A recent comment from the NZZ reads: “With more women in peace processes, the agreements reached last longer.”1
Nevertheless, our daily experience emphasizes that there still are many negotiations which lack female participants or in which the female participation is only symbolic – this is where urgent change is needed.
Scientifically backed reasons why women should be more intensively involved in the negotiation process include:
1. Perspective diversity: The participation of women at the negotiating table results in a greater diversity of perspectives and consequently leads to more creative solutions.2
2. Sustainability: The inclusion of women in negotiations results in more sustainable and longer-term agreements.3
3. Relationship management: Women’s social skills serve to build trusting relationships with negotiating partners.4
4. Communication skills: Women’s strong communication skills can ensure more effective communication with the negotiating counterpart.5
5. Collaboration: A strong focus on women’s collaboration serves to improve cooperation between the negotiating parties.6
2 Tinsley, C. H., Cheldelin, S. I., Schneider, A. K., & Amanatullah, E. T. 2009. Women at the bargaining table: Pitfalls and prospects. Negotiation Journal, 25(2): 233-248.
3 Krause, J., Krause, W., & Bränfors, P. 2018. Women’s participation in peace negotiations and the durability of peace. International interactions, 44(6): 985-1016.
4 Stuhlmacher, A. F. & Linnabery, E. (2013). Gender and negotiation: a social role analysis. Handbook of Research on Negotiation, 221-248.
6 Stuhlmacher, A. F. & Linnabery, E. (2013). Gender and negotiation: a social role analysis. Handbook of Research on Negotiation, 221-248.
7 Eckel, C., De Oliveira, A. C., & Grossman, P. J. 2008. Gender and negotiation in the small: are women (perceived to be) more cooperative than men?. Negotiation Journal, 24(4): 429-445.