Gender inclusion transforms rather than threatens elite bargains to end conflict
In this piece, authors Alexandra Phelan and Jacqui True give a summary of the arguments raised in their new article for BISA journal Review of International Studies (RIS). The full article is titled 'Navigating gender in elite bargains: Women's movements and the quest for inclusive peace in Colombia'.
Despite a growing body of Women, Peace and Security (WPS) scholarship, advocacy and policy that connects the participation of women and the inclusion of gender provisions to the sustainability of peace settlements, women continue to be excluded from peace processes. How and why do women's groups navigate gender power structures to push for participation in elite bargaining processes aimed at ending armed conflict? And how are they able to negotiate sensitive issues, especially gendered violence, within these deeply political processes?
Our article argues that Colombia’s 2016 Peace Agreement between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) and the Santos administration is a significant case for examining these questions: The agreement has been internationally applauded for for its ‘gender-based approach’, and the inclusion of gender provisions that directly benefit women. We demonstrate how women’s groups navigate gender power structures and gendered forms of violence within complex and fragile political bargaining processes drawing upon original field research in Colombia between 2017 and 2019.