Why Is It Important To Increase Women's Participation In Peace Processes?

Impact of Women's Participation on Sustainable Peace Agreements

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Why Is It Important To Increase Women’s Participation In Peace Processes?

International peace refers to the absence of hostilities between two or more countries or groups. The thesis statement claimed that women's participation in the peace process is important as they play as a key player to reduce conflicts and foster advance relational stability. First, the role of women in different pieces of agreements across the world is discussed. Second, an analysis of women's participation in fostering peace is highlighted. Lastly, appropriate recommendations are presented for incorporating women into the international peace process.

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Role of women in a different piece of agreements across the world

Women's participation in peace processes has been found to result in more sustainable and easily implemented agreements. When gender equality is improved, governments are less likely to be involved in violent conflict between themselves and their own citizens. An agreement to end hostilities is 64% more likely to be held if groups from civil society, especially women's organisations, are included in the negotiations (Cfr, 2022). Women in positions of authority in the security industry often have access to communities and locations that are off-limits to men, allowing them to gather information about potential dangers that would be unavailable to male authorities.

Queer theory seeks to challenge dominant gender and sex norms in academia, activism, the arts, and popular culture (Cohn and Enloe, 2003). Its overarching goal is the elimination of class distinctions and discrimination which must be fostered in the international peace process to increase women’s participation. This concept was clearly opposed by the Taliban who imposed their rules and regulations on all private properties as well as human beings even affecting the human right of female persons of that region. Afghan women have made significant efforts to resolve violence and ensure peace at the grassroots level in Afghanistan, which has aided in the development of a peace deal with the Taliban (Cfr, 2022). Truer words have never been spoken than in the context of negotiating a peace deal with Afghanistan's Taliban. There are four distinct ways in which they have led to the shift.

Afghan women are in a unique position to aid in security operations and the establishment of negotiating positions due to their access to traditionally male-only areas of society. Therefore, the United States and its alliance allies have formed groups whose mission is to increase their engagement with Afghan women and to gather information on threats to their security (Krause et al. 2018)). A group of women activists in Ghazni and Kabul alerted local security to their belief that the Taliban had smuggled weapons into the province because they had noticed an increase in the number of trucks traveling through their neighbourhoods, but their concerns were dismissed. Increases in the number of trucks driving through the women's neighbourhoods led them to suspect foul play. After months of inaction on the part of security personnel, the Taliban were able to free dozens of fighters from prison in Ghazni in the largest prison break in years, dealing a devastating blow to the country's security operations. When compared to previous prison breaks, this one was monumental.

Gain the backing of the general public. Women's groups are going out to underserved areas, which have limited access to news about the peace process, to provide updates and collect feedback from locals. Work across divisions. Regularly, Afghan women gather in order to achieve common goals across ethnic and religious lines, bring focus to social and humanitarian issues, and advocate for the rights of marginalised communities in the ongoing peace process (Cfr, 2022). Women, for instance, actively reached out to individuals of various ethnicities at the constitutional convention in 2004 to push for a binding promise of equal rights for all Afghan residents. According to constructivism theory, important features of international relations are formed by a combination of material factors and ideational elements, as societal and historical influences on ideas. It has been seen that while some progress has been made, it has been hampered by a lack of governmental will and funding due to their misconceptions as well as historical and social influence on their ideas regarding the incapability of women (Duncanson, 2009).

In the case of Israeli and Palestinian when women have participated in formal negotiations, both their male counterparts and impartial mediators have praised their contributions as crucial to breaking deadlocks and freeing up progress for everyone involved. Even when women's participation was purely optional, this has always been the case. In both Palestine and Israel, women have held positions of power on technical committees, contributing invaluable knowledge on issues such as water access, law, and human rights (Cfr, 2022). Women leaders in Israel and Palestine have been working together across ethnic, national, and religious lines for quite some time. They've used these groups as a springboard for organising nonviolent campaigns for better community safety, gender parity, and access to essential resources. Women have coordinated large-scale actions to press political leaders to move the peace process forward.

Feminism takes a broader perspective than simply focusing on the mechanisms of gendered oppression and power in order to gain a sense of the way the experiences of women are distinct from those of men in participating in international peace process (Olonisakin et al. 2010). It also delves into how oppressive and power structures interplay with one another. Based on this theory it can be stated that a negative relationship between Ukraine and Russia has developed due to lack of female participation. Despite being excluded from official negotiations, women in Ukraine have made great strides toward facilitating positive social change and securing lasting peace.

Women helped steer the Euromaidan movement, which helped expose authoritarian practices and usher in a more progressive government. Female political leaders in Russia and Ukraine convened a meeting of civil society members from both countries to talk and build trust and peace (Cfr, 2022). The vast majority of Ukraine's humanitarian aid workers are female volunteers. Humanitarian assistance workers are often the first to arrive in areas where fighting has taken place to deliver aid to refugees. Within a global system without a central political authority, realists and neorealists both place emphasis on stable patterns of interaction. The logic of internal politics, which is overseen by a sovereign power, is not always equivalent to the logic of foreign politics as a result of this anarchy.

Analysis of women's participation in fostering peace

There is abundant evidence to suggest that expanding opportunities for women to participate in and assume leadership roles across all industries as well as in political decision-making processes results in societies that are safer, more welcoming, and more peaceful (Webster et al. 2019). If the government recognizes and invests in its role as a peace player as well as a development actor, it will be a game changer in preventing the outbreak of conflict, brokering more permanent peace agreements, preventing relapse, and rebuilding more effectively after conflict.

The potential for peace agreements to endure is enhanced when women take part in UN peace agreement creation (Pratt and Richter-Devroe, 2011). Women typically take the lead in facilitating the discussion processes that halt the escalation of conflicts and find consensus after wars. When there are more women serving in various police and military forces, those institutions become more efficient and are better able to safeguard our safety. Women often invest a greater portion of their economic security dividends into the well-being of their families and communities. Additionally, the agency of women helps to improve humanitarian assistance, enhances the efforts of our forces to provide protection, and adds to the final outcome of peace talks as well as the maintenance of peace agreements (Karamé, 2019). The agency of women in peace processes promotes the integration of the demands of the community in order to attain deeper peace benefits; it also improves economic recovery following the conflict, and it helps prevent violent extremism.

The inclusion of women in political processes leads to improvements in those processes. When there are women in positions of decision-making, there is a greater likelihood that decisions will be more inclusive, that different perspectives will be heard, and that a diversity of solutions will be developed (Unwomen, 2022).

Even in the most politically contentious situations, women frequently show political leadership by cooperating with members of opposing parties through parliamentary women's caucuses (Davies and True, 2018). In nations where there is a higher proportion of women holding political office, a greater emphasis is placed on topics such as the improvement of healthcare, education, and infrastructure, the eradication of violence against women, and general concerns over the quality of life.

These problems are all extremely important to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals, and they show how goal number five, which aims to "achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls," serves as a catalyst for the accomplishment of all of the other Sustainable Development Goals, including goal number sixteen, which aims to create "just, peaceful, and inclusive societies” (De Coning and Peter, 2019).

Figure 1: The proportion of peace treaties that include some mention of women at the very least

(Source: Unwomen, 2022)

The above figure it has represented that the recent percentage of engaging women in peace agreements in 2016 was nearly 60% Unwomen, 2022). The probability that a peace agreement will last for at least 2 years is increased by twenty percent when women are involved in the process, and the probability that it will last for fifteen years is increased by thirty-five percent. Forty peace procedures that have taken place since the conclusion of the Cold War have been analysed, and the results reveal that the chances of a peace accord being reached are greatly boosted when women's participants are able to exercise a strong impact on the negotiation process.

When women's groups are powerless, on the other hand, peace talks are much less likely to result in a lasting settlement (Puechguirbal, 2010). The ability to reach a consensus was much enhanced whenever women were in positions of power. If members of civil society are included in peace negotiations, there is a 64% less chance that agreements will fail. Researchers looked at 16 national forums and discovered that very few male leaders participated in the deliberations.

Recommendation

All main actors in official peacebuilding should make sure that women have direct and significant participation during certain phases of the process, that women's viewpoints and gender-responsive provisions are included in all meetings, counseling sessions, and agreements, and that all parties are trained on their gender-responsive commitments within their field of expertise, and that women's groups engaging in official peace processes are acknowledged and given holistic support (Krause et al. 2018). It is the obligation of the member nations that are financing individual peace initiatives to provide incentives for women's participation in the negotiation parties.

Training, logistical aid, or extra representation at the negotiating table are all examples of the kinds of incentives that could be offered (True and Riveros-Morales, 2019). All venues, such as the Security Council, should be updated on the progress of the ambassador, the leader of the peace mission, and every mediator on a regular basis. Include provisions for giving assistance for women's methodical engagement in peace talks in the roles' terms of reference. Stop treating women as passive bystanders rather than full participants in the discussion. Women should not be onlookers but rather contributors to national decision-making processes, such as peace talks or constitutional amendments.

Conclusion

Based on the above discussion it can be concluded that women play an important role in international peace processes; they have to foster a stable relationship between countries. Moreover, they also assist in succeeding several awareness programs in several countries. Furthermore, in the international decision-making process women also can play an important role to analyse the pros and cons of any international decisions such as war. However, one of the key causes contributing to the persistent absence of women in peace processes is women's institutional exclusion from decision-making positions. Women are not allowed to hold positions of power in non-state institutions, government, warring groups, political parties, diplomacy, or mediation. Lastly, it can be stated that the government of each Country must take appropriate actions to engage women in the peace process to gain a stable and positive outcome.

References

Cfr. (2022). Afghanistan Case Study. https://www.cfr.org/womens-participation-in-peace-processes/afghanistan

Cfr. (2022). Israel and the Palestinian Territories Case Study. https://www.cfr.org/womens-participation-in-peace-processes/israel-and-palestinian-territories

Cfr. (2022). Ukraine Case Study. https://www.cfr.org/womens-participation-in-peace-processes/ukraine-4

Cfr. (2022). Women’s Participation in Peace Processes. https://www.cfr.org/womens-participation-in-peace-processes/

Cohn, C. and Enloe, C., 2003. A conversation with Cynthia Enloe: Feminists look at masculinity and the men who wage war. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 28(4), pp.1187-1107.

Davies, S.E. and True, J. eds., 2018. The Oxford handbook of women, peace, and security. UK: Oxford University Press.

De Coning, C. and Peter, M., 2019. United Nations peace operations in a changing global order (p. 334). Springer Nature.

Duncanson, C., 2009. Forces for good? Narratives of military masculinity in peacekeeping operations. International Feminist Journal of Politics, 11(1), pp.63-80.

Eichler, M., 2014. Militarized masculinities in international relations. Brown J. World Aff., 21, p.81.

Karamé, K.H., 2019. Military women in peace operations: Experiences of the Norwegian Battalion in UNIFIL 1978-98. In Women and International Peacekeeping (pp. 85-96). Routledge.

Krause, J., Krause, W. and Bränfors, P., 2018. Women’s participation in peace negotiations and the durability of peace. International interactions, 44(6), pp.985-1016.

Olonisakin, F., Barnes, K. and Ikpe, E. eds., 2010. Women, peace and security: translating policy into practice. UK: Routledge.

Pratt, N. and Richter-Devroe, S., 2011. Critically examining UNSCR 1325 on women, peace and security. International Feminist Journal of Politics, 13(4), pp.489-503.

Pratt, N. and Richter-Devroe, S., 2011. Critically examining UNSCR 1325 on women, peace and security. International Feminist Journal of Politics, 13(4), pp.489-503.

Puechguirbal, N., 2010. Discourses on gender, patriarchy and resolution 1325: A textual analysis of UN documents. International Peacekeeping, 17(2), pp.172-187.

True, J. and Riveros-Morales, Y., 2019. Towards inclusive peace: Analysing gender-sensitive peace agreements 2000–2016. International Political Science Review, 40(1), pp.23-40.

Unwomen. (2022). Speech: “Lasting peace depends on equal rights, equal opportunity and the equal participation of women”—Lakshmi Puri. https://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2017/9/speech-ded-puri-world-parliamentary-forum

Unwomen. (2022). WOMEN’S PARTICIPATION AND A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE POLITICAL. https://wps.unwomen.org/participation/

Webster, K., Chen, C. and Beardsley, K., 2019. Conflict, peace, and the evolution of women's empowerment. International Organization, 73(2), pp.255-289.

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