March 11, 2024

The UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, invites all members States to introduce gender perspective in framing the re-building of post-conflict nations. The Resolution, stresses the importance to increase women’s participation in all aspects of conflict prevention and peace keeping processes.This article looks at gender mainstreaming practices in political representation abroad introduced by the government-in-exile of the self-proclaimed Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). Since Spain withdrew its colonial power from the Western Sahara’s territory, and Morocco began its occupation, Saharawi men and women have been recruited by the liberation movement Polisario, as foreign representatives abroad.

The National Union of Saharawi Women and the women’s involvement in the camps’ administration have been regarded by scholars and international observers as a distinctive feature of the SADR. In this paper, an ethnographical approach is used to look at Saharawi political representatives in Italy and Australia to examine whether a balanced gender representation in foreign representation can enhance interaction with international supporters. This study shows that women’s participation in foreign representative’s roles, especially in post-conflict scenarios, can improve third parties understanding of societal, cultural and religious differences of the country represented abroad. Hence, countries coming from post-conflict turmoil could benefit of greater international support if the participation of women could help overcome societal differences.

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Source: Taylor & Francis Online

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