As violent conflicts and humanitarian crises intensify globally, especially in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), communities are paying the price in the absence of political settlements and sustainable peace. Women, in particular, are severely impacted by these crises, but they remain mostly excluded from meaningfully participating in peace processes.
This is despite overwhelming evidence showing that women’s involvement in peacebuilding and mediation contributes to lasting peace that goes well beyond just the silencing of guns. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed even more starkly the extent of gender inequality in conflict-affected contexts, prompting ever-more urgent calls for inclusion.
In July 2021, UN Women convened the global conference “Gender-inclusive peace processes: Strengthening women’s meaningful participation through constituency building”, in partnership with CMI – Martti Ahtisaari Peace Foundation, and with financial support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), in cooperation with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
The conference attracted the participation of more than 320 peace practitioners from 70 countries worldwide, with a focus on the MENA region.
This report on the conference proceedings explores current challenges, best practices, and recommendations on how best to leverage the practice of constituency building to further gender-inclusive peace.