Without women’s voices, democracy and peace are weaker

Excluding women from peace talks leads to less justice for them and a greater chance of conflict, writes Margot Wallström.

The World Today
5 minute READ

They are called ‘family photos’, official pictures taken at governmental, international and multilateral meetings, conferences and signing ceremonies in which dignitaries are lined up on a platform or staircase or simply arranged sitting around a table. Everything is staged. Everyone has an assigned place, with VIPs in the centre ground. All look serious and are suitably attired for the occasion. A black suit works fine.

Putting women in the picture

Yet all too often in these ‘family’ photos something is missing: and that is the women. Perhaps we are too familiar with men’s dominance at these top-level meetings that we take the absence of women for granted and fail to recognize it. But when women are left out of the picture, constrained or silenced in any way, it poses a serious threat to democracy.

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