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Feminist Action at the Negotiation Table: An Exploration Inside the 2010–2016 Colombian Peace Talks

In: International Negotiation
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  • 1 Department of Politics and Public Administration, Toronto Metropolitan University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON M5B 2K3, Canada
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Abstract

Gender mainstreaming and peacemaking are fundamentally about spurring institutional change. Much of the literature on gendering peace negotiations does not explicitly address the institutional nature of these spheres. Using a feminist institutionalist framework, I analyze the 2010–2016 Colombian peace talks to uncover the endogenic formal and informal ‘rules of the game’ that both enabled and constrained feminist work and the eventual incorporation of a gender perspective within the final agreement. I show that Colombia’s exceptional gender perspective in its 2016 peace agreement was due not just to the inclusion of women at the negotiation table but also paradoxically because of and despite continued gendered logics that prioritized the masculine over the feminine. These findings demonstrate that to understand gender mainstreaming outcomes in peace processes we must not simply account for how many women and which women are at the table, but also for the gendered logics of the negotiation space.

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