This case study explores how Colombian women have worked to ensure gender equality in peacebuilding frameworks, focusing on two interconnected issues – transitional justice and land reform – which have been central not only to the peace agreement in Colombia, but also to a much broader and complex process of reform and (transition from) conflict over the last 40 years.
The peacebuilding experience in Colombia has been a complex and multi-layered, process. The historic Peace Agreement that was signed in November 2016 between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia to bring an end to armed conflict that has spanned over six decades builds on parallel and successive efforts to promote political change in the country.
As the experience with this latest peace agreement shows, addressing the root causes of conflict in Colombia remains an enduring challenge. Nevertheless, with such a long history of violent conflict, Colombia has also succeeded in developing important foundations to promote peace and justice. The women’s movement in Colombia is diverse and has often been fragmented, highlighting marked differences in women’s organisations – in terms of orientation, interests, priorities, etc. Nevertheless, women’s voice, leadership and agency have been important in ensuring that gender responsive measures are integrated in different political reform processes, including in the 2016 Peace Agreement itself.
This case study explores how Colombian women have worked to ensure gender equality in peacebuilding frameworks on two interconnected issues – transitional justice and land reform. The paper also considers the extent to which women’s organisations have used the Women, Peace and Security agenda strategically to secure access to and exert influence on the reform processes, and reflects on when and how international peacebuilding and development actors have been most effective in supporting the work of women as they seek to influence, shape, and drive transformational change in Colombia.
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