Gender and Political Transition Processes in Colombia, Nepal and Bougainville

Dr Sophie Close & Amie Kirkham seminar. Image DPA

This new research analyses three contexts (Colombia, Nepal and Bougainville) to extend understanding of the role of non-elite sources of political power in determining the political settlement. The paper builds on research within the political settlements framework including O’Rourke’s (2017) ‘gendering political settlements’ and Bell and Pospisil’s (2017) ‘formalised political unsettlement’. Our evidence challenges current political settlement analysis that is grounded in and reinforces a gendered binary between public and private spheres. It prioritises gender as a category in the political settlement analysis specifically by examining inter-elite relations, and examining gendered power relationships in the structures and processes associated with the negotiation and implementation of peace processes. It provides practical examples of the opportunities and challenges in supporting inclusive peace processes across the different contexts. In each context we examined what role does violence (or the threat of violence) against women and other gender identities play in political settlement bargaining processes. We also asked participants how they used international standards (e.g. UNSCR 1325 on women, peace and security) and questioned how international actors could continue to support gender equality in each context.

This paper is part of the Political Settlements Research Programme (PSRP), funded by UK Aid from UK DFID: The views expressed and information contained in it are not necessarily those of or endorsed by DFID , which can accept no responsibility for such views or information or for any reliance placed on them.

Dr Sophia Close joined Conciliation Resources in November 2016 as Senior Adviser, Gender and Peacebuilding. She leads Conciliation Resources’ policy engagement on gender and represents Conciliation Resources in international policy fora on gender and peacebuilding. She also supports Conciliation Resources’ staff and partner organisations to integrate gender-sensitivity across their peacebuilding work. Sophia has worked for a number of years across the Asia-Pacific region for AusAID as a peace, conflict and development specialist, including a diplomatic posting in Papua New Guinea. Contact:

Amie Kirkham joined Conciliation Resources in October 2016 as the Bougainville Programme Officer. Previously, Amie was a Programme Coordinator at the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPCS) in Cambodia where her role focused on facilitating dialogue spaces, conducting peace research, and implementing programming to support the Myanmar peace process. Contact:

Conciliation Resources is an independent international organisation working with people in conflict to prevent violence, resolve conflicts and promote peaceful societies. We believe that building sustainable peace takes time. We provide practical support to help people affected by violent conflict achieve lasting peace. We draw on our shared experiences to improve peacebuilding policies and practice worldwide. For more information:

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