Women in Peace and Transition Processes: Mexico (1994–2001)
Women participated throughout the Chiapas peace process, which lasted from 1994 until 2001. The most important phase of the process was the San Andrés dialogues, which were held from 18 October 1995 to 11 January 1997. Although negotiations broke down inconclusively in 1997, one accord was reached, the Indigenous Rights and Culture Agreements. This agreement partially reflected women’s demand for a form of Indigenous autonomy that was also gender responsive, which they had articulated through mass action, consultations, and direct representation at the negotiation table. However, elite resistance to the demands of women’s groups, to their participation, and to the overall outcome of the dialogues, worked as constraints on women’s influence. The agreements were only partially implemented in constitutional changes, which did not take place until 2001. Nonetheless, women’s coalition-building, preparedness, and support from at least one of the conflict parties were enabling factors for women’s influence, and the San Andrés negotiations provided opportunities for Mexican women to build collaborative institutions that formed a basis for political activism that continues today.