alternatives: waging peace


“Women’s Approach” To Negotiating/Waging Peace


“Women are the peacemakers. They’re pragmatic. They look their enemy in the eye and talk.”
Iraqi feminist peace activist Hind Makiya

Decades of studying negotiating processes have shown clear differences in the way women and men approach peace-making.1,2,3,4,5,6,7 Whether this is innately gendered or simply the way women and men are socialized is irrelevant: In our current world, this is the reality. Men negotiate treaties from a position of power, women wage peace to achieve permanent, sustainable solutions. Here’s how it’s done:

<>Consultative, consensus-building, relationship-building
<>More likely to build and nurture cooperative, community-based coalitions
<>More likely to cross “enemy lines” to initiate common-ground talks or caucuses
<>More likely to be perceived as being honest and trustworthy
<>More empathic and likely to see “enemy” as a human being and address their grievances
<>Less likely to personalize conflict (i.e., not as ego-driven)
<>More likely to handle negotiations calmly, without anger, hatred or nationalistic bias
<>Better able to communicate and correctly interpret other party’s communications
<>More likely to “go the extra mile” to resolve conflict, seek creative solutions
<>More likely to place human needs before corporate profits or nationalistic biases
<>Holistic approach to security which addresses economic issues, health, environment, food security, cultural integrity/rights, political/legal issues, equal rights/social status for marginalized groups, etc.
<>Replaces the concept of one side “winning” and the other “surrendering” with the concept of both sides “sharing” (e.g., resources, land, political power, etc.)
<>Long-term solutions to bring about permanent, sustainable peace

Related pages:
The Impact of War on Women/Women Waging Peace