As leaders in civil society, particularly during and following violent conflict, women are critical players in peace negotiations. In formal negotiations, they raise often-ignored political and social issues, ensure that the voices of victims and civilians are consistently heard, and build bridges among negotiating parties. They also have a solid record of successfully bringing together representatives of opposing factions in unofficial talks. Yet women remain the largest group of stakeholders regularly excluded from official negotiation processes.
In October 2000, the UN Security Council acknowledged in Resolution 1325 the importance of inclusion, mandating women's full participation in peace building; few policymakers, however, know how to fulfill this obligation. This guide provides the international community with concrete strategies to successfully bring women into peace negotiations.