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Political Settlements Programme informs UN Peace Report

United Nations efforts to include women in peace negotiations have had limited success, Global Justice Academy research shows.

Justice experts reached their conclusions in a report commissioned by the UN to assess the impact made by women on peace-making agreements.
Their findings are contributing to a review of the UN Security Council’s resolution on women, peace and security (Resoultion 1325) which was first passed in 2000.
The review has been championed by former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Positive trend

“Women suffer greatly during conflict, but also find innovative ways of addressing it, and need to be included in formal negotiations to end it.”

- Professor Christine Bell, Global Justice Academy
Edinburgh research shows that the introduction of the UN resolution on women, peace and security in 2000 led to a greater inclusion of women in peace negotiations and agreements.
References to women in such settlements increased from 11 per cent to 27 per cent following the agreement, researchers found.
In peace-making cases in which the UN was directly involved, references to women increased still further, from 14 per cent to 38 per cent.
Despite this, references to women in peace negotiations are still not sufficient, the researchers say. They add that there is much room for improvement.


Challenges to meet

Researchers also found that the strongest provision for women’s equality often occurred in instances where peace agreements as a whole – and women’s measures in particular – were not implemented.
Power-sharing agreements in peace settlements sometimes include women and increase their representation in parliaments or legislatures, they found.
However, research also showed that power-sharing agreements which had no provision for women had chronically low numbers of women in parliaments and highly unstable political settlements.
The University contributed to the report in its capacity as the leading member of the Political Settlement Research Programme consortium. Research was funded by the UK Department of International Development (DFID)
“Our research shows that concerted action to include women works, but needs to be built on. It is important that international political will and commitment to implement now ensures that women are more centrally involved in international peacemaking efforts. We are very pleased that our collaborative research was able to contribute to the thinking of the UN.”

- Professor Christine Bell, Global Justice Academy

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