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Mediation Perspectives: Fighting ‘Feminist Fatigue’

Photo: Nancy Pelosi/flickr

Despite decades of advocacy, why are women still so poorly represented at the peace table? In 2012, UN Women reported that women accounted for just four per cent of participants in 31 major peace processes between 1992 and 2011. Why is this number so low despite international mechanisms like United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women?

A partial answer to this question may be found in the shortcomings of certain approaches to promoting women’s rights.  In particular, the effectiveness of some strands of academic and policy literature on women, peace and security (WPS), and related advocacy campaigns that push for greater representation and participation of women at the peace table, can be questioned.