Sisters Are Doing it for Themselves | 2021 | Events

Sisters Are Doing it for Themselves: How Female Combatants Gender Peace Agreements in Civil Wars
Jakana Thomas
Jakana Thomas
Michigan State University
April 7, 2021


This manuscript investigates how women influence the civil war peace process. In particular, I examine how female rebels encourage the incorporation of gendered provisions in peace agreements. Recognizing that "women" are a heterogeneous group with interests that vary based on their locations in society and lived experiences,  I focus on the specific types of gendered interests female rebels advance in peace processes.  Using data on women’s participation in conflict and the terms written into contemporary peace agreements, I find evidence that female rebels do not promote all gendered agreement terms.  Instead, rebel women are more likely to advocate for provisions that address the needs of marginalized women and those that take on active roles in conflicts. This study is one of the first to show that women’s participation in rebellion matters for the shape of post-conflict peace. 


Jakana Thomas is associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University and a faculty affiliate of the Center for Gender in the Global Context.  Her research focuses on political violence with an emphasis on the behavior of violent political actors. Her recent projects examine women’s participation in rebel and terrorist organizations, how violence influences conflict resolution, the correlates of terrorist lethality and the determinants of successful peace processes. Her research has been published in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, International Organization, Journal of Peace Research, Security Studies and Conflict Management and Peace Science. Thomas was recently awarded a Presidential Visiting Scholars Fellowship from Princeton University for the 2020-2021 academic year.