This article examines why the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda has been so challenging to implement and argues that the political economy of war and peace, driven by a complex network of power, is a deterrent to sustainable and gender-just peace. However, peace initiatives are not a zero-sum game. They are dialectical, offering possibilities for both regressive and transformative change. Although inclusion of women and gender concerns in current peace processes lags behind expectations, the WPS agenda has been instrumental in changing the negotiation landscape and empowering women beyond the peace table. It has also exposed the need for a paradigm shift in the understanding of peace and security that effectively responds to power asymmetries and the neo-liberal environment that shapes policy and practice. Given their marginalised positioning vis-a-vis hegemonic power structures, women stand to contribute towards this end.