Power to Women in Peace Processes

Women's Organisations Cooperating in Realising Resolution 1325

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Mediation Conference in Alexandria, October 2016

Mediation Lab

27/04/2016 10:26

By participating in the Mediaiton Lab, women with experience in negotiations and mediation at the civil society level are able to bring their expertise onto the diplomatic level. Their knowledge and skills in mediation and conflict resolution has deepened through a Mediation Conference and through training conducted by the Clingendael Institute. 

The core of Operation 1325's project the Mediation Lab is an international conference, aiming at an exchange of experience on mediation and the advancement of women’s skills in mediation, negotiation and dialogue.

The conference on women peace mediations and negotiations was held Ocotber 4-7 2016, organized by Operation 1325 in partnership with the Swedish Institute in Alexandria. The women invited were from Colombia, Palestine and Southeast Turkey, Iraq, Libya and Yemen.

THE CONFERENCE

The main focus of the conference was the UN resolution 1325, and how to increase women’s influence at all levels of peace processes and in conflict resolution. A structural exclusion from power processes - including peace processes and other international negotiation scenes – has a negative effect on the outcomes of peace processes and peace building. We know that when women are excluded from a peace process, it has less of a chance of becoming a lasting peace. In the long run, the project will contribute to an enhancing of non-military interventions through the participation of women.

Among the raised issues was the topic of representation, as one of the participants put it: “It’s not enough to have women at the table; they don’t always represent women’s interests or women’s movements”. Other issues raised by several participants were the allegations that civil society receive about supporting “the enemy side”, especially the discourse of “supporting terrorism”. The participants have faced fierce resistance against women organization’s involvement in decision making instances including peace negotiation tables, such as verbal attacks and various accusations. Women may be welcomed at the activist scene and in mobilizations, but the door closes at the decision-making point. Patriarchy in general is a norm that obstructs women’s participation in public spheres.

The training

The training gave the participants more awareness of the different parts of a dialogue process. The picture shows how the participants got to train a vivid negotiation. The “mediator” was part of one of the groups that negotiated; consequently she played the role of an “insider and bias mediator”.

The participants

The participating women are all involved in implementing 1325 in their countries, integrating women’s issues into peace agreement and enhancing women as political subjects in conflict resolution and peacebuilding processes. Some of them are or have been involved in constitution building, some have been negotiating with government, and others have been mediating between insurgency and government. 

 

Colombia

Angela Cerón

Olga Sanchez

Marina Gallego

 

Southeast Turkey

Besime Konca

Ayla Akat Ata

Nazan Ustundag

 

Palestine

Hilda Issa

Hebah Amin

Amal Khreishe

 

Yemen

Amal El Basha

Hala El Olaki

Omima Bawi

 

Libya

Ebtesam Al Gusbi

Zahra' Langhi

Susan Himme

 

Iraq

Liza Hido

Sahira Ahmed Abdul Kareem

Amal El Basha