Women in Peacebuilding and Mediation in Cyprus: Where We Are and Where to Next?
On July 4th, IAI, which together with WIIS Italy manages the Secretariat of the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network (MWMN) - an initiative promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, contributed to the organization of a workshop on the role of women in peace processes and in conflict mediation in Cyprus. The event, organized in response to the current impasse in the Cyprus' peace process and to the lack of women’s participation in such process, was coordinated by the Cyprus Women's Lobby with the joint support of the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network (MWMN), the Women Mediators Network across the Commonwealth (MNC), the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and UNFICYP. Hosted at the Ledra Palace Hotel in Nicosia - the conflict's buffer zone- the workshop gathered together a diverse group of 26 women experts in peace-building from across the island to discuss main needs and concerns and to assess possible opportunities for collaboration between the two communities. This initiative was promoted in an effort to revitalize the role of women as key actors to develop island-wide strategies and approaches, including mediation skills, towards the creation of an inclusive and sustainable peace process and agreement. The initiative was part of a wider programme of events sponsored by the MWMN in view of the launch of the first national antenna of the MWMN in Cyrus next October.