Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, April 22nd, 2019

Women’s Meaningful Participation Ensures Peace Quality, Durability

Participation of women in peace negotiations plays a key role in durability of peace. Peace studies show that women’s participation in peace negotiations have a positive impact on the quality and the durability of peace, independent of international peacekeeping, the participation of civil society actors, and other factors related to gender equality. Furthermore, there are competing theoretical explanations as to why and how women’s participation positively impacts peace durability. Case studies research focused on women’s participation as civil society activists who pressure warring parties to conclude an agreement, and as delegates who set agendas that often prioritize women’s rights and broader issues related to the quality of peace show that women’s direct participation positively impacts the durability as well as the quality of peace after civil war. Some policy documents remain unhelpfully rooted in essentialist assumptions about women’s inherently peaceful nature to explain their assumed positive influence on peace processes. However, such assumptions cloud our understanding of the mechanisms that causally link women’s participation to durable peace. To date, one comparative study conducted by O’Reilly indicates that women’s participation in peace processes contributes both to the likelihood of reaching a peace agreement and to its successful implementation. According to Caprioli women’s security and the socioeconomic and political status of women directly impact the likelihood of renewed civil war. Based on these findings, we test whether women’s meaningful participation in peace negotiations positively impacts the quality and the durability of peace.
According to Bell C Ensuring women’s right to participation in peacemaking and peacebuilding cannot be equated with inserting gender sensitive language into peace agreement texts. Recent research suggests that it often peace agreements with the most holistic references to women that suffer from chronic implementation failures because these tend to be highly internationalized accords with little real agreement between the conflict parties. Research findings further imply that the policy discourse on women’s inclusion in peace processes needs to take the diversity of women groups and potential female delegates into account. Attention has to predominantly be focused on including women civil society activists in peace negotiations. Collaboration between women delegates and women civil society groups broadens the civilian support base for peace and results in networks that can persistently advocate for the adoption of policies that empower women. 
Afghan women make up 50 percent of the population, and they are well below 50 percent of the problem in what drives the conflict.  It’s important that they see themselves represented in the discussion and in the debates that will come with the Taliban.  They shall take advantage of the opportunity coming up to explore and begin discussing with the Taliban in order they understand the determination of wider society to move forward and not to go back.
In sum, women’s participation in peace negotiations with voice and influence leads to better accord content, higher agreement implementation rates, and longer lasting peace. Finally, women’s direct participation in peace negotiations with voice increases the quality and durability of peace.