Women’s meaningful participation in peace negotiations and implementing peace agreements is a key tenet of the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (WPS), which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2020. Beyond being a right – enshrined in the WPS agenda and other international laws – women’s participation has been shown to positively impact the likelihood of achieving a peace agreement between the parties, the durability of the agreement, and the quality of the provisions – in particular, the inclusion of gender-responsive provisions. Still, women remain largely excluded from official peace negotiations. Between 1991 and 2011, they constituted only 2% of chief mediators, 4% of witnesses and signatories, and 9% of negotiators. Women are routinely excluded from pre-negotiation stages of peace processes, where parameters and agendas for future negotiations are set.

The Peacewriter Prize is a writing competition seeking bold and innovative responses to the world’s peacemaking challenges. Winning entries are published by HD and included in the briefing material for participants at the annual Oslo Forum.