Should Gender Matter?

Assessing the Validity of the Research Processes Regarding Women’s Participation in Peace Negotiations

Authored by: Leena A. Saarinen

Categories: Peace Support Operations
Sub-Categories: Democratization and Political Participation, International Law, Peacemaking
Region: No Region
Year: 2013
Citation: Saarinen, Leena A, “Should Gender Matter? Assessing the Validity of the Research Process Regarding Women’s Participation in Peace Negotiations,” Master's Thesis, Linnaeus University, 2013.

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Executive Summary

Along with the United Nations Security Council Resolutions on women, peace, and security, women’s participation in peace processes has become an increasingly popular research topic in the 2000s. However, while several authors have written on the topic, there seems to be a lack of empirical data to support the argumentation regarding women’s participation in peace negotiations and its impact on agreements and post-conflict societies. Therefore, the objective of this study is to carry out an analysis on the recent research processes that concern women’s participation in formal peace negotiations and its impact and assess this research in terms of its validity.

As the primary data used for this study consisted of scientific publications, content analysis and discourse analysis proved to be appropriate methods to collect and categorize the data. After this process, the data were analyzed with the help of an analytical framework based on the criteria for validity in scientific research, which was composed of four different elements credibility, transferability, reliability and verifiability.

The findings regarding the validity of the research processes concerning women’s participation in peace negotiations and its impact indicated that the research lacks validity to a great extent in all four areas depicted in the analytical framework. The main issues with the past research arose within the connections made between the methods, sources and findings. In addition, it was concluded that there are indications that the scientific discourse on women’s participation is heavily influenced by the UNSC resolutions on women, peace and security, creating more advocacy research with political agenda rather than scientific studies aiming at objectivity. In other words, there are great opportunities to be taken in different areas of research to create more validity on the argumentation and thus, to generate data to support relevant mechanisms for more sustainable peace-building in regards of women’s participation in peace negotiations.