From Hopeful Agreements to Disillusioned Peace? The effects of peace agreement implementation on women’s security and empowerment

Led by Louise Olsson
Jan 2018 - Dec 2021

What are the effects of peace agreement implementation on women’s security and empowerment? 

In contrast to non-war settings, recent survey data from a diverse set of post-conflict settings has found that women are more negative than men towards several types of peacebuilding initiatives, such as ex-combatant reintegration, amnesties, and truth commissions.

The project proposed here suggests that part of the explanation for this puzzling finding is that failure to consider gender aspects when moving from a peace agreement to its implementation may inadvertently create risks for the female populations in post-conflict settings. Such risks include increased insecurity when ex-combatants are reintegrated in society, stigma and trauma stemming from the types of violence women were subjected to during and after the war, including repercussions of truth telling processes. 

These, and similar examples, may lead women to become more disillusioned and negative towards the implementation of peace deals, especially so if the agreement itself held promises for women. 

In this project, we combine a global study tracking the gender aspects in a set of peace processes, with in-depth analysis of Colombia, including both survey and focus group data. Colombia has been recognized as a case of considerable female participation in the process to formulate a peace agreement; an agreement which also recognized women’s and men’s different security situations.



Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Duque, Juan Diego; Erika Forsberg & Louise Olsson (2022) Implementing Gender Provisions: A Study of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro in the Philippines, International Negotiation: a Journal of Theory and Practice. DOI: 10.1163/15718069-bja10068.
Olsson, Louise & Madhav Joshi (2021) War termination and women's political rights, Social Science Research. DOI: 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2020.102523.

GPS Policy Brief

Gindele, Rebecca; Madhav Joshi; Louise Olsson; Jason Quinn; Elise Ditta & Rebecca Méndez (2018) Implementing the Final Colombian Peace Agreement, 2016–2018, GPS Policy Brief, 1. Oslo: PRIO.

Book Chapter

Olsson, Louise (2022) Peacekeeping operations and women’s security, in Handbook on Peacekeeping and International Relations. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd (242–255).
Olsson, Louise (2022) Women’s Participation in Peace Processes, in Contemporary Peacemaking: Conflict, Violence and Peace Processes. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.
Olsson, Louise & Theodora-Ismene Gizelis (2019) The Production of the 2015 Global Study, in Davies, Sara; & Jacqui True, eds, Oxford University Press Handbook on Women, Peace and Security. Oxford: Oxford University Press (122–134).

Popular Article

Olsson, Louise & Madhav Joshi (2021) What's Next for Women's Rights in Afghanistan?, Political Violence @ a Glance, 13 September.
Joshi, Madhav & Louise Olsson (2021) What's at stake for women in Afghanistan, Political Violence at a Glance, 15 April.

Report - Other

Joshi, Madhav; & Louise Olsson (2020) Women, Peace and Security: Understanding the Implementation of Gender Stipulations in Peace Agreements, Joint Brief Series: New Insights on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) for the Next Decade. Stockholm: Folke Bernadotte Academy, PRIO and UN Women.