Strengthening women’s participation in peace processes: What roles and responsibilities for states?

This report reflects the main arguments presented during the high-level seminar, organized by UN Women in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, on “Strengthening women’s participation in peace processes: What roles and responsibilities for states?” in Rome, Italy, on 3 and 4 December 2019. The main arguments include the persistent barriers to women’s meaningful participation in peace and mediation processes and the opportunities that exist to remove them.

Specifically, seminar participants discussed challenges related to limited political will, the link between women’s underrepresentation in politics and their marginalization in peace processes, the complex balance between women’s representation and promoting gender equality, and the barriers to sustainable civil society involvement.

Second, the report highlights perspectives and lessons learned that representatives of the United Nations, Member States, regional organizations, and civil society shared on how to enhance women’s meaningful participation in peace processes. Two strategies were emphasized: the design of inclusive peace processes and the role of regional networks of women mediators in bridging peace processes across tracks. The case studies of Colombia, Syria, and Cyprus are also included, offering insights on some successful strategies to increase women’s participation.

Finally, the report describes the key policy recommendations that emanated from the seminar, with a view to addressing ongoing barriers to women’s participation and using innovative and comprehensive strategies to achieve more gender-responsive peace processes.

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