Why Is It So Hard to Get Women to the Peace Table? And Why Is That Not Even the Right Question?
Women activists from war zones around the world have fought for women’s participation in peace negotiations, seeing women’s inclusion as a path to ending wars more quickly and to creating more gender-equitable postwar societies. Although UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (October 2000) has provided an international policy framework which asserts women’s right to participate, gaining roles for women in peace processes has remained a struggle, with notably scant results. This talk examines not only the reasons the demand has met so much resistance, but also some of the assumptions underpinning the belief that getting women to the peace table would result in the desired political outcomes. Further, it argues that even if the so-called “Women, Peace and Security agenda” emerging out of UNSCR 1325 were ever to be fully implemented, gender-equitable peacebuilding would be unlikely to occur, because even the best peace agreement can be (and often has been) radically undercut by the global political economic actors and processes shaping postwar reconstruction.