International peace processes are dominated by men and men’s perspectives. In general the approaches used have changed little in many decades. The focus is invariably on bringing the conflicting parties to the negotiating table, where their claims to power and strategic positions are renegotiated and defined.
Amnesties for brutal attacks on civilian populations have been the rule rather than the exception, conveying a message that the route to power is through the actual or threatened use of armed force. People who distance themselves from the use of violence and endeavour to find alternative approaches to conflict resolution are seldom invited to participate in formal peace negotiations. Currently however more and more people are calling for new thinking about approaches to international peacemaking. At a minimum we need seriously to consider the potential benefits of involving more women in peace processes.
This week, PRIO is engaged in organizing two important events addressing this:
- The Fourth High-Level Seminar on Gender and Inclusive Mediation Processes
- The Oslo Symposium on Advancing Women’s Rights and Empowerment in Afghanistan