According to UN Women: “Women’s participation in peace processes results in more durable and stable peace.” And that is exactly what we need right now. However, where are the women?
Even if women account for half of the population of this world, they are still underrepresented in peace talks and conflict resolution processes. UN Women has clearly highlighted that their participation in these processes increase the probability of a peace agreement lasting at least 2 years by 20%. However, between 1992 and 2019 women accounted only for less than 13% of negotiators, 6% of mediators, and 6% of signatories in major peace processes around the world.
As we can see, even if women’s participation can improve the outcomes & processes, it is still not a reality.
This constant exclusion of women in peace talks reflects the disregard that this male-dominated field is having for their demonstrated contributions to the matter. Consequently, completely overlooking a way forward towards a more effective response to the conflicts and challenges our world is currently facing. Now more than ever, we need women to be part of the discussions, to have a seat at the table and to be given the chance to contribute to a peaceful resolution of the Ukraine-Russia and other ongoing conflicts. In this regard, we need their voice and positive action to be given adequate visibility and power in order to help shift the male-traditional focus that is present in international conflict resolution processes.
As Margot Wallström recently said: “Women’s participation in peace talks and negotiations should be the default situation -not an argument. It is not too late.”
Conclusion? We need more gender balance in foreign policy leadership!