Feminist Politics and the Peace Process

Authored by: Linda Connolly

Categories: Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: National Security Forces and Armed Groups, Peace Accords, Peacemaking, Political Transitions, Transitional Justice
Country: Northern Ireland
Region: Europe and Eurasia
Year: 1999
Citation: Connolly, Linda. "Feminist Politics and the Peace Process." Capital & Class 23 (1999): 145-59.

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Executive Summary

The Belfast Agreement is currently being addressed in light of a number of issues: freedom of assembly and the right to protest; international models of peace and reconciliation; reinventing government; devolution; and the decommissioning impasse. However, the implications of the Agreement for feminist politics and women's organisations in civil society are not clear. Historically, feminism is a tangible and observable set of ideologies and form of politics in Northern Ireland. Contemporary women's groups occupy an extensive political space in civil society. Activists in grassroots organisations, where women are concentrated, are as central as elected representatives in the drive towards a negotiated settlement. ‘Doctrinal’ interpretations of the Peace Process simplify feminist politics and occlude diversity and conflict both within and between different groups of women. This paper explores how a conflict approach to feminist politics can pose alternative questions about the Peace Process.