Join the Women Mediators Across the Commonwealth (WMC) network and Conciliation Resources for the launch of their joint report Beyond the Vertical: What Enables Women Mediators to Mediate.
Drawing from the experiences of WMC network members, this report demonstrates how a complex mix of factors such as regional and local networks, positive visibility, intergenerational collaboration, effective peer-to-peer learning, flexible funding, responsive donors, and supportive and inclusive institutional cultures can contribute to constructing enabling environments for women mediators. It highlights both the immense value of women mediators, as well as the urgent need for their greater inclusion and recognition, including in formal mediation processes.
The event will focus on sharing and discussing the key findings of the report and what works to support women mediators. Rather than just exploring the barriers that women mediators face, we will ask the audience to consider what they can and should do to support the participation of women mediators.
Meet the speakers:
Magda Zenon is a human rights activist whose perspective has been influenced by having lived in apartheid South Africa, Greece, and now divided Cyprus. She is an active member of civil society who focuses on the implementation of UNSCR1325 and the integration of a gender perspective in peace processes and beyond. She has helped found and is still active in a number of local women’s CSO’s including Hands Across the Divide, the Gender Advisory Team and the Cyprus Women’s Lobby that is a member of the European Women’s Lobby. Magda also believes strongly in the power of storytelling.
Elizabeth Solomon is an Industrial Court Judge and an experienced mediator in a wide variety of political, post-conflict and commercial contexts around the world. She is a Director on the Mediation Board of Trinidad & Tobago, Former Executive Director of the Dispute Resolution Centre and the Caribbean Centre for Human Rights, Founder of Dialogue Solutions, and is a Steering Committee member of the Women Mediators Across the Commonwealth Network. Elizabeth had a full career in journalism before joining the United Nations, spending the next 20 years as a conflict prevention and peacebuilding practitioner in various conflict context, including in the role of Deputy Co-ordinator of the UN Good Offices team in Cyprus. Elizabeth’s work has focused on design and implementation of social cohesion and inclusive peacebuilding processes and in supporting local efforts to build resilient democratic national institutions in Kosovo, Bosnia, Somalia and Sierra Leone. Her work on human rights and development stretches from The Netherlands to Brazil, India and Guyana.
Sumaiya Tanim is an early career practitioner-researcher in the field of Peace & Development with special interest in the issues of Women, Peace & Security, Interfaith Harmony and C/PVE. Sumaiya has worked with the young student community across Bangladesh to build awareness against hate speech since 2017. Through her organisation MOVE Foundation, she designs and facilitates peacebuilding workshops to develop capacity of the mainstream and marginalised youths, particularly female students in peace and civic education. As a young consultant, she has worked in the regional research project on 'Amplifying Leadership of Local Youth in PVE in South Asia' with FCA-UNOY-The Network for Traditional & Religious Peacemakers. Through campaign #Reform53, she advocates for reforming discriminatory laws against women and LGBTQ+ people.
Jonathan Cohen is Executive Director of Conciliation Resources, a post he took up in 2016. Over the past 25 years at Conciliation Resources, initially as Caucasus Director and then as Director of Programmes, Jonathan has supported dialogue and peacebuilding initiatives in contexts including the South Caucasus, Kashmir, the Philippines, Colombia, Ethiopia and Nigeria. Previously he served as Deputy Director of the Foundation on Inter-Ethnic Relations in The Hague working with the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities. In 2018 Jonathan became Chair of the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO). Jonathan is an Associate of the Institute for the Public Understanding of War and Conflict at the Imperial War Museum and a member of the Advisory Board of the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at the University of London. In 2007 he was awarded an OBE by the British Government for services to conflict prevention and conflict resolution in the Caucasus.
Rose Pihei is the Director of a civil society organisation Bougainville Integrated Community Learning Centre, based in Buin, south of Bougainville. She represented the women of South Bougainville on the Women’s Reserve seat in the Autonomous Bougainville Government from June 2010 to June 2015. She was the only female Minister in a fourteen member Bougainville Executive Council. Rose was driven to the political arena by her passion to create and influence change in women’s leadership and secure a safe region for the people through peacebuilding activities in Bougainville. She had successfully created some change, the most significant the initiation of the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.
His Excellency Mr Johnston Busingye, Rwanda High Commission is a Rwandan lawyer from Makerere University. He also holds a Diploma in Legal Practice, awarded by the Law Development Center in Kampala. In addition, he holds a certificate, awarded by the John F. Kennedy School of Government, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. His Excellency has held many positions in the Rwandan government and judiciary, including Minister of Justice and Attorney General, from 2013 until 2021, and President of the High Court of Rwanda. Other responsibilities in the past were National Prosecutor of Rwanda, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, and principal judge of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ)
Chair: Sanam Naraghi Anderlini MBE, is the LSE Director of the Centre for Women, Peace and Security. Sanam is a globally recognised advocate in the field of women, peace and security, with 24 years’ experience as a peace strategist working on conflicts, crises and violent extremism with a mix of civil society, governments and the UN. Sanam is the founder and CEO of the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) where she spearheads the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL) comprising independent women-led organisations active in 40 countries, preventing violence and promoting peace, rights and pluralism.
About Women Mediators Across the Commonwealth (WMC) network
The Women Mediators across the Commonwealth (WMC) network brings together mediators with diverse experiences and expert knowledge from across the five Commonwealth regions of Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific. Members of the WMC mediate conflicts within and beyond Commonwealth contexts, providing valuable contributions to peacebuilding in all spaces. The network seeks to achieve greater recognition for the crucial work done by women mediators at all levels local, regional and global and provides a platform for learning, experience and resource sharing, and greater solidarity and influence. WMC currently has 49 members from 21 Commonwealth countries. The network is one of the founding members of the Global Alliance of Regional Women Mediator Networks.
About Conciliation Resources
Conciliation Resources is an international organisation committed to stopping violent conflict and creating more peaceful societies. For over 25 years they have been bringing together communities torn apart by violence and mistrust, helping people resolve their differences. Conciliation Resources connect the views of people on the ground with political processes, and share learning so others can find alternatives to violent conflict.
Image copyright: Conciliation Resources