Participation in peace processes:

Strengthening women's participation in peace processes

Women are particularly affected by armed conflict and violence. Yet they are often excluded from formal peace or transitional justice processes after the conflict has been resolved, even though they are strongly represented in civil society organisations that are committed to peaceful coexistence. Together with our project partners, we advocate for the effective participation of women in peacebuilding processes.

Formal peace processes are critical time windows in which the social order of the future is negotiated. They offer the opportunity to address inequalities and injustices, including exclusionary gender norms that have been a contributing factor to the conflict. Civil society organisations often play a significant role in strengthening women's participation in peace processes.

Women’s participation in transition

Together with our project partners in Colombia, Nepal and the Philippines, we support conflict-affected women in bringing their knowledge, experiences and demands into processes that begin with the official end of armed conflicts. In this way, they make a concrete contribution to transitional justice. Transitional justice refers to the processes that enable the transition to a sustainable, peaceful and secure social order. In order to initiate real social change, women and marginalised groups must be heard and involved in these processes.

For several years, our project partners Comunitar in Colombia, Nagarik Aawaz in Nepal and the Gaston Z. Ortigas Peace Institute in the Philippines have been conducting Women's Peace Tables ((internal link > Participation in Peace Processes > Women's Peace Tables)), both in urban and rural areas. There, the participants work through their experiences of violence and resistance and jointly develop strategies to bring their demands as a collective into peace and transitional justice processes and conflict transformation. The Peace Tables serve as a safe space for exchange and networking.

Cross-border exchange

We also support exchange among the project partners themselves in the three countries, for example at regular face-to-face meetings. The joint production of the publication "From Transition to Transformation" was a highlight of this cross-border exchange at the conclusion of the project phase, which ended in 2021. The publication is based on the experiences and knowledge of women affected by conflict who participated in Women's Peace Tables in the three countries between 2018-2021, and collects the insights of the partners.