“Of 31 major peace processes between 1992 and 2011 (…) only 4 per cent of signatories, 2.4 per cent of chief mediators, 3.7 per cent of witnesses and 9 per cent of negotiators are women.”- UN Women, Women’s Participation in Peace Negotiations: Connections between Presence and Influence, 2012
To address this statistic, and implement United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR 1325) on Women, Peace and Security, MBBI seeks to increase the number of women mediators and peacebuilders engaging in peace processes. It achieves this by conducting International Training Institutes (ITIs) in multiple regions across the globe.MBBI convenes community and civil society leaders who seek to support a gendered approach to peacebuilding. The 12-month program for each cohort emphasizes:
Capacity-building: A multicultural, multinational and multidisciplinary endeavor guided by an MBBI team whose work experience spans 40 countries. These peacebuilders’ skills are employed in dialog facilitation, mediation, restorative justice and training methodology. Negotiation training emphasizes contexts for peace negotiations and advocacy to access a seat at the table. Cohorts think strategically about the best use of these skills in cultural contexts with minimal space for women’s public participation.
Connecting and complementing: Participants exchange experience and insights with practitioners from countries in their region, as well as with conflict professionals around the world. MBBI helps them form connections with complementary women’s networks such as those organized by Institute for Inclusive Security, Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, and Eastern Mennonite Univeristy’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding.
Women in mediation projects: Participants design projects based on these trainings to reduce threats to peace, promote reconciliation, and educate and empower more women leaders. The participants are supported by others in their cohort and by MBBI.
Meet our global cohorts here:
MBBI’s latest International Training Institutes (ITI), Mediation and Leadership, took place in Minsk, Belarus from 21-24 April and Women in Peacebuilding: Enhancing Skills & Practices (Mujeres Constructoras de Paz: Desarrollando Habilidades y Práctica) took place in Bogota, Colombia from 8-12 May.
MBBI’s 2016 ITI, supported by Rotary International, AAA-IDCR Foundation, and Women International Leaders of Greater Philadelphia took place in Jakarta, Indonesia, from July 16-24, 2016. For media coverage of the event, check out these links: International NGO Calls for Peace Through Mediation. The Jakarta Post, 25 July 2016 and Rotarian Promotes Peace at the Grass Roots. Rotarian Magazine, July 2016.
Globally, women are positioned to influence social change as never before. Political turmoil and transition, and the upheaval of conflict, are painful without a doubt, and many challenges lie ahead. But with skillful, continual participation, women can transform their regions into more vibrant, inclusive societies with sustainable peace and development. MBBI positions women to make this kind of impact.
If nations are to emerge from violence and political overhaul, highly skilled peacebuilders are essential at all levels: in communities, in civil society, and in political and diplomatic circles. It has long been recognized that women’s contributions are critical to these efforts, perhaps most notably captured in UN Security Resolution 1325 and General Assembly Resolution 65/283 when they called for increased participation of women at all levels of decision-making, in peace negotiations, and in mechanisms for the prevention, management and resolution of conflict.
- Women in all regions of the world are enabled to lead a range of conflict resolution and transformation processes
- Women are prepared to contribute to peace negotiations and to lead civil society efforts to hold institutions and non-state actors accountable for sustainable peace and development
- Women can transform their communities by capitalizing on the successes of other nations that have emerged from conflict
- Attainment of a sustained women’s community of practice connected internally, and with additional women’s networks to leverage the efforts of each
- Peacebuilding projects increase in the women’s home countries that improve conditions and involve more women in creating social change
MBBI has convened civil society women and interested men from countries in the MENA, SE Asia, the Andean region and Eastern Europe. We work to initiate a new cohort annually to reach all regions of the world. Participants form a mutually supportive community of practice grounded in common experience that transcends national, ethnic and religious borders. Each has created a personal vision for how she will act to transform her society, and some have begun to put those plans into action. Deepening the knowledge, skills, access to power circles, and the network itself empowers these women to realize their potential.
Additional references: Building Capacities for Mediation Among Women in Asia, 7 May 2015, APWAPs
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