The Inclusion of Women in Ceasefire Processes

Led by Siri Aas Rustad

Mar 2023 – Dec 2023

How can women’s inclusion and influence in ceasefire agreement negotiations be strengthened?

Evidence suggests that there are advantages of women’s inclusion and influence in ceasefire negotiations. For example, including women in the early stages of ceasefire negotiation increases their likelihood of participating in subsequent peace processes and enables them to promote gender provisions addressing women’s agency and security. While there could be advantages of women’s inclusion and influence in ceasefire negotiations, the evidence demonstrates that women rarely take part. This can indicate that critical obstacles exist which are preventing women’s inclusion. Moreover, there is a limited understanding of when and how opportunities arise for their involvement. If obstacles are to be overcome and women’s influence improved, enhancing our understanding of ceasefire negotiations is key.

In order to contribute to addressing this gap in our knowledge, we collect existing information and analyze notable exceptions to women’s exclusion in ceasefire processes, such as women’s contributions in Colombia, Mali, Myanmar, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. These contributions offer important insights into the decisions, actions, and security considerations of the women participating in ceasefire negotiations. To that end, this project, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, aims to examine both under which circumstances women were included and how their inclusion affected the dynamics of the negotiations, including the potential adoption of gender provisions in the agreement.

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