UNITAR Organizers Workshop on Empowering Women in the Peace Processes
16 of May 2017, New York, USA - The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) organized the workshop “Empowering Women in the Peace Processes”, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The day began with a few opening remarks by Mr. Pelayo Alvarez, on the importance of gender equality and the promotion of Sustainable Development Goal 5, introducing Columbia Law School professors Alexandra Carter and Shawn Watts. The event closed the 2017 series on “Conflict Resolution, Mediation and Negotiation”.
The course was divided into three sections; the first section analyzed strategies for empowering women, followed by a discussion on the political participation of women in each participant’s respective countries or missions and the adequate strategies concerning empowerment. Participants were separated by groups of four to discuss and gather ideas in order to address this particular issue. In the following section, the panel provided participants with a couple of case studies concerning top- down v. bottom up strategies for empowering women.
The professors introduced the idea of the 8-Step Process for Leading Change which is an integrated approach to empowering women in peace processes at the organizational level. The following session focused on a multistep approach for women empowerment ranging from the workplace to voicing their opinions in government. The panel explained how these methods could promote changes in societal norms by acknowledging and correcting the new behaviours and old, and promote a vision by developing initiatives to enable change.
The last session consisted of a role play where participants were divided in groups of four, and as a group discusses strategies ensuring women’s meaningful participation in country negotiations and addressing strategies and techniques for overcoming those barriers.
By the end of this session participants understood the importance of gender inclusivity, identified barriers to gender equality in peace-making processes, and committed to empowering women to fully and meaningfully participate in peace-making processes.
Photos: Speakers and participants of the workshop