Lithander, A. (2000). Engendering the Peace Process, A Gender Approach to Dayton – and Beyond. Stockholm, Kvinna till Kvinna.
During war and armed conflicts, particularly internal ones, civil society is usually represented to a great extent by women and women’s organisa-
tions, responsible for holding the societies together and ensuring the safety for children and the elderly. Consequently, as women experience the im-
mediate consequences of war on civil society, theyare in general the first to work for peace and reconciliation.
Still, women’s experiences from times of war are seldom acknowledged in peace negotiations,where the standards for the reconstruction of war-
torn societies are set. The negotiators around the peace table are predominately male representatives of the fighting parties, concentrating on ne-
gotiating an end to war. But if sustainable peace is to be reached, women’s experiences cannot be excluded. “Ensuring women’s participation…en-
hances the legitimacy of the process by making it more democratic and responsive to the priorities of all sectors of the affected population.”
The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation (KtK) contribution to “Women 2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the Twenty First Centu-
ry” (Beijing+5) is a report on the gender aspect in the Dayton Peace Accords for Bosnia and Herzegovina and its implementation, based on the Bei-
jing Declaration and the Platform for Action adopted at the Fourth World Conference onWomen in September 1995. The Dayton Peace Accords, adopted by the Presidents of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia in December1995, was the first major peace agreement to besigned after the Beijing conference.