OH, HOW PRETTY YOU WOMEN ARE TALKING ABOUT SECURITY A qualitative perspective on how female internal mediators in Colombia view gender as affecting their influence in peace negotiation
Abstract: Peace diplomacy has been a male dominated area for centuries. The internal mediator, anactor taking part within peace negotiations, plays an essential role in increasing the likelihood of negotiated agreements. Participation of female internal mediators in peace negotiations is remarkably limited and we know little about the context in which these women work. From a qualitative perspective, this thesis examines the views of female internal mediators in Colombia who have been taking part in the peace process between FARC-EP and the Colombian government since 2010. By focusing on the peace process in Colombia, in which the large number of women participating was groundbreaking, this thesis aims to investigate how female internal mediators in Colombia view the role of gender in the peace negotiation process. Do they see being a woman as something which limits or enhances their influence in peace negotiation? If so, in what ways? By conducting a descriptive single case study on Colombia, with the use of semi-structured interviews, several views on the role of gender in peace negotiation was found. In sum, It was found that stereotypical gender roles and the gendered division of labour, recognition, and networks all work as both limiting as well as enabling factors for female internal mediators’ influence. The result show that female internal mediators on the one hand realize the need for having recognition in order to get appointments and assert influence, but on the other hand express not wanting it due to threats and internal resistance.
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