Methodology

This interactive displays data on women’s participation in a selection of major Track I (formal or official) peace processes since 1992, building on research by the Women and Foreign Policy program (WFP) at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and data featured in the UN Women report Women’s Participation in Peace Negotiations: Connections Between Presence and Influence. The following outlines the methodologies used by WFP scholars and includes a definition of terms.

Selection of Peace Processes

The interactive dataset features a sample of major peace processes between 1992 and 2020, selected based on the availability of data. For peace processes between 1992 and 2012, the dataset draws a majority of data on negotiators, mediators, and signatories from the UN Women report Women’s Participation in Peace Negotiations: Connections Between Presence and Influence. For peace processes between 2013 and 2020, WFP scholars collected available data on negotiators, mediators, and signatories with the assistance of UN Women and the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs as well as government and civil society officials. See below for individual data sources for specific peace processes.

WFP scholars considered major peace agreements and negotiations as those involving at least one of the opposing protagonists (but not necessarily all of the warring groups) that also meet one of the below criteria, adapted from coding used in the PA-X Peace Agreements Database:

  • interstate: negotiation or agreement relating to interstate conflict
  • intrastate: negotiation or agreement relating to intrastate conflict
  • mixed: negotiation or agreement that is interstate in nature but, instead of referring to a single interstate conflict, refers to (an) intrastate conflict(s)

The PA-X Peace Agreements Database includes other types of peace agreements in addition to the criteria applied by WFP scholars, such as those focused on resolving local issues and those produced unilaterally by a single side of the conflict. Though these are outside the scope of this interactive, WFP scholars recognize the importance of women’s participation in these processes and have provided a list of further research in the “Additional Resources” section below.

Categorization of Peace Process

Type of Peace Agreement

The categorization of peace agreements in the CFR dataset follows the structure outlined in the PA-X Peace Agreements Database and identifies seven main stages of the peace process that agreements could be part of:

  • pre-negotiation agreement: seeks to bring the opposing parties to the point of dealing with the substantive issues driving the conflict
  • partial agreement: only deals with some of the substantive issues to resolve the conflict in ways that indicate opportunities for future agreements
  • comprehensive agreement: deals with substantive issues driving the conflict in a comprehensive attempt to resolve the conflict
  • implementation agreement: seeks to implement an earlier agreement
  • renewal agreement: simply “renews” previous commitments
  • cease-fire agreement: focuses on a cease-fire or demobilization or provides a monitoring arrangement for or extension of a previously negotiated cease-fire
  • other agreement: does not fit any of the above definitions

Type of Peace Negotiations

WFP scholars have categorized peace negotiations in the CFR dataset based on the phase of the process in which the negotiations take place:

  • pre-negotiations: take place before the formal peace talks begin, with the goal of outlining a process for how the antagonists plan to resolve the conflict, allowing them to convey concerns, build trust, and discuss issues such as mediators, logistics, and agendas for potential future talks
  • formal negotiations: held between two or more of the antagonists to address at least one issue related to the conflict, including the regulation of violence (cease-fire)
  • implementation negotiations: focus on disagreements over how to interpret, implement, and monitor provisions of a signed peace agreement or disputes over new issues that arise

 

Definition of Terms

Unless otherwise noted, the below definitions are adapted from the PA-X Codebook, Version 4.

Conflict

Conflict is armed violence that causes at least twenty-five deaths in one year. 

Conflict Protagonists

Conflict protagonists are state and nonstate actors—or their associated political representatives—that are involved in conflict.

Mediator

A mediator is a third party that assists two or more opposing protagonists to prevent, manage, or resolve a conflict by helping them develop mutually acceptable agreements. This definition is adapted from the UN Guidance for Effective Mediation.

Negotiating Parties

Negotiating parties are those engaged in Track I negotiations, including conflict protagonists.

Negotiator

A negotiator is a person participating directly as part of a negotiating party or delegation in Track I negotiations between conflict protagonists. 

Peace Agreement

A peace agreement is a formal, publicly available document that has been produced and mutually agreed to by some or all of the conflict protagonists and addresses the conflict with a view to ending it.

Peace Process

A peace (or transition) process is a formal attempt to bring the conflict protagonists to a mutual agreement to resolve the conflict. 

Signatory

A signatory is an individual party that directly signs the peace agreement. This could include the parties to the conflict, their regional allies, observers, guarantors, and witnesses.

Third Party

A third party helps the opposing protagonists address the dispute or manage the level of violence. This definition is adapted from Uppsala University’s Department of Peace and Conflict Research.

 

Indicators, Data, and Assumptions

WFP scholars calculated an unweighted average of women’s representation as mediators, signatories, and negotiators in the sample of major peace processes between 1992 and 2019 included in the interactive. The data collection for these indicators was based on the following assumptions and methodology. See below for individual data sources for specific peace processes and Explore the Data for the complete dataset. WFP scholars will recalculate this number in January of each year.

Mediator Data

For peace processes between 1992 and 2012, the data is for chief mediators or special envoys responsible for leading negotiations, rather than staff members of broader mediation teams (such as advisors or experts). For peace processes between 2013 and 2019, the majority of data is for chief mediators or special envoys; in cases in which the data is for broader mediation teams, WFP scholars have indicated this in the “Data Sources” section below. The data point “Not Applicable” in the interactive dataset indicates that there were no formal mediators. The data point “No Data” indicates that no mediator data is available.

Signatory Data

WFP scholars counted only the names of the people who signed a document in order to calculate the percentage of female signatories. WFP scholars excluded as data points signatories identified only as a generic group and not as the individual signing on behalf of the group (e.g., “Representative of the African Union”). The data point “Not Applicable” in the interactive dataset indicates that there were no signatories; this could be because the agreement was not formally signed or the peace negotiations did not conclude in an agreement. The data point “No Data” indicates that no signatory data is available.

Negotiator Data

WFP scholars included members of negotiating teams or delegations and excluded individuals identified as experts or advisors. As peace processes typically consist of multiple rounds of negotiations, which can span years and involve negotiating teams of different configurations, the data in the interactive represents the participants in or parties to a final round of talks resulting in a signed agreement (or the most recent round of talks in the case of ongoing processes), unless otherwise noted. The data point “No Data” indicates that no negotiator data is available.

Reference to Women, Girls, and Gender Data

WFP scholars calculated the proportion of agreements from the PA-X Peace Agreements Database that contained at least one provision that specifically addresses women, their inclusion, and their rights (coded as “women, girls, and gender” in the PA-X Codebook, Version 4). Per PA-X’s methodology, agreements that reference gender-based violence or general protection measures are considered as also referencing women, girls, and gender. WFP scholars included all agreements from the database (a total of 1,860) found in more than 150 peace processes between 1990 and 2019. WFP scholars will recalculate this number in January of each year.

Reference to Violence Against Women

WFP scholars calculated the proportion of agreements from the PA-X Peace Agreements Database that contained at least one provision that specifically addresses violence against women, including sexual violence, gender-based violence, or general protection measures (coded as “violence against women” in the PA-X Women Codebook). WFP scholars included all agreements from the database (a total of 1,860) found in more than 150 peace processes between 1990 and 2019. WFP scholars will recalculate this number in January of each year.

Women’s Representation in Parliament Data

Women’s political participation in postconflict states is associated with decreased risk of conflict relapse. The interactive dataset defines women’s representation as the percentage of women in the national parliament (the average of both houses if a bicameral system) as of January of the indicated year. This variable draws on data collected by the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

Data Sources

For peace processes between 1992 and 2012, the majority of data on negotiators, mediators, and signatories included in the dataset is drawn from the UN Women report Women’s Participation in Peace Negotiations: Connections Between Presence and Influence. WFP scholars complemented UN Women’s data by adding or updating data on the following peace processes:

Guatemala

Agreement on a Firm and Lasting Peace, 1996

Indonesia

Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement, 2005

Northern Ireland

Good Friday Agreement, 1998

According to the PA-X Peace Agreements Database, the agreement was not signed although the parties were understood to be the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition (NIWC), Sinn Féin, the Ulster Unionist Party, the Northern Ireland Labour Coalition, the Ulster Democratic Party, the Progressive Unionist Party, the Social Democratic and Labour Party, the government of Ireland, and the government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Although there were no signatories, women from the NIWC made up two of the twenty total negotiators to the agreement.

Zimbabwe

Agreement between the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front and the two Movement for Democratic Change formations, on resolving the challenges facing Zimbabwe, 2008

For peace processes between 2013 and 2020, WFP scholars collected available data on negotiators, mediators, and signatories on major peace agreements and peace negotiations with the assistance of UN Women, the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, and other government and civil society officials. In addition, sources include academic papers, news articles, and nongovernmental reports. See below for individual data sources. Unless otherwise noted, the source for signatory data is the PA-X Peace Agreements Database, using the variables “Parties” and “Third Parties.”

Israel – Palestinian Territories

Peace Talks, 2013

The Philippines, The Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, 2014

Libya, Libyan Political Agreement (Sukhairat Agreement), 2015

Myanmar

Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, 2015

South Sudan, Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, 2015

Myanmar, Union Peace Conference, August 2016

Colombia, Final Agreement to End the Armed Conflict and Build a Stable and Lasting Peace, 2016

Colombia, Comunicado Conjunto 4: Acuerdo de Quito, 2017

Central African Republic

2017

The Philippines, Agreement on an Interim Joint Ceasefire, 2017

The Palestinian Territories, Fatah-Hamas Agreement, 2017

South Sudan

Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities, Protection of Civilians and Humanitarian Access, Republic of South Sudan, 2017

Syria

Intra-Syrian Talks, December 2017

  • Source for negotiators data: UN Women

Myanmar, Union Peace Conference, May 2017

Ethiopia - Eritrea, Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship between Eritrea and Ethiopia, 2018

Ethiopia - Eritrea, Agreement on Peace, Friendship and Comprehensive Cooperation Between the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the State of Eritrea, 2018

Ethiopia – Ogaden

Joint Declaration Between the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Ogaden National Liberation Front, 2018

Eritrea – Somalia, EritreaSomalia Joint Declaration on Brotherly Relations and Comprehensive Cooperation, 2018

Eritrea - Ethiopia - Somalia - Ogaden, Joint Declaration on Comprehensive Cooperation Between Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea, 2018

Libya, Palermo Conference for and with Libya, Conclusions, 2018

Libya, Political Statement on the Matter of Libya, 2018

North Korea – South Korea, Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula, 2018

North Korea – South Korea, September 19th Pyongyang Declaration, 2018

North Korea – United States, Joint Statement of President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea at the Singapore Summit, 2018

The Philippines, GRP-NDFP Interim Peace Agreement, 2018

The Philippines, Agreement on a Stand-Down for the Resumption of the Formal Peace Talks Between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines, 2018

Syria, Final statement of the Congress of the Syrian national dialogue, 2018

  • Source for negotiators data: UN DPPA

Ukraine

Statement by the Trilateral Contact Group on Recommitment to the Ceasefire, 2018

  • Source for mediators data: UN Women
  • Source for signatories data: UN Women

Ukraine

Statement by the Trilateral Contact Group and the representatives of certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions calling for ceasefire, 2018

  • Source for mediators data: UN Women
  • Source for signatories data: UN Women

Myanmar

Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, (two more parties signed the 2015 agreement) 2018

  • Source for signatories data: UN Women

Myanmar

Union Peace Conference, July 2018

Western Sahara

Initial Roundtable Meeting on Western Sahara, 2018

Yemen

Stockholm Agreement, 2018

South Sudan

Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS), 2018

Sudan

Two Areas Peace Talks, 2018

  • Source for negotiators data: Data obtained from UN sources in Sudan and South Sudan
  • Source for mediators data: Data obtained from UN sources in Sudan and South Sudan

Greece – North Macedonia

Initial Roundtable Meeting on Western Sahara, 2018

  • Source for mediators data: UN Women/UN DPPA

Afghanistan

Doha Roadmap for Peace, 2019

  • Source for negotiators data: UN Women

Ukraine

Statement of the Trilateral Contact Group as of 17 July 2019, 2019

Yemen

Riyadh agreement between the legitimate Government of Yemen and the Southern Transitional Council (STC), 2019

Central African Republic Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in the Central African Republic (Khartoum Accord)

2019

Cyprus

Pre-negotiations: February, August, November, 2019

  • Source for negotiators data: UN News
  • Source for mediators data: UN News

Western Sahara

Second roundtable meeting on Western Sahara, 2019

  • Source for negotiators data: UN Women/UN DPPA
  • Source for mediators data: UN Women/UN DPPA

Additional Resources

Peace Agreement Databases

Gender Mainstreaming in Peace Agreements

Women’s Participation in Local Peace Processes

Women’s Participation in Informal (Track II) Peace Processes

Women’s Mediation Networks

In recent years, women mediators have established regional networks to share expertise, collaborate, and enhance women’s meaningful participation in peace processes. These include:

Gender and Security

Tools to Support Women’s Participation in Negotiations

Citation for the CFR Interactive Report:

Jamille Bigio, Rachel Vogelstein, Alexandra Bro, and Anne Connell. "Women's Participation in Peace Processes," Council on Foreign Relations, [last accessed date], cfr.org/women-peace.

Research Acknowledgments

This CFR digital interactive is a product of the Women and Foreign Policy program’s Women, Peace, and Security Project, generously supported by the Compton Foundation. The project was informed by the guidance of a distinguished group of experts from governments, multilateral organizations, academia, and the public sector as well as consultations with negotiators and mediators in prior and ongoing peace processes.

Executive Production

Jamille Bigio, Senior Fellow of the Women and Foreign Policy Program
Rachel Vogelstein, Douglas Dillon Senior Fellow and Director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program
Anne Connell, Former Assistant Director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program
Alexandra Bro, Research Associate of the Women and Foreign Policy Program
Delphi Cleaveland, Intern of the Women and Foreign Policy Program
Maleeha Coleburn, Former Intern of the Women and Foreign Policy Program

Editorial Management

Shannon K. O’Neil, Vice President, Deputy Director of Studies, and Nelson and David Rockefeller Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies
Patricia Lee Dorff, Editorial Director, Publishing
Chloe Moffett, Associate Editor, Publishing
Sumit Poudyal, Associate Editor, Publishing
Katherine De Chant, Staff Editor, Publishing

Digital Product Management

Doug Halsey, Chief Digital Officer
Lisa Ortiz, Director of Product and Design
Katherine Vidal, Deputy Director of Design
Christian Wolan, Senior Product Manager
Victoria Brooks, Senior UX | UI Designer
Will Merrow, Data Visualization Designer
Sabine Baumgartner, Photo Editor
Vijai Singh, Video Producer
Eric Spector, Deputy Director, Digital Development
Karen Mandel, Associate Director of Quality Assurance
Joel Bousley, Lead Developer
Aaron Potter, DevOps Engineer
Gabriel Gonzalez, Developer
Claudio Patrone, Developer
Mariano Giagante, Quality Assurance Analyst

Please direct inquiries to hwelch@cfr.org.

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