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Women in Conflict Peace Initiative Fellowship Programme

Date:21 September 2015 to
30 October 2015

Beyond Borders Scotland in partnership with European Institute of Peace (EIP) presents a pilot programme, ‘Women in Conflict’. The initiative seeks to explore and highlight the different roles that women play in conflict mediation and resolution with particular reference to UNSC Resolution 1325 which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year.  The project – which will be publicly launched by the First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon and UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura at the Beyond Borders International Festival - will consist of two main work streams, a cultural programme including art and film pieces and a residential Fellowship programme.

This Fellowship will bring a small group of women from Syria, Yemen and Iraq who are active in conflict mediation, dialogue or gender-based violence issues, to Scotland to take part in a 5-day residential peace fellowship programme. The Women in Conflict Fellowship will contribute to a diverse and sustainable community of peace builders, enhancing their existing efforts to contribute to the long term stabilisation and recovery of their countries, based on the exchange of experiences the Fellowship offers them underpinned by globally recognised best practice.

Aims

  • To bring together a team of women activists from a range of conflict affected countries to work on cascading best practice in mediation, recovery and dialogue methodologies through their own networks, with an emphasis on the agency and participation of women in the sustainable resolution of conflict.
  • To explore methodologies for gaining access to power and those who hold it, and promoting the role of women in peace-building processes of all kinds including the ‘top-down’, reflecting EIP’s mediation, dialogue and public diplomacy focus and Beyond Borders’ Mediation Fellowship methodology.
  • To explore methodologies for therapeutic approaches to recovery from conflict affected trauma as a mean of creating spaces for cross community dialogue, especially in the context of sectarian division as part of bottom up peace building processes, and how to connect this with ‘top down’ processes.  This reflects EIP’s belief in going beyond or behind ‘track’ thinking in peace process management, and existing Beyond Borders’ projects in the documentation and prevention of sexual violence in conflict.
  • To facilitate this group of women over the course of the Beyond Borders Festival to define a model of working together and/or with and through their existing networks on Women, Peace and Recovery, including, should they wish it, to map a project plan for creating and sustaining such (a) network(s).

Dr Jensen’s contribution was a series of workshops and one to one sessions with women from Syria, Yemen and Iraq who are active in conflict mediation, dialogue and gender based violence issues on the latest research regarding the complex relationships between life narratives, story telling, trauma and memory, and to suggest ideas for grass roots research and development of guidelines and protocols for the collection of life stories in conflict and post-conflict contexts.

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