Makt åt kvinnor i fredsprocesser

Kvinnoorganisationer i samverkan för att genomföra resolution 1325

Mediation Conference in Alexandria, October 2016

Mediation lab

04/11/2016 16:19

The Conference

Operation 1325 in partnership with The Swedish Institute in Alexandria, organized a conference from 4-7 October on Women Peace Mediations and Negotiations. The Operation 1325 Mediation Lab is a project that at a large part consists of a conference aiming at exchanging experience on mediation and to advance women’s skills on mediation, negotiation and dialogue. The women invited were from Colombia, Palestine and Southeast Turkey, Iraq, Libya and Yemen.

The main focus of the conference was the 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”.

(picture “Mediation”)

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.