Why gender matters in peace diplomacy

“Women constitute 15 per cent of ambassadors, 4-5 per cent of peacemakers, and 9 per cent of peace negotiators in global diplomacy”, says Karin Aggestam, Pufendorf professor in political science at Lund University and organizer of the symposium. At the same time, there is today a growing international recognition that promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment can contribute to a sustainable peace.

Karin Aggestam, Professor in political science at Lund University Image: Maria Strömvik

Women’s participation in global politics will be a central theme at the jubilee symposium “Towards a peaceful global order and gender justice in diplomacy” taking place on 7 March at 10:00 to 12:00 in the main University building.

One of the keynote speakers during the symposium is the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström, who is a driving force behind the Swedish feminist foreign policy and women’s participation in peace processes. She has also recently launched, together with other Nordic countries, a network of female mediators.

Margot Wallström.

The other distinguished key-note speakers and internationally renowned scholars are Professor Joshua Goldstein, author of books on gender, war and the decline of armed conflicts; Director Thania Paffenholz, publishing widely on inclusive peace processes; and Associate Professor Ann Towns, leading a large research project on gender norms, practices and hierarchies in diplomacy.

This symposium in early March seeks to address and explore three major questions regarding gender justice in global politics and peace diplomacy: (1) Where are the women? (2) How is gender related to the decline of armed conflict? (3) Which paths can be taken towards a more inclusive and gender-just peace diplomacy?

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