War is widely regarded as men’s business. Women are often assumed to have a particular affinity and talent for peace. These stereotypes have the unfortunate effect of reinforcing conceptions of manliness defined in terms of warrior-like qualities (Bates 77; Dyfan 1). They may also change, especially as modern militaries admit women to combat responsibilities. Either way, they do not make it easy for women to secure seats at the negotiating table or to make themselves heard in the context of peace processes,1 which tend to be dominated by the presence and concerns of former fighting men and their political spokesmen. Even when they manage to participate, the contributions by women tend to go unrecognised; women’s support for peace is frequently overlooked, or simply taken for granted.
Wolfers, Edward P., Pacific Women and Peace: Bougainville’s ‘Mothers of the Land’, Kunapipi, 27(2), 2005.