Women’s Participation in Conflict and Peace Processes: A relation with women's position in post-conflict society. A case study of Guatemala

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This thesis looks into the question: How did women’s participation in the Guatemalan civil war and peace processes affect women’s position in Guatemalan society today? Debates show that conflict can provide for a window of opportunity to women, finding themselves in empowered positions. However, in the majority of cases this does not continue in post-conflict societies. With the case study of Guatemala this thesis investigates if there is a relation between women’s participation in conflict and peace processes, and women’s position post-conflict. Guatemala’s peace processes are known to be highly inclusive, however women do not seem to experience positive effects from this as their position has not significantly improved post-conflict. This thesis concludes that more needs to be done than just including women in peace processes, to make sure women’s position post-conflict will benefit from this participation and make traditional norms decrease. The results of this thesis provide with an addition to understanding why traditional gender roles stay in place or return after war, and it provides insights for organisations concerned about this topic in what needs to be taken into account during conflict and times of peace processes to help women maintain empowered positions. Keywords: Guatemala, women’s rights, women’s participation, peace processes, civil war
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