Through capacity building, this project supports women in resistance and liberation movements to enhance their peace negotiation skills and opportunities for post-war democratic leadership.
Timeframe: 2018 - 2023
Although women in many resistance and liberation movements (RLMs) make up to 40 per cent of the overall membership and serve in key functions during armed conflict, very few are afforded the opportunity to participate in peace negotiations. This lack of participation undermines the meaningful representation of women in important political positions during and after transition.
Through the creation of a peer-learning network for female members from eight active and recently demobilised resistance and liberation movements, this project enhances the women’s negotiation skills and bolsters their capacity and opportunities for post-war leadership. In so doing, the project directly addresses the gap in representation of women in peace processes by fostering more participatory and gender-inclusive peace negotiations and post-war political transformation processes.
This project builds upon the Berghof Foundation’s longstanding engagement with resistance and liberation movements and our support for peaceful and democratic political transitions in a number of countries.
Over the course of the project, Berghof Foundation has created and fostered a peer-learning network of female members of resistance and liberation movements who are engaged in peace negotiation processes and post-war democratic politics. Focusing on two central themes (negotiation and peace processes, and post-war political and social leadership), the project supports the women in developing strategies to counter internal (in-group) and external (society-wide) challenges that are currently hindering their active participation and meaningful inclusion in all stages of their respective peace processes.
By bringing together women members of eight resistance and liberation movements, former negotiators and advisors of movements from other post-war contexts, and leading experts in negotiation, democratic governance and women leadership, we foster a transfer of knowledge about the roles that female conflict stakeholders can play in (re)building democratic and prosperous societies. This contributes to ongoing and future post-war transition processes.
The project uses two complementary methods for fostering the creation and maintenance of the south-south network of female members of resistance and liberation movements: skills-based training and peer-to-peer exchange. Based on the Berghof Foundation’s experiences supporting resistance and liberation movements in their peaceful political transition, we have learned that peer-advice and mutual learning represents an efficient and empowering methodology for transmitting insights and lessons learned among stakeholders from diverse conflict-affected contexts.
Network members are brought together for combined capacity-building workshops focusing on negotiation skills and design, and post-war leadership skills and transformation. Participants have the space and opportunity to exchange experiences and lessons learned from their own processes, and to learn from those of peer advisors. In-country dissemination events follow each of the international workshops where new knowledge and ideas are shared and discussed.
In addition, we organise group-specific tailor-made workshops, which address the thematic and training needs of the women within each group.
Partners and funding
The project is carried out with the support of Shadia Marhaban, former negotiator of GAM, from Aceh, Indonesia. The international capacity-building workshops will be coordinated in collaboration with local partner organisations.
Funding for the project was previously provided by Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation and is now provided by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Watch these short films from related projects showcasing the experiences of women ex-combatants:
Updates from this work:
- Gender-inclusive conflict transformation 8 Nov 2022
- Feminist foreign policy must be about justice and participation 12 Sep 2022
- Asking my sisters: Film and booklet released 11 May 2022
- Women's agency in war and peace 2 Dec 2020
- UNSCR 1325 turns 20 29 Oct 2020
- I have to speak: Film and booklet released 27 May 2020
Publications from this project:
- Gender-inclusive conflict transformation:. Insights from female former combatants and women associated with resistance and liberation movements
Claudia Cruz Almeida, Véronique Dudouet, Victoria Cochrane-Buchmüller. 2022
Head of Sub-Saharan Africa Unit
Media and Communications Manager
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