By Alisa Clarke*

NEW YORK, Feb 20, 2012 (IPS) - A growing list of U.N. Security Council Resolutions acknowledges the importance of gender in processes for peace. Resolutions 1325, 1820, 1888, 1889 and 1960 note that women continue to be marginalised in peace negotiations and their potential is not fully utilised in humanitarian planning, peacekeeping operations, peace building, governance and reconstruction.
 
They call for the participation of women at all levels of decision- making, protection of women and girls from violence, promotion of women's rights, accountability, law enforcement, and mainstreaming of gender perspectives in peace operations. International humanitarian and human rights law justify these appeals. But what is the true nature of this potential of women? 
 
If war is still a man's game, what is particular to women that they bring of value to the peace table? And what would be the implications for the U.N.'s work if this was clearly articulated and factored into decision-making? 
 
The answer may lie at least partly in values and values research. In particular, one 2005 study drew relevant conclusions from a cross- cultural assessment in over seventy countries on sex differences in 10 basic values. Men consistently rated power, stimulation, hedonism, achievement, and self-direction values as more important than benevolence and universalism values. The reverse was true for women. 
 
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