Gender Sensitivity: Nicety or Necessity in Peace-Process Management?

Authored by: Antonia Potter

Categories: Peace Support Operations
Sub-Categories: Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR), Peacemaking, Post-Conflict Reconstruction
Region: No Region
Year: 2008
Citation: Potter, Antonia. “Gender Sensitivity: Nicety or Necessity in Peace-Process Management?” Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, 2008.

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Executive Summary

This paper offers examples of how issues in peace processes can be treated in a gender-sensitive manner, an exercise that is surprisingly simple yet can yield rich analytical results. Being aware of gender in conflict mediation is not a silver bullet to cure the ills of peacemaking, but is an under-utilized practical tool that can open up opportunities and strengthen mediation’s already strong interest in gathering and using good intelligence. This paper aims to explain: what gender sensitivity really means; what roles the currently excluded sex has played or could play in negotiations at and between different tracks; what substantive or process-enhancing inputs women can provide; and the mediation-support functions they can play, such as relaying messages to and from broader communities, helping to contain spoiling elements in communities, keeping the political middle ground alive, helping to get buy-in for a process, and preventing the dreaded slide back into conflict.