1. Learn about drivers/causes of conflict and peace.
2. Ask about the differential impact of conflict on men and women, how they are responding, and local populations’ vision for the future.
3. Map actors, including existing or new civil society peace actors. Ask local civil society or the gender/inclusion expert in your institution for help.
4. Ask how women access and influence power publicly and privately so that outreach can be context-sensitive and will not disempower them.
5. Meet with women peacebuilders to request/commission their a) analysis of the gendered aspects of agenda topics, b) mapping of past efforts to engage women, and c) solutions to security, humanitarian, and other key issues.
6. Integrate women peacebuilders in the mediation strategy so they are not isolated from formal Track I processes.
7. Ensure outreach to women, marginalized communities, and civilians on all sides of the conflict, support multilateral and international efforts for broad-based consultations, and offer an all-female space if needed.
Important to note:
- Don’t just talk to women about “women’s issues” – get their perspectives on all issues and invite them to attend and speak at thematic discussions.
- It is critical to seek security guarantees that neither states nor armed groups will attack, harass, imprison, or persecute women peacebuilders who attend peace talks, negotiations, or preparatory meetings. They should be given protection, just as it is given to armed groups. Consult with affected civil society to identify and address security concerns.
- Guidance Areas for a Better Peace: Provide Logistical and Financial Support
- Guidance Areas for a Better Peace: Give Political Support for Inclusivity
- Guidance Areas for a Better Peace: Provide Technical Support
- Barrier Three: “Who are these women anyway?”
- Barrier Five: “I’m here because of my own credentials.”