From the Private to the Public Sphere: New Research on Women’s Participation in Peace-Building

Authored by: Zohra Moosa, Maryam Rahmani, Lee Webster

Categories: Peace Support Operations
Sub-Categories: Peacemaking
Country: Afghanistan, Liberia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sierra Leone
Region: No Region
Year: 2013
Citation: Moosa Zohra, et al. "From the private to the public sphere: new research on women's participation in peace-building," Gender & Development, 21:3, 453-472 (2013).

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Despite the United Nation’s landmark Security Council Resolution on women, peace and security in 2000 which highlighted the importance of women’s participation in peace-building, only one in 40 peace treaty signatories over the last 25 years has been a woman. Yet evidence from non-government organizations and women’s rights organizations shows that women are active agents of peace, resolving conflicts at all levels of society with little or no recognition. This article discusses new research which tracks women’s roles in building peace at local levels in five conflict-affected contexts: Afghanistan, Liberia, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sierra Leone. The article highlights the significance of violence against women as a barrier to peace-building, and explores how and why women’s exclusion and marginalization from peace processes tends to increase the more formal the processes become. The article uses two case studies of women’s rights organizations in Afghanistan and Nepal to illustrate the research findings and demonstrate how communities can mobilize to promote gender equality and fulfill women’s rights.