UN Women study identifies barriers to women’s meaningful participation in peace processes in Georgia


GA73 - Side Event - She Is Equal: Leveling the Law for Women and Girls by 2030
GA73 - Side Event - She is equal: Leveling the law for Women and Girls by 2030. Photo: UN Women/Amanda Voisard

Although women’s meaningful participation in negotiating peace and conflict resolution is one of the pillars of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda, it remains the least implemented and one where advances are highly vulnerable to regression.

To gauge the status of gender-sensitive peace and security processes, and reflect on trends in the local context, UN Women commissioned a study on women’s meaningful participation in and contribution to peace processes in Georgia, identifying the barriers to their inclusion and proposing ways to improve the process in order to achieve inclusive and sustainable peace in the country.

The study “Benchmarks, Barriers and Bridging the Gaps: Enhancing Women’s Meaningful Participation and Contribution to Peace Processes in Georgia” uses a unique methodology to analyse the specific Georgian context vis-à-vis the seven key challenges identified by the UN Women global report “Women’s Meaningful Participation in Negotiating Peace and the Implementation of Peace Agreements” released in 2018. The latest study primarily explores the concept of “meaningful participation” and provides a comprehensive analysis of why women remain absent from the negotiating table, and invisible and sidelined from peace and security spaces at large.

In addition, this study contributes to existing literature on women’s participation in peace processes from the perspective of a specific context and provides use¬ful information, observations and actionable recommendations for all those engaged in the peace process: first and foremost, internally displaced and conflict-affected women them¬selves, as well as civil society organizations engaged in WPS and/or conflict resolution; all participants in the formal peace process; and other relevant international, regional and local actors. Such wide-reaching participation helps ensure inclusive and diverse peace and security processes to ultimately achieve a durable peace in Georgia.

Most significantly, among many other persistent challenges such as strong tradition of masculinity, gender stereotypes, knowledge gaps and limited recognition of women’s expertise and experience, the study finds that funding for grass-roots and women’s initiatives are dramatically in decline, and gender-blind funding for peace and security initiatives, as well as insufficient investment in gender expertise, prevails. To address these barriers, the study provides specific recommendations for relevant actors.

UN Women hopes that on the cusp of the twentieth anniversary of UN Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), this study will support the actors to reduce and remove barriers to women’s direct and meaningful participation and positively transform the peace process in Georgia. This may further offer a key to unlocking the stagnant negotiations and contribute to achieving a just, inclusive and sustainable peace in the country.

The study was prepared in the framework of the UN Women project “Strengthening Women’s Meaningful Participation in Peacebuilding and Gender Mainstreaming in the Security Sector in Georgia” with the financial support of the UK Conflict, Stability and Security Fund.