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Accord Insight: Women building peace

Excluding women from peacebuilding neglects a rich source of skills, insights and energy

Zahbia Yousuf, Accord Insight special project leader

The protection of women in conflict-affected areas, as well as their participation in political decision-making, has been increasingly prominent in international policy over recent decades.

But the development of new policy and approaches has not yet had the impact many had hoped for. Most peace agreements do not address the specific concerns of women. And women are still excluded from political processes.

The case studies highlight the capacity of women to mobilise and organise for peace, but also point to their marginalisation and exclusion from political decision-making

Judith Gardner and Judy El-Bushra, Accord Insight special advisers

This first Accord Insight presents nine articles drawn from previous editions of Accord that examine the roles women have played in addressing violence and building peace. The case studies cover a period from 1998 to 2010 and contexts as far apart as Bougainville and Sierra Leone, Aceh and Northern Ireland.

Women were never simply guests at the negotiating table. The roles they play as combatants, supporters of fighting forces and peacemakers qualify them to sit at the negotiating table and to assume an active role in implementation.

Anne Itto, Accord 18 author

They document women’s first hand peacebuilding practice: providing insights into what women peacebuilders can achieve, the challenges they faced, the opportunities they created and how they can be effectively supported in their efforts.