Conflict prevention and resolution

Women’s participation in mediation is essential for achieving lasting, positive peace, which goes well beyond just the silencing of guns. Women are crucial partners in economic recovery, social cohesion, and political legitimacy, and women’s participation in a mediation process can help ensure that more and diverse members of the community become engaged in peacemaking. This, in turn, can build the credibility of the process and increase local ownership of the process and its results. An inclusive mediation process brings a fuller understanding of the deep-rooted causes of conflict and the different experiences during conflict, as well as facilitates creative and holistic solutions to conflict.

Yet women are still largely absent from peace processes, which results in peace agreements and ceasefires that rarely address the perspectives, needs, and concerns of women and other vulnerable groups, and a subsequent lack of planning for those needs in post-conflict recovery. This can endanger the long-term sustainability of any peace agreement.

Our solutions

UN Women works to increase the availability of gender expertise and to support greater and more effective participation of women at all levels of conflict resolution to ensure that outcomes are gender-responsive.

UN Women works closely with civil society organizations, Member States, and other UN agencies, among others, to increase women’s meaningful participation in peace processes through gathering knowledge and documenting good practices; strengthening women’s civil society organizations to be effective advocates for gender and women’s rights issues in peace processes; providing technical expertise to support gender mainstreaming across peace processes; and supporting the development of regional networks of women leaders and women mediators.

Further reading:

Women mediator networks

The demand for more women in peace processes is being met by an expansion of women mediator networks. These networks work to strengthen women’s leadership, provide coordination and create synergies among actors, and share tools and knowledge to strengthen the capacity of women mediators.

UN Women is supporting the establishment and work of networks such as the African Network of Women in Conflict Prevention and Peace Mediation (FemWise-Africa), the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network, the Commonwealth Women Mediators Network, and the African Women Leaders Network. Read about our other work to support the development of regional women’s mediator networks and how we are supporting local women in Nigeria to form their own network to mediate peace.