Despite people’s constant efforts to gain peace, there are still numerous armed conflicts taking place all over the world. Some are on-going, causing thousands of people’s violent deaths every year. Others are frozen, keeping people in a constant limbo, without any possibilities to regain a normal life. But there is one thing that most of these conflicts have in common: Women are not allowed to take part in the official ways of trying to end them.
Women are differently, but equally, affected by armed conflicts as men. Still they are constantly being excluded from the negotiations and decision-making regarding conflict resolution, and the issues especially tied to women’s situation are thereby consequently ignored.
To examine what the factors are that hinder women’s participation and to find good and bad examples to learn from, the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation in May 2011 started the project Women and conflict resolution.
The project is based on in-depth field analysis of five regions that represent different levels of conflict and/or peace building: Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Liberia and Nagorno-Karabakh.
Of the 21 peace negotiations that were started between 1992 and 2009, only 5,9 percent had women participants and only 2,4 percent of the peace signatories were women.
List of ongoing military conflicts in the world
These are also regions where the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation have been active for many years and have access to the voices of women’s organizations. In October 2012 the extensive report Equal Power – Lasting Peace, Obstacles for women’s participation in peace processes was finished.
The dynamics and development of the region’s conflicts are very different. Their history and the circumstances surrounding them is one key in finding ways to build peace. But to achieve sustainable peace, i e get the whole population involved, it’s also crucial to identify the obstacles for women’s participation and to analyse differences and similarities between different methods of conflict resolution. The knowledge and information gathered and processed in these field analysis will now be used to provide concrete recommendations on how to achieve equal power – lasting peace.
Find out more on the different conflicts by clicking on the map above. The recommendations you will find under What to do?