Should Peace Agreements Recognize Women?

Authored by: Ian O'Flynn and David Russell

Categories: Peace Support Operations
Sub-Categories: International Agreements, Peace Accords, Peacemaking
Region: No Region
Year: 2011
Citation: O’Flynn, Ian and David Russell. “Should Peace Agreements Recognize Women?” Ethnopolitics 10.1 (2011): 35-50.

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Executive Summary

In order to end conflict and foster democracy, most contemporary peace agreements recognize particular ethnic groups, typically by accommodating them within the central institutions for governing the state. Yet the conflicts that peace agreements aim to manage or resolve also affect other groups in society. Accordingly, this article considers whether a convincing normative case might be made for extending the act of recognition to women. To this end, four possible arguments are considered—the justice argument, the nature argument, the interest argument and the role-model argument. Although the fourth of these arguments has received the least amount of attention from contemporary feminists, it is argued that it is the most plausible (or least problematic) way to justify the claim that peace agreements should recognize and accommodate women. That said, the authors accept that, taken on its own, the role-model argument is still a fairly weak argument, and so the paper concludes by suggesting how, in practical terms, it might be bolstered.