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Women and the Peace Dividend

Women and Peacebuilding: Reflections from Northern Ireland

Held on 19 March 2024, this special joint event reflected on the central role of women in the Northern Ireland Peace process in the negotiations leading to the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement—which brought 30 years of conflict in the region to an end—and in the 25 years since.

The centrality of women to the Northern Ireland peace process, at all levels of society—politically, socially and culturally—is key to understanding how the Agreement was constructed and how its central principles of power sharing, equality, and mutual respect remain in place today. The internationalization of that role, powerfully expressed by leaders such as Secretary Clinton during the 1990s, and since consolidated by local political leaders, remind us that successful peace processes represent the diversity of the societies affected by conflict.

This event, hosted by Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast, highlighted those involved in negotiating the Agreement, those tasked with its implementation, and the new generation driving forward the dividends of peace. This seminar explored, through academic research, the global role of women in peacebuilding as we look to the future.

Professor Marsha Henry, Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton Chair in Women, Peace, Security and Justice, participated on the panel 'Women and the Peace Dividend: A Global Perspective' with:

  • Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, Founding Member, Southeast Asian Women Peace Mediators; former Chairperson for the Philippine Government’s Peace Panel
  • Phoebe Donnelly, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Columbia SIPA; Senior Fellow and Head of the Women, Peace and Security Program, International Peace Institute
  • Melanne Verveer, Executive Director, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security; Former Ambassador-at-Large, Office of Global Women’s Issues, US Department of State (Moderator)

Professor Henry talked about her forthcoming book and used Enloe’s concept of the ‘persistence of patriarchy’ as a way to expand on her ethnographic work on women peacekeepers from the global south and the complex challenges they face in the field.

The event was recorded and is available to view here.

This event was hosted in collaboration with Queen's University Belfast and the Institute of Global Politics (IGP) at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA).