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Clare Castillejo

Clare Castillejo is a research associate at the Overseas Development Institute. She specialises in governance and rights in fragile states, with a particular interest in inclusive peacebuilding and statebuilding, and has worked with donors, UN agencies, think tanks, and NGOs on a range of confli...
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Women political leaders and peacebuilding

Clare Castillejo, 12 May 2016

Over the past 15 years there has been growing recognition of the gender-differentiated impact of conflict, the opportunities to promote women’s rights that post-conflict peacebuilding processes provide and – crucially – the value that women bring to peacebuilding. Yet in many conflict-affected settings women’s participation and leadership in shaping the peacebuilding agenda remain strongly resisted by male elites and are not prioritised by international actors.

This report explores the opportunities for achieving women’s meaningful participation and influence in peacebuilding, and the challenges faced by such an agenda. Given the crucially important role that political parties can play in shaping the direction of peacebuilding and post-conflict politics, the report focuses particularly on the ability of women to exercise political voice and leadership through parties and the party system. Finally, it examines why international actors have failed to live up to their commitments on women’s inclusion in peacebuilding, and identifies opportunities and strategies to strengthen international support for women’s participation and influence in the politics of peace.

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