LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security welcomes the Network of Women Mediators Across the Commonwealth (WMC)
The Centre for Women, Peace and Security is pleased to welcome the Women Mediators Across the Commonwealth (WMC) network to our community of scholars, practitioners and policy makers at the LSE. The WMC network comprises 49 women mediators and peacebuilders from across the Commonwealth with expertise and experience in the resolution of conflicts and prevention of violence in community, national and international settings.
“Given the challenges we see globally, this is the time for unconventional truths and courageous practices, and I’m thrilled to welcome the WMC’s members to the WPS Centre, and look forward to opportunities of collaboration with colleagues across the LSE community”
Sanam Naraghi Anderlini MBE, the Centre’s Director and WMC Steering Committee member
About the Network:
Members of the WMC network bring a wealth of practical knowledge and experience from resolving electoral conflicts in Uganda, the mediation of political conflict in Myanmar, and involvement in UN mediation and peacebuilding efforts globally; to bridging divided communities in Northern Ireland and Cyprus, reducing political tensions and the implications of political instability in Bougainville and Kashmir; and the mediation of indigenous conflicts in both Australia and Canada.
The WMC network’s members include professional mediators and negotiators working on peace and mediation processes, civil society leaders, practicing lawyers and peacebuilding strategists, senior political figures, and local grassroots peacebuilders, with expertise in a range of critical issues from constitutional law, preventing violent extremism, addressing sexual violence in conflict to mediating climate related conflicts and border conflicts, as well as political and intra states mediation.
“The network reaches out to women, not only at the political level, but to the grassroots, which is usually lacking in other networks”
Betty Bigombe, Special Envoy for Uganda, South Sudan Peace Process
Together, members of the WMC are working for the greater recognition and inclusion of the crucial work done by women mediators and peacebuilders in all spaces, enabling access for women from the frontlines of conflict to the key spaces where policies are shaped and decisions are made and facilitated, and integrate gender responsiveness in analysis, policies and programming pertaining to the world’s most urgent crises and conflicts.
"Women's approaches and decision-making skills are the most under-utilised resource in conflict resolution and prevention. From my work with the WMC I have only been inspired by the amount of skills, knowledge and innovative approaches that members of the network apply to their day to day peace and mediation work that needs to be recognised, supported and incorporated in all peacebuilding and mediation efforts in fullest."
Quhramaana Kakar, Senior Strategic Advisor, WMC
Through the Centre’s support for the WMC network we will continue to demonstrate the transformative value of deploying women mediators in conflict settings around the world. Together, we will:
- Increase the participation of women mediators in peace and mediation processes and facilitate members’ deployment in mediation processes across the member states of the Commonwealth;
- Strengthen and contribute to development, international relations, peace and security scholarship through the WMC members’ inclusion in LSE WPS seminars, research activities, publications and interactions with the wider community of academics and students;
- Support WMC members ongoing pioneering peace and mediation efforts through funding their community, national and regional work;
- Build an ongoing evidence base and advocacy platform to collectively address the key barriers faced by women mediators by connecting with decision-makers so that they can benefit from the distinct experiences and alternative solutions to conflicts that woman can propose, but rarely get a chance to share.
The WMC was founded in 2018 with support from Conciliation Resources. Since 2018, the network has advocated for members’ inclusion in peace processes, developing a public database of women mediators, and providing strategic grants for members’ work reaching eight countries. The network has brought members together to share experiences and expertise from different contexts and spaces, and published research on the barriers and enablers facing women mediators. With funding from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, in the coming months, Quhramaana Kakar, LSE Visiting Fellow, and Senior Strategic Advisor for the WMC network, will work with Conciliation Resources as the network transitions into the Centre.
We look forward to WMC members’ actively engaging in the Centre’s life and collaborating with others across the LSE community as we continue our work to promote the inclusion of all members of society in peace processes and initiatives which arise from conflict.
To learn more about the members see womenmediators.org. To hear from the network members about the work of women mediators, watch Why Connecting Women Mediators Works:
All images © Conciliation Resources