THE INCLUSION OF WOMEN’S ISSUES IN PEACE NEGOTIATION AGREEMENTS: GUATEMALA, EL SALVADOR, AND COLOMBIA
Date of Submission
Doctor of Philosophy in International Conflict Management (Ph.D. INCM)
Dr. Tavishi Bhasin
Dr. Ulf Zimmermann
Dr. Alan LeBaron
Armed conflict and its consequences do not discriminate according to gender. It affects all people. During an armed conflict, women are the majority of civilian victims: they are forcibly displaced, their family members are killed, and they suffer sexual abuse and torture. However, most peace processes have been exclusively controlled and led by men, while women and women’s issues are usually not included in peace negotiations or resulting agreements. In the last 30 years, there have been 35 comprehensive peace accords signed across the world of which only eight included women’s issues in their agreements. It is crucial that women’s issues are included to engender institutions and policies focused on improving women’s status in society as well as to ensure a sustainable peace. This project tackles the important question, why are women’s issues included in some peace negotiations and peace agreements and not others. I study this process by analyzing the peace processes and agreements in three cases: Guatemala, El Salvador, and Colombia. I use secondary sources for Guatemala and El Salvador, and a mix of primary and secondary sources (30 interviews) for Colombia. I find that a mobilized women’s movement and frame alignment are necessary conditions for the inclusion of women’s issues in the peace agreement. These findings contribute to the scholarly literature on peace agreements and on women’s rights in conflict-affected areas and have implications for practitioners in the areas of conflict management and peacebuilding.
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