Shattering stereotypes: gender performativity in peacebuilding: a case in Cyprus

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This research theoretically explores and empirically specifies an understanding of the situation in Cyprus concerning the manifestation of gender performativity. The insights gained from this study highlight that the performativity of gender, which dictates socially accepted norms for male and female behaviour, impacts women's agency and participation in the Cypriot peace process. This correlates with the expression of subliminal gender violence which confines traditional gender roles and obstructs women’s contribution. Societal structures and expectations sustain the status quo where women are discouraged to deviate from the norm. Additionally, the research reveals a diminished societal impulse to resolve the conflict. The establishment of an illiberal form of peace and the freedom of movement to a certain extent shape everyday life in Cyprus to a degree which is deemed liveable for a large part of Cypriot society. Both the limitations encountered by women based on gender performativity and the manifestations of subliminal gender violence have tremendous effects on the course of the peace process and the possibility of reconciliation. The integration of a gender agenda and accurate representation of women in decision-making bodies could garner an inclusive peace process, facilitating a sustainable form of peace where women's participation is integral.
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