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Title:Getting the past right in West Africa and beyond: challenging structures through addressing gender-based violence in mediation
Author:Tarnaala, Elisa
Periodical:African Journal on Conflict Resolution (ISSN 1562-6997)
Geographic term:West Africa
gender-based violence
conflict resolution
Abstract:Fifteen years after the launch of the UN's landmark resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, its recommendations concerning women as civil society actors, and women as victims of conflicts, have become part of a largely accepted and standardized guide for the international community. Fewer advances have been made with involving politically skilled women in high-level negotiations and understanding the wider processes of conflict mediation - where the basis for peace is crafted at different levels of society. This article offers insights on which issues should be taken into account regarding gender-based violence during mediation and suggests how a conflict context can be analysed from a perspective of gender and women. It also explores the issues that have dominated the agenda of peacemaking in West Africa in particular and across the continent, in order to provide real-world examples of peace and transitional processes where lessons can be learnt about addressing or failing to address gender-based violence. A transformative and inclusive peace process that changes conceptions of the status quo, fights gender-based violence, and includes women in post-conflict planning could remove many risks from women's agency in post-conflict peace and security. It could gradually reform structural factors that constrain women's participation. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]