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Peace and Politics
Who's (Not) in Power
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I
t has been suggested that political systems have something unique to gain from the participation of women. Women, it is argued, have a different approach to peace and conflict resolution, so that increasing their participation in decisions concerning these issues has the potential to move political and international systems closer to peace.

For example, research in a number of countries confirms that, compared to women, men show a 10 to 15 percent greater preference for the use of military force. They also pointed to evidence that indicates women have a more cooperative style of decision-making that is not primarily based on coercion, or the use of force.

However, the experts also cautioned against jumping to conclusions. For one thing, they said, none of the research indicates that women or men are born more aggressive or peaceful than the other. They added that often bringing one or two women into high-level political positions might not have any impact on the way decisions are made. The political style only changes if women are represented in large enough numbers -- a critical mass -- estimated at a level of about 30 to 35 percent.

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