challenges in implementing the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda in its peace and security architecture. It reviews implementation in relation to representation, programming and in peacekeeping. The article contends that the WPS agenda has strong roots in Africa and that progress has been made in relation to the development of frameworks, policies and strategies. Representation of women in the architecture has improved but the AU still has a long way to go to see this through at programmatic level (for example in peace negotiations and peace support operations). The programmes and activities implemented also appear to be rather ad hoc and attempts at quick-fix measurable exercises. The article argues that the WPS agenda has been narrowed to focus on the inclusion of women into peace and security institutions and processes without a deeper reflection of what their participation may mean for legitimizing post-conflict patriarchal and militarized orders.
Cet article fournit un aperçu des progrès initiaux réalisés par l’Union africaine et des défis rencontrés dans la mise en œuvre du programme Femmes, Paix et Sécurité (FPS) dans son architecture de paix et de sécurité. Il passe en revue cette mise en œuvre en matière de représentation, de programmation et de maintien de la paix. Le travail montre que le programme FPS est bien enraciné en Afrique et que des progrès ont été réalisés en ce qui concerne l’élaboration de cadres, de politiques et de stratégies. La représentation des femmes dans l’architecture s’est améliorée, mais l’UA a encore beaucoup de chemin à parcourir pour la hisser au niveau programmatique (par exemple dans les négociations de paix et les opérations de maintien de la paix). Les programmes et les activités mis en œuvre semblent surtout ponctuels, prenant la forme d’efforts quantifiables qui tentent de corriger hâtivement les problèmes. L’article souligne que le programme FPS a été réduit à l’inclusion des femmes dans les institutions et les processus de la paix et de la sécurité, sans une réflexion approfondie sur ce que leur participation pourrait signifier en légitimant les ordres patriarcaux et militarisés après le conflit.

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, conflict, peace and security, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Africa

Year: 2017

Role and Participation of Women in the Establishment and Implementation of International Security Policies


Vrajolli, Marigonë. 2018. “Role and Participation of Women in the Establishment and Implementation of International Security Policies.” Academicus: International Scientific Journal 17: 54–61.

Author: Marigonë Vrajolli


Women have long been excluded from peace and security processes, which include disarmament, despite being disproportionately affected by weapons. Emphasizing, the role of women in peace and security processes began to gain meaning only after 2000, when the United Nations Resolution, Resolution 1325 entered into force. In order for women to participate equally in such processes, the resolution emphasizes the necessity of women’s participation as agents of positive change and not as weak and powerless victims. Contributing to a society where women can live freely in harmony without being marginalized.

The purpose of this paper is to explain the different roles that women have in creating security policies. Further, this paper explains the role of women in initiatives, peacekeeping and peace-building. The paper also explains the international mechanisms that promote the involvement of women in peace and security processes.

Keywords: United Nations resolution, disarmament, women’s participation

Topics: peace and security, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Weapons /Arms

Year: 2018

Women, Peace Negotiations, and Peace Agreements


Bell, Christine. 2018. “Women, Peace Negotiations, and Peace Agreements.” In The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Conflict, edited by Fionnuala Ni Aoláin, Naomi Cahn, Dina Francesca Haynes, and Nahla Valji. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Author: Christine Bell

Keywords: peace process, peace negotiation, peace agreement, women, gender


Peace agreements, seeking to end conflict and establish a road map for the future, have significant effects on women’s lives, yet historically women have been absent from peace processes. This chapter examines obstacles that often limit women’s involvement in peace negotiations, despite the creation of an international framework that supports the inclusion of women in such processes. The chapter reviews the pragmatic opportunities and challenges for women in the pre-negotiation stage, the framework development/substantive stage, and the implementation/renegotiation stage. Among the challenges addressed are issues of access and power within negotiating spaces. The chapter describes instances where women have successfully participated in peace negotiations, and offers three directions for future growth: further involvement of women in negotiations; using a gender perspective in all aspects of the substantive agreement; and developing a long-term commitment to sustaining peace. (Summary from Oxford Handbooks Online)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, conflict, peace and security, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes

Year: 2018

Women’s Advocacy Groups in Peace Negotiations


Anderson, Miriam J. 2017. “Women’s Advocacy Groups in Peace Negotiations.” In Transnational Actors in War and Peace: Militants, Activists, and Corporations in World Politics, edited by David Malet and Miriam J. Anderson, 185–196. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.

Author: Miriam J. Anderson


“This chapter provides some background on women’s peace advocacy groups, women’s rights provisions in peace agreements, and on the global women’s, peace, and security agenda. It then focuses on the role that women activists can play in influencing the outcome of peace negotiations. In offering a portrait of women peace advocates who seek participation in peace processes, it considers how this group of actors is organized, how it interact with other actors, how it communicates both internally and externally, how it influences conflict and peace, and finally how it reflects developments in transnationalism” (Anderson 2017, 186).

Topics: Gender, Women, conflict, peace and security, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes, Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325

Year: 2017

Women as Agents of Peace and Stability: Measuring the Results


Bachelet, Michelle. 2015. “Women as Agents of Peace and Stability: Measuring the Results.” In Women on the Frontlines of Peace and Security, 87–112. Washington, DC: National Defense University Press. 

Author: Michelle Bachelet


“UNSCR 1325 has many goals, but focuses on two points: addressing the problems women face as victims or survivors of war, and promoting women as agents of peace. More attention has been directed toward protecting women and girls than toward promoting their role in conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and postconflict recovery and peace-building. Ordinary people are now more familiar with the plight of women and girls plight in conflict zones, specifically widespread and sometimes organized sexual violence. More decisive action is needed, but at least after decades of discussing violence against women as a weapon of war, such violence provokes moral revulsion, and most agree that something must be done to address it.
“But protection from violence had long been discussed before UNSCR 1325. The resolution emphasized the importance of women’s participation in peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peace-building. While this has been validated and endorsed many times since the adoption of UNSCR 1325, relatively few people actually know what it entails, why it is important, and what evidence connects it with more durable and stable peace and security. Why do we need quotas for women in parliaments and legislatures? Why do we need women at the peace table?” (Bachelet 2014, 96).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Conflict Prevention, Gender, Women, conflict, peace and security, Governance, Quotas, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Sexual Violence, Weapons /Arms

Year: 2014

Women, Gender and Peacemaking in Civil Wars


Potter, Antonia. 2008. “Women, Gender and Peacemaking in Civil Wars.” In Contemporary Peacemaking: Conflict, Peace Processes and Post-War Reconstruction, edited by John Darby and Roger Mac Ginty, 2nd ed., 105–19. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Author: Antonia Potter


"While this chapter is located in Part II (Negotiations) of this book, the issues it addresses are cross cutting, therefore it will briefly scan the spectrum of the broadly defined peace process ‘stages’, namely violence, pre-negotiations, negotiations, peace accords, and peacebuilding. Across these it examines two strands: first, the presence or representation of women as actors in these stages from conflict to peace; second, the approaches to addressing gender issues and perspectives that are employed by those that have a hand in peace processes, together with successes and failures in implementing them.
"It draws attention to changed perceptions of women’s roles in these phases, and to the special challenges and opportunities which armed conflict and its resolution can present for women. It suggests where there are gaps in research, literature, and actual practice arguing that much of this is due to ongoing problems of women’s exclusion from agency and decision making at certain levels (especially the more senior or official ones) of peacemaking and peace- building, and a continuing failure of those at the highest levels to understand properly and take seriously the implications of that exclusion. Throughout, it draws on recent or contemporary examples of peace agreements and processes including Afghanistan, Cambodia, Eritrea, Guatemala, Kosovo, Nepal, Northern Ireland, Somalia, Sudan, and Timor–Leste.
"The chapter concludes by reiterating that reality lags far behind rhetoric on women’s involvement in peace processes, to the great detriment of both. It argues that the process and substance of peace negotiations and agreements would be richer, subtler, stronger, and more firmly rooted in the societies whose problems they aim to solve with increased participation of women and the issues which are important to them; but that until those that organize these processes actually make this happen, it will be obviously be hard to make this case with empirical evidence. Thus it calls for political leaders, especially the most visible and powerful, to stop talking and start acting on this issue. Finally, it stresses the basic but often forgotten fact that gender is a concept which embraces both women and men, and exhorts more men to swell the ranks of those working at all levels of peacemaking in the causes of equality and practical sensitivity to gender issues" (Potter 2008, 105-6).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, conflict, peace and security, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Violence

Year: 2008

Barely Begun: The Inclusion of Women as Peacemakers, Peacekeepers, and Peacebuilders in International Law and Practice


Weiss, Cornelia. 2015. “Barely Begun: The Inclusion of Women as Peacemakers, Peacekeepers, and Peacebuilders in International Law and Practice.” In Promoting Peace through International Law, edited by Cecilia M. Bailliet and Kjetil Mujezinović Larsen, 274–96. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Author: Cornelia Weiss


The chapter analyses the present state of inclusion of women as peacemakers, peacekeepers, and peace-builders in both law and practice. The chapter explores the status and effect of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions that address women peacemakers, peacekeepers, and peace-builders. It investigates the present status of compliance measures and how they can be used. It addresses options concerning ways of influencing practice when the law does not. This chapter argues with conviction that the pursuit of peace is illusory without the inclusion of women as peacemakers, peacekeepers, and peace-builders. This chapter will assist both the scholar and the practitioner in their respective contributions to the pursuit of peace.

Keywords: women, peacemakers, peacekeepers, peace-builders, Security Council resolutions, CEDAW, UNSC, inclusion

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, peace and security, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS

Year: 2015

The Participation of Women in Peace Processes. The Other Tables


Villellas Ariño, María. 2010. "The Participation of Women in Peace Processes. The Other Tables." Barcelona: Institut Catalá Internacional per la Pau.

Author: María Villellas Ariño


This paper argues that women’s absence in peace processes cannot be explained by their alleged lack of experience in dialogue and negotiation, but by a serious lack of will to include them in such important initiatives of change. Women have wide ranging experience in dialogue processes including many war and post-war contexts, but there has been a deliberate lack of effort to integrate them in formal peace processes. After introducing the research framework, the paper addresses women’s involvement in peace, and analyzes the role played by women in peace processes, through the cases of Sri Lanka and Northern Ireland. The paper concludes that peace processes are as gendered as wars, and for that reason gender has to be a guiding line for including women in peace processes. (Abstract from original)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Gender Roles, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict Regions: Asia, South Asia, Europe, Northern Europe Countries: Sri Lanka, United Kingdom

Year: 2010

Agency and Accountability: Promoting Women's Participation in Peacebuilding


Goetz, Anne Marie, and Rob Jenkins. 2016. "Agency and Accountability: Promoting Women's Participation in Peacebuilding." Feminist Economics 22 (1): 211-36.

Authors: Anne Marie Goetz, Rob Jenkins


This contribution reviews international policy and practices to engage women in formal peace talks, post-conflict elections, and economic recovery, and finds a combination of factors contributing to poor performance in promoting women's agency. The fact that the privileged category for post-conflict decisions are those groups capable of acting as “spoilers” has tended to exclude women's groups from the categories considered most important to involve in decision making. Exacerbating this exclusion is the reluctance of international decision makers to encourage affirmative action measures in these contexts. This carries through to the minimal-state approach to economic recovery efforts. Provisions are needed to foster and invite women's voice in decision making, and build more active-state approaches to women's livelihood recovery. 

Keywords: affirmative action, agency, community, development, discrimination, interdisciplinary

Topics: Economies, Governance, Elections, Post-conflict Governance, Livelihoods, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction

Year: 2016

Women, War and Peace: Pray the Devil Back to Hell

"Pray the Devil Back to Hell is the astonishing story of the Liberian women who took on the warlords and regime of dictator Charles Taylor in the midst of a brutal civil war, and won a once unimaginable peace for their shattered country in 2003.


© 2019 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

Subscribe to RSS - Peace Processes