“I Wouldn’t Want to Be a Gender Expert:” Gender Experts in Peace Mediation

Journal article

Sapiano, Jenna; Gina Heathcote; Jacqui True & Karin Aggestam (2022) “I Wouldn’t Want to Be a Gender Expert:” Gender Experts in Peace Mediation, International Negotiation. DOI: 10.1163/15718069-bja10058.

Read the article here (Open Access)

Peace mediation is a professional practice that is increasingly reliant on thematic technical experts, including gender experts. The strategy of including gender expertise in peace mediation reflects the Women, Peace and Security agenda and the call to include dedicated gender expertise in all peacemaking efforts. Based on interviews with peace mediation practitioners, the article analyzes the role of gender experts in peace mediation. We argue that there is a tension between the art of mediation and the art of gender expertise that reflects the gendered power dynamics of peace mediation. We conclude that the strategy of appointing gender experts to peace mediation teams will not “dismantle the master’s house.” However, we acknowledge that without a gender expert very little will be accomplished on this issue. For peace mediation to address the gendered foundations of conflict we argue for the development of an alternate feminist peace mediation practice.

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