Women in Peace and Transition Processes: Guatemala (1994-1999)
Of the several peace initiatives organized since the 1980s aimed at ending Guatemala’s protracted civil war, the United Nations-mediated peace process of 1994-1996 proved the most inclusive. Organized women’s groups were included in the Assembly of Civil Society: an official consultation body mandated to bring recommendations to the formal track one negotiations between the Guatemalan government and a unified coalition of the four largest guerrilla movements in Guatemala, the National Revolutionary Unity.
The women’s organizations built a strong coalition in the Women’s Sector of the Assembly, which enabled them to articulate joint positions and effectively bring their issues onto the negotiating agenda. The advocacy support of Luz Mendez, a female delegate representing the National Revolutionary Unity in the track one negotiations, was equally important in ensuring that provisions proposed by the women’s groups were included in the final agreement.