A Right Not A Gift: Women Building Feminist Peace

Authored by: Bela Kapur and Ola Saleh

Categories: Peace Support Operations, Statebuilding, Violent Conflict
Sub-Categories: Countering Violent Extremism, Economic Participation, Peacemaking, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, UN Resolutions
Year: 2020
Citation: Kapur, Bela, and Ola Saleh. “A Right Not A Gift: Women Building Feminist Peace.” Edited by Linda Säll, Charlotte Pruth, and Klara Backman. The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation, 2020.

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Executive Summary

Between 1990-2017, women’s participation in major peace processes was low with just 2% as women mediators, 5% as witnesses and signatories, and 8% as negotiators. Despite the historic achievement of the women’s movement securing nine UN Security Council resolutions on Women, Peace and Security between 1990 and the end of 2018, only 19.7% of peace agreements, relating to more than 150 peace processes, included provisions addressing women, girls or gender. The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation’s 25 years of experience in conflict-affected countries suggests that what is in the agreement shapes the standards for post-conflict processes politically, economically, and socially. The exclusion of women from political process, in particular peace and transition processes, which beyond being a rights’ issue, also means that women’s specific perspectives and priorities for renegotiating social contracts are not considered, results in post-conflict political orders cementing rather than transforming gender inequalities.

This study is a contribution to the WPS field and aims to put women who build peace at the forefront and centre. What are their views and perspectives on peace and security? And how do they think we can approach building and sustaining peace differently? Though at the centre of this policy agenda, such questions are seldom asked. To this end, Kvinna till Kvinna conducted an extensive empirical study with 91 participants in 2019 on how the WPS agenda can play an active and effective role in building sustaining peace. The objectives of the study are:

  1. To bring a body of learning from women’s practices into the WPS agenda, thereby leading to the creation of an open tool of women in peacebuilding practices.
  2. To inform full operationalisation and contribute to the continuous improvement of the WPS agenda.