The role of women in ceasefires: a review of the literature – World



Rodningen, Ida & Siri Aas Rustad

A growing body of literature explores the causes and consequences of ceasefires, but within this body little scholarly attention is given to the role of women in ceasefires. Among the existing work on women in ceasefires, there is a general lack of understanding of how individual studies relate to each other, and there have been few attempts to systematically review what this body of literature tells us through the sites about women’s roles and influence during ceasefire processes. Thus, we are also exploring possible avenues for future research.

Brief points

  • The literature on women and ceasefires is relatively small, nascent, and limited in scope.

  • The sources can be roughly divided into two categories: those that deal with women’s participation and those that deal with non-participation.

  • The role of women in ceasefires is most often discussed in a specific context, and systematic or comparative analyzes are rare.

  • We identify five themes frequently addressed in the literature: the lack of women in negotiations; the perceived role of women in ceasefires as a reflection of women’s ideas in society; that the exclusion of women is partly explained by technical language and military knowledge; how sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is addressed in ceasefires; and the role of women in ceasefire monitoring.


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