For peace initiatives to remain sustainable in the long term, women must be included in every level of the process. From 10th to 20th August, the Peace Centre held 4 mediation training workshops for 204 women peace mediators from the refugee and host communities to equip them to mediate and resolve conflicts within and between communities in Yumbe and Adjumani districts.
Women Peace Mediators acquired knowledge and practical skills on peacebuilding, conflict transformation, mediation, negotiation, referral pathways for conflict resolution and advocacy on women peace and security agenda based on the Peace Centre’s Peacebuilding training curriculum and other relevant materials.
“I used to force children to keep quiet when handling cases involving children and adults because I thought it was a sign of respect. But I have learnt to give equal opportunities to everyone irrespective of their age or sex. I ensure that the mediation sessions are thorough, dig deep into the root cause, allow both parties to talk irrespective of their age or sex.”– Joyce Akujo, Vice-Chairperson Refugee Welfare Council, Zone 2.
Joyce shared this during the session that shared the different steps in the mediation process where it was emphasised that conflicting parties in the mediation process must have an opportunity to speak without judgement from the mediator or the other parties
From the experiences shared, Women Peace mediators demonstrated remarkable leadership in their approach to mediation. Where conflict arose, they were proactive in identifying the issues causing the conflict and offering assistance to address them. Participants discussed and identified key conflict incidences and what women need to effectively build peace in their communities.
At the end of the training, the women leaders resolved to go back to their respective communities and carry out intensive mobilization and share their peacebuilding experiences and lessons. The networks create opportunities for women mediators to document their experiences in mediation, with the aim of developing recommendations for strengthening future mediation efforts. To ensure the active participation of women mediators, there must be increased training of women in negotiation and mediation skills.