Female Mediators and the Comprehensiveness of Peace Agreements

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för freds- och konfliktforskning

Abstract: The acknowledgement of women’s important role as mediators in peace negotiations is emerging. However, previous research on the impact of a mediator’s gender in mediation processes does not provide a conclusive answer. This study poses the research question: Is the comprehensiveness of a peace agreement influenced by the participation of female mediators, and if so, how? By drawing on theories suggesting mediators’ ability to influence peace negotiations and theories on the importance of women’s presence to address different kinds of issues in peace negotiations, the study hypothesizes that a gender-mixed mediation team increases the chance of reaching a comprehensive peace agreement. A content analysis of the peace agreements met in Liberia 2003, Sudan 2005, Ivory Coast 2007 and DRC 2008 as well as an in-depth analysis of the mediation process of Sudan and Liberia presents evidence suggesting that female mediators do influence peace agreement’s comprehensiveness. Still, the study also underlines the importance of taking other factors, such as civil society women’s groups’ active participation, as well as the strategy used by mediators, into account. 

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