This article uses a mixed qualitative and quantitative analysis to consider when and how peace agreements have adopted a gender perspective, using a new PA-X peace agreement database to analyse over 1500 peace and transition agreements from between 1990 and 2016. It goes further to consider how inclusion of women is related to the other forms of political and group inclusion contemplated to form part of the new political settlement.
- Provision for women is still largely limited to once-off provisions, or issues relating to the victimhood of women, with holistic attempts to adopt a ‘gender perspective’ relatively rare.
- Inclusion of women in peace agreement texts tends to be located in the more comprehensive stages of the agreement, with little consideration given to women and gender at either pre-negotiation stages of a peace process, or implementation stages.
- Surprisingly perhaps, political power-sharing is shown to be strongly correlated with several measures of gender inclusion rather than marking an exclusive focus on the inclusion of the groups at the heart of the conflict.
Peace agreements indicate the presence of ‘principled pragmatism’ whereby elite commitments to political equality are used by a range of groups to push for a more pluralist conception of the peace settlement as also concerned with the political equality of groups beyond the conflict actors.