This week at Voksenåsen Hotel in Oslo, the PRIO Gender Team organizes a High-Level Seminar on Gender and Inclusive Mediation Processes for envoys, senior mediators and their teams in collaboration with the UN Department of Political Affars (DPA) and the Crisis Management Initiative (CMI). The seminar is organized with support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Participation in the seminar is by invitation only.

Background to the seminar

Promoting women’s effective participation in conflict mediation and addressing their specific needs in peacemaking efforts is a high priority for the United Nations and Member States since the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security. However, in spite of many global and regional commitments and initiatives, the number of women and gender experts involved in formal peacemaking processes remains rather low, and few peace agreements include gender-relevant provisions or harness the resources women may contribute to reach more sustainable peace.

The overall objective of the High-level Seminar on Gender & Inclusive Mediation Processes for envoys, mediators and senior mediation experts, is therefore to generate more consultative processes by promoting women’s effective participation and building inclusive, gender-sensitive mediation capacity at international, regional and national levels. The Seminar will introduce practical "how-to" strategies and tools for more inclusive peace process design, as well as options for gender–relevant provisions, including specific language, for the key thematic areas of peace agreements.

Inclusive mediation rests on the assumption that building a sustainable peace would require an integration of societal perspectives – those of conflicting parties and other stakeholders – and its design includes multiple entry points and diverse mechanisms for participation. An inclusive mediation process, however, does not imply that all stakeholders can participate directly in the formal negotiations, but it can facilitate a structured interaction between the conflict parties and other stakeholders to include all perspectives in the process.

The High-level Seminar is rooted in the premise that women living a conflict have strategic knowledge and networks to contribute to its resolution and can be actors in implementing sustainable peace. Gender dynamics thus create unique opportunities and challenges for peacemaking and need to be understood, analyzed, and used for strategic advantage. As inclusivity may increase opportunities for reaching sustainable agreements, more systematic consultation of and outreach towards women across societies would assist mediators in their jobs.

The High-Level Seminar on Gender and Inclusive Mediation Processes is designed to:

  • Increase participants’ awareness of the roles women may play in resolving and sustaining conflict;
  • Deal with dilemmas of inclusivity and efficiency in mediation; e.g. how opportunities for women’s participation in mediated processes are affected by culture and local traditions;
  • Apply the UN’s normative women, peace and security frameworks as leverage for mediators; High-Level Seminar on Gender and Inclusive Mediation Processes
  • Offer practical strategies and tools for conflict assessment and process design to expand participation and opportunities for women and civil society; and for including women more systematically in implementation bodies; and
  • Provide specific information, advice, and language on gender-relevant components of substantive issues, including on conflict-related sexual violence, in ceasefire- and peace agreements.

Contact information

For questions, please contact Jenny K. Lorentzen:
Phone: +47 905 56 982