When Russia and Ukraine eventually restart peace talks, involving women – or not – could be a key factor in an agreement actually sticking

Ukraine and Russia launched peace talks just days after Russia invaded in early February, 2022 – but since then, peace negotiations have started and stopped multiple times.

Now, more than six months after the invasion, peace between the two countries seems far off.

Gannady Gatilov, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, said on Aug. 22, 2022, that he does not see any imminent possibility for a diplomatic solution.

Ukrainian women have had a large presence in the war, from joining the military and leading humanitarian work to becoming breadwinners and taking on new jobs. While it is unclear how or when peace negotiations may resume, it is easy to spot the conspicuous lack of women around the table during previous rounds of peace talks between Ukraine and Russia.

As a researcher focused on gendered experiences of conflict and crises, I think it is important to understand that including women – if they are from varied backgrounds and can participate in a meaningful way, not in a tokenistic manner – in talks to end war is critical for building more effective, longer-lasting peace agreements.