Can women make the world more peaceful?” An enthusiastic “yes!” in response is at the heart of the Women Peace and Security Agenda and of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. Empowered women have the agency and ability to move a society rife with conflict toward sustainable peace, as declares Laurel Stone. She brings to light the problematic view of women as mere victims of conflict, rape, and childhood marriages. Stone states that the participation of women “increases the probability of violence ending within a year by 24%.” Additionally, according to UN Women, women’s participation increases the probability of lasting at least two years by 20% and increases the probability of a peace agreement lasting 15 years by 35%.
However, Stone’s analysis of peace agreements signed by warring parties shows that some women have a greater impact on peace than others. Yes, women members of UN delegations do have a strong positive impact, but the local women from the respective conflict areas are even more vital to the process.
Equality cannot be treated as a “requirement to check off a list,” Stone concludes. The Women, Peace and Security agenda is not just about the quantity of women present, it is about the quality of their representation.