Publication Date

April 2019

Advisor(s)

Robert Steele

Major

Psychology

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

Women comprise roughly half of the world’s population. Notwithstanding, in major peace processes from 1990-2019, women have served as 2% of mediators, 5% of witnesses and signatories, and 8% of negotiators. This underrepresentation of women is not only an affront to the moral principle of equality, but it is also counterproductive given the body of evidence demonstrating that women’s participation in peace processes makes a resolution more durable. This thesis synthesizes various sources to offer an integrative case as to why women’s involvement in peace talks makes a resolution more enduring. At the heart of the argument is that women’s collaborative tendencies and distinct life experiences are invaluable assets in conciliatory talks. They allow women to expand the conversation at the table, so that peace resolutions have the potential to refashion the social fabric of a society, instead of merely ending violence and changing a nation’s leadership. Addressing a wider array of social and political issues gives way to more robust solutions that touch upon larger segments of society. This, in turn, promises longer-lasting harmony.

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