Beyond the Numbers: Women’s Participation in the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation

Authored by: Meredith P. McGhie and E. Njoki Wamai.

Categories: Peace Support Operations, Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: Democratization and Political Participation, Peacemaking, Political Transitions, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Transitional Justice, UN Resolutions
Country: Kenya
Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
Year: 2011
Citation: McGhie, Meredith P. and E. Njoki Wamai. Beyond the Numbers: Women’s Participation in the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation. Geneva: Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, 2011.

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Despite the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (SCR 1325) on Women Peace and Security a decade ago, not enough progress has been made to increase women’s participation in conflict prevention, peace processes and post-conflict recovery. Recent discussion around women’s participation in mediated peace processes has led to a more nuanced debate, which can be divided into two distinct areas: the participation of women in peace processes, and the inclusion of issues of importance to women in the substance of the talks. Increased participation of women does not immediately lead to addressing gender in the substance of mediation processes. Specific expertise and attention, in addition to participation, is required. This distinction is brought into sharp relief with an examination of the Kenya mediation process after the crisis following elections in December 2007. While the Kenyan process has been hailed as an example of good practice due to the high level and high profile of women involved, this does not tell the full story – of both the successes and the challenges of addressing gender issues in the mediation process.