Peace processes:

Peace processes: Critical timeframe for the recognition of women's rights

Women's access to peace and conflict transformation processes is severely limited, even though UN Resolution 1325 on "Women, Peace and Security" legally stipulates their participation. Peace processes offer critical windows of opportunity for the formal recognition of women's rights and for the elimination of discriminatory social structures and gender norms: important cornerstones for post-conflict transformative change. Women and marginalised groups must therefore play an active role in peace processes.

In 2000, the UN Security Council reaffirmed, through UN Resolution 1325 and subsequent follow-up resolutions, that women have a right to participate in peace processes. However, their access to decision-making processes and the possibility of exercising their rights in peace processes are still severely limited.

The experiences, knowledge and concerns of women who are particularly affected by armed conflict and violence are thus barely taken into account in the construction of a new social order. This further cements exclusionary and discriminatory gender norms and perpetuates structural violence.

Peace processes as an opportunity

Peace processes also offer an opportunity to promote the recognition of women's rights and challenge prevailing gender norms. Civil society, feminist and women's organisations can use this critical window of opportunity to address the inequalities and injustices that lead to conflict. 

Addressing the root causes of conflict requires not only transitional justice, but also a comprehensive transformative process of the whole society. In peace processes, institutions, structures, procedures, normative and legal foundations are renegotiated and rebuilt. We support feminist and civil society organisations in actively participating in and shaping this reconstruction in a transformative way.

Understanding peace processes – supporting peace work

Learn more about peace processes, especially about the role women play at different stages and the influence they exert, with our tool "Understanding peace processes".