Power to Women in Peace Processes

Women's Organisations Cooperating in Realising Resolution 1325

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Betty Bigombe (left), Chief Peace Mediator for Northern Uganda, briefs journalists on the "Act for Stolen Children of Northern Uganda", at UN Headquarters. Next to her is John Prendergast, Senior Adviser to the President of the International Crisis Group, 18 October 2005.
FOTO: UN Photo

Why is it Necessary?

Women Make Up Half of the World Population
It is undemocratic to exclude women. Allowing women to participate in decisions concerning peace processes is directly linked to the quality of a community's political, financial, legal, and social development. 

Women are Particularly Exposed in Conflict
War and conflict directly impact, and often destroy, the lives of women, children, and elders. The voices of women, who make up the majority of afflicted groups, need to be present and active in reparation and prevention work regarding armed conflict. 

It is a Waste of Resources to Exclude Women
Results from conflicts throughout history have shown that women bring crucial insight into peace negotiations. Decision makers and power brokers involved in conflict resolution must include women in order to gain from their valuable experiences and ideas. Failure to do so will result in detrimental consequences. 

Sustainable Peace is Impossible Without Women
The agenda for peace-building will be weak and incomplete if women are not allowed to participate in its construction. Women must take part in peace and security initiatives in order for the agenda to be adequately attentive to the needs of all members of society. There is an inextricable link between women's participation and a community's development. As a result, inclusive peace-building processes can lead to more equal power relations between men and women that may lessen other societal tensions.

There is a Need for Women Actors in Peace Missions
The widespread absence of women in peace missions is problematic. For instance, when the purpose of a given mission is to conduct consultations with the civilian population, actors must interact with both men and women. Gender norms in contexts such as Afghanistan require the participation of female experts who are more apt to access and amplify the voices of regional women.