New research demonstrates that peace talks are more successful if women are involved. Does that surprise anyone?
Women’s participation in conflict prevention and resolution can improve outcomes before, during, and after conflict. But women are often excluded from formal peace processes. Between 1992 and 2019, women constituted, on average, 13 percent of negotiators, 6 percent of mediators, and 6 percent of signatories in major peace processes around the world. While there has been some progress in women’s participation, about 70 percent of peace processes still did not include women mediators or women signatories.
According to research by UN Women and the Council on Foreign Relations, truces between nations have more chance of succeeding if women are involved in peace talks. The study found that armistices were 64 percent less likely to fail when women had a seat at the table.
“Continued failure to include women in peace processes ignores their demonstrated contributions and overlooks a potential strategy to respond more effectively to security threats around the world,” the Council on Foreign Relations concluded.
Even in 2020, peace efforts have struggled to include women. For example, women represented only around 10 percent of negotiators in the Afghan talks, just 20 percent of negotiators in Libya’s political discussions, and zero percent of negotiators in Libya’s military talks and Yemen’s recent process. One current peace process is led by a woman chief mediator - Stephanie Williams, acting head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya -marking the first time in six years that a woman holds this role.
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