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Gendering Peacemaking in the Middle East

Funding agency: Australian Research Council and SRA-MECW. Duration: 2021-2023

A major global challenge during the coming decades is working towards sustainable peace. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to create a better and more peaceful world by 2030. However, the Middle East continues to be a conflict-ridden region and contemporary peacemaking practices tend to result in fragile settlements, which are not sustainable over time.

At the same time, there is empirical evidence that peace is more durable when women participate in peace processes; however, the current structures and institutions of peace diplomacy make of the exclusion of women possible. Hence, this project aims to interrogate existing boundaries to women’s participation in peace processes and identifies reasons for the failure of peace making to address the gendered foundations and impacts of conflict.

Moreover, the project will identify practical mechanisms and generalisable lessons from women’s mediation networks, and national and grassroots based women peacebuilders to inform and transform high-level negotiation and mediation processes.

Objectives

The objectives of the project are two-fold:

  • It will analyse existing gendered norms, structures, and institutions that shape the design and practice of high-level peace mediation. The objective is to assess how peacemaking design and practice can be transformed to increase the potential for peace processes to facilitate a ‘feminist peace’ that is sustainable and addresses the gendered foundations of conflict.   
  • It will identify practical mechanisms and generalisable lessons from women’s mediation networks, and national and grassroots based women peacebuilders to inform and transform high-level diplomatic processes. The objective is to generate an evidence base for rethinking peace making design and practice at both the regional (Middle East, Asia, Africa) and global level.

Research Team

Karin Aggestam, CMES Director and Professor at the Department of Political Science (Lund University)

karin [dot] aggestam [at] svet [dot] lu [dot] se

Linda Eitrem Holmgren, CMES Research Assistant and Doctor in Political Science (Lund University)

linda [dot] eitrem_holmgren [at] svet [dot] lu [dot] se

Gina Heathcote, Professor at the School of Law, SOAS University of London 

gh21 [at] soas [dot] ac [dot] uk

Jacqui True, Professor and Director of the Gender, Peace, Security Centre, Monash University

Jacqui [dot] true [at] monash [dot] edu

Jenna Sapiano, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Gender, Peace, Security Centre, Monash University

jenna [dot] saiano [at] monash [dot] edu