Redefining Peace Leadership: Insights from Track One Women Negotiators and Mediators

Despite relative progress in women’s participation in peace processes, very little is known about the experiences of women mediators and negotiators in Track One peace processes. To address this topic, women mediators and negotiators from a broad range of conflict contexts and peace processes were brought together for three workshops to explore the challenges they have faced and the strategies they have developed at the Track One level. This CSS Mediation Resources highlights their key findings.

by Rena Uphoff
Identity, 2017 by Shamsia Hassani

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This report by Anna Hess Sargsyan and Anna Möller-Loswick is structured around six key insights from the three workshops, with illustrative case examples from Syria, Kenya, Kosovo, Mozambique, and the Philippines. It concludes with an exploration of what “peace leadership” could and should mean in negotiations and mediation in the 21st century.

The three workshops enabled candid discussions and open dialogue between women negotiators and mediators on process design and relevant challenges and strategies. These conversations tackled difficult questions, which provided insights for the participants on how to get a better grasp on possibilities for complementing and supporting each other’s work. They also allowed for the unpacking of perceptions and narratives on common process design challenges and the misunderstandings that can exist between different actors involved in peace processes. The workshops showed the need to not only look at the differences and similarities between mediators and negotiators but also between non-state and state negotiators. Furthermore, the exchanges between negotiators and mediators highlighted why it is important to have a clear separation between the roles and responsibilities of mediators and other third parties.

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