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External Resource

2014

Gender and Peace Settlements from a Quantitative Perspective: A Global Survey

Authored By: Laura McLeod

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Executive Summary

This working paper unpacks quantitative research relating to women and post-conflict settlements from the perspective of gender-as-relational-power. In part one, eleven databases are reviewed. This review reveals that there is very little quantitative information collected about the process of reaching an agreement: for instance, who participates, where the agreement is orhow civil society is involved. Analysis also reveals that these datasets code gender in different ways, and these labels cannot be taken at face value. The treatment of gender-as-a-variable means that some databases equate gender with women, mothers, wives and victims. Such representations could reproduce essentialist images about women and obscures the powerrelations that shape the kind of data that is included and what is considered to “count”. This paper suggests that these databases contribute to the “knowledge” that we have about gender and peace agreements, establishing the basis from which peacebuilding and peacekeeping operates from. The second part of this paper explores what the data shows about women’s involvement in peace processes, and the gendered outcomes of any settlements made. It is clearthat existing data about female participation in the peace process is limited and further research is needed to understand the various modalities of participation and who gets involved in the negotiation process. An investigation of what the current quantitative research says about the effects of UNSCR 1325 highlights that the resolution has had a significant upward impact upon the number of references made to women. The working paper concludes by a reflection upon anumber of methodological problems that need to be confronted, highlighting the issues with gender-disaggregated data, the normative judgements that we take in asking questions about the world, and reflecting upon the definitional problems inherent in gender-as-a-variable that affect how we can go about developing quantitative perspectives about women and peace negotiations.