Sapiano, J. et al. 2022. ‘I Wouldn’t Want to be a Gender Expert:’ Gender Experts in Peace Mediation

Wednesday 16 November 2022

This article reviews the tensions between the art of mediation and the art of gender expertise that largely reflect the gendered power dynamics of peace mediation. It highlights that mediation is a broad and varying practice that requires thematic experts that include those of gender. By drawing on examples of peace mediations, and empirical data from experts and civil society actors, they further examine the contribution of gender experts that have expressed their discontent with entering male-dominate peace mediation spaces. This article is very interesting because it includes personal experiences that reflect a larger societal issue that assumes women as naturally peacemakers but problematically places a burden on women within peace negotiations, which creates tension being their commitment to mediation processes and politics of representation. The article ultimately raises questions about the contradictions of current approaches to mediation that do nothing to alter the gender power dynamic of conflict or peace within mediation and argue the need for gender experts within mediation is critical, but such experts should understand the art of mediation as much as they do gender.


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