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Women and the Art of Peacemaking: Data from Israeli-Palestinian Interactive Problem-Solving Workshops

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Are women “natural” peacemakers? If so, is this because of natural inclinations to avoid conflict or to engage in tough discussions? Are there particular skills in which women excel that make them more likely than their male counterparts to be able to build relational bridges, to facilitate negotiations, and to reduce tensions? After a review of the literature on gender differences in such skills, a systematic comparison of interaction quality is made between two Israeli-Palestinian interactive problem-solving workshops that differed only in gender composition. A third Israeli-Palestinian workshop that involved female political elites is also examined for subsequent changes in the conflict relationship or for changes in political activity. The implications of different repertoires of skills for altering political processes are discussed.
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Keywords: Middle East; Peacemaking; conflict resolution; elites; gender; peace process

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Arizona, 2: Tufts University

Publication date: March 1, 1998

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