The UN’s women, peace and security framework in the context of the 2012-2016 Colombian peace process. A window of opportunity for enhancing women’s rights?
MetadataShow full item record
In order to tackle the historical omission of women’s contributions to processes of conflict resolution, the United Nations Security Council has been following a broad agenda on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) since the year 2000 to increase women’s participation in official peace negotiations and peace agreement implementation processes. The peace talks between the Colombian government under President Juan Manuel Santos and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), taking place in Havana from 2012-2016 officially brought an end to one of the world’s longest-running conflicts. Lauded by the international community due to its sensitivity with regard to women’s and victim’s rights, the latest Colombian peace process is portrayed as a potential role model for future peacebuilding initiatives. With the UN acting as a facilitator of the Havana peace talks, this thesis aims to deepen our understanding of the WPS framework’s effectiveness. Through an analysis of the final peace accord as well as a number of Transitional Justice and Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration measures surrounding the peace process, this thesis measures compliance between the process and the goals promoted by the UN’s WPS agenda. Additionally, interviews conducted during a field trip to Bogotá, are used to complement this analysis. The findings suggest that the WPS framework is reflected in the current Colombian peace process both with regard to the framework’s aims and its shortcomings. Attention is dedicated to the active ‘participation’ of women in matters of constructing a Colombian post-conflict society, and to measures of ‘relief and recovery’, with regard to victims of conflict-related sexual violence in particular. Strategies of ‘prevention’ and ‘protection’ of the rights and bodies of women as envisioned by the WPS agenda fall short in the Colombian context to the extent that despite the fact that a number of laws exists, their implementation, however, remains flawed.