Women’s Inclusion in Myanmar’s Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement

Authored by: Allison Muehlenbeck and Julia Palmiano

Categories: Peace Support Operations
Sub-Categories: Peacemaking
Country: Myanmar
Region: South and Central Asia
Year: 2016
Citation: Muehlenbeck, Allison, and Julia Palmiano. Women’s Inclusion in Myanmar’s Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement. Inclusive Security, 2016.

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Executive Summary

Ceasefire agreements play a crucial role in ending armed conflict. They are often the primary tool to reduce or stop violence and create space for political negotiations. Due to their technical nature, ceasefire talks have been historically exclusive processes between governments and armed groups. While a growing body of research has addressed ceasefire design and implementation, there is still a dearth of knowledge about the inclusion of women in ceasefire negotiations. With the majority of military forces and armed organizations dominated by men, there is little information on women’s participation in ceasefire negotiation and implementation or their impact on related issues.

This study aims to fill that gap by exploring women’s entry points and possible influence in Myanmar’s ceasefire negotiations between 2011 and 2015. This agreement culminated in the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) signed by eight members of a coalition of 16 ethnic armed organizations (EAOs). Myanmar presents an interesting case for studying women’s inclusion in ceasefire negotiations, as the notion of inclusivity has multiple meanings in this context. “All-inclusive” typically refers to participation of certain armed groups in the Myanmar talks, not of women or civil society (non-armed) actors.