Women in Dispute Resolution: Parties, Lawyers and Dispute Resolvers: What Difference Does ‘Gender Difference’ Make?
Dispute Resolution Magazine, Vol. 18, No. 3, Spring 2012
7 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2012
Date Written: 2012
For a symposium on Women In ADR, this article reviews the existing and controversial literature on whether gender difference makes a difference in dispute resolution. In addition to focusing on the more conventional literature on whether women negotiate differently from men, this article reviews the complexity of women in additional roles in dispute resolution, including as parties, lawyers, third party neutrals (including as judges, mediators and arbitrators), witnesses, clients and experts. Not surprisingly, the role of gender salience and performance in modern dispute resolution is ever more complex as context and role matter and most dispute resolution “events” now involve many participants in many different roles, providing greater complexity for both academic analysis and practice. The author, one of the earliest commentators on the role of gender in dispute resolution, reviews the early theoretical claims, including her own, and deepens our understanding of when and how gender might be salient in dispute resolution and when it may be only one of many factors affecting how disputes are resolved and what people expect of dispute resolution processes. Ultimately, role, context and complexity of matter may structure how salient gender is in dispute resolution.
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