Supporting Women in Resistance and Liberation Movements in Peace Negotiations and Post-war Transitions

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 aims to enhance their negotiation skills, and bolster their capacity and opportunities for post-war leadership. In so doing, the project aims to directly address the gap in representation of women in peace processes by fostering more participatory and gender-inclusive peace negotiations and post-war political transformation processes.

Timeframe:

October 2018 – January 2021

This project aims to build upon the Berghof Foundation’s longstanding engagement with non-state armed groups and our support for peaceful and democratic political transitions in a number of countries.

Over the course of two years, the project will create 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 post-war political and social leadership), the project will support the women in developing strategies to counter internal (in-group) and external (society-wide) challenges which are currently hindering their active participation and meaningful inclusion in all stages of the peace process.

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 will ensure a transfer of knowledge about the roles that female conflict stakeholders can play in (re)building democratic and prosperous societies. This should contribute to ongoing and future post-war transition processes.

Approach

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 will get together for weeklong combined capacity-building workshops focusing on negotiation skills and design, and post-war leadership skills and transformation. Participants will have the space and opportunity to exchange experiences and lessons learned from their own processes, and to learn from peer advisors. In-country dissemination events will follow each of the international workshops. Those will be designed and run by the network participants and will allow them to reinforce and develop their skills as multipliers within their organisations and communities. They will also give them the opportunity to apply the knowledge acquired during the capacity-building workshops to their own contexts.

In addition, we will organise group-specific tailor-made workshops, which will address the thematic and training needs within each group.

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 is provided by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (for more information, see the full funding agreement >).