Top 3: Why we need more women in peacebuilding

March 6, 2019

 

On March 8 it is International Women's Day, and here we take a look at three ways women impact peacebuilding:

 

1. Women can make peace happen

 

In conflict resolution attempts women can get groups to the negotiating table, and studies show that with women involved peace agreements are more likely to be reached.

 

Ambassador Swanee Hunt from Inclusive Security says women on one side of a conflict are able to get beyond the pain, anger and hatred of that conflict to make connections in particular to women on the “other side”.

 

"It's particularly dramatic with women because they will say things like 'We are all mothers',” Hunt says. “So they will use that connection with their children to connect with mothers of children and feel like there's a certain empathy there."

 

2. Women can make peace last

 

With women participating in peace agreements the odds of it lasting long-term goes up by 35 percent.

 

Former House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce says that when you consider that, historically, over half of all peace agreements fail within the first five years, women’s involvement becomes imperative. 

 

“Think about the lives saved and economies maintained by a 35 percent decrease in repeated conflicts," Royce says.

 

3. Women can lead peace

 

Research from Marie O’Reilly, at the Institute for Inclusive Security, shows that when women influence decisions about war and peace and take the lead against extremism in their communities, it is more likely crises will be resolved without recourse to violence.

 

But we need more women in leadership, to better build peace.

 

“We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.”

                                                                               - Malala Yousafzai

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