On May 9th NOREF co-hosted the event “Turning the Tables: women’s multiple roles in peace processes” alongside PRIO and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The event featured a panel with Mariam Safi from Afghanistan, Rida Al Tubuly from Libya and Rasha Jarhum from Yemen.
The prominent women were invited to Norway to share insights into the status of women’s engagement in the peace processes in their respective countries, and also to make recommendations to the network of Nordic Women Mediators who held their annual meeting in conjunction with the event.
Mariam Safi shared that there is currently an expanding space for women in the Afghan peace process. “The platforms that are now in place for Afghan women were never given to us. We created these platforms and we demanded these spaces”, she said. Rasha Jarhum highlighted the importance of women’s inclusion in all aspects of track two work, and Rida Al Tubuly stated that “There is no peace or democracy when you exclude women. We want women to be a part of not only mediation, but all parts of government”.
The panel discussion was followed by closing words from the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide, who echoed the panelists in saying that we must increase women’s participation in peace processes. “It is time to turn the negotiating table outward, facing those not at the table but those who endure the conflict” the Minister said.
Nordic Women Mediators (NWM) is a network of women from the five Nordic countries who have professional expertise relevant to conflict mediation, peacebuilding and negotiations. The network was established in 2015 and holds annual meetings to discuss relevant issues and exchange experiences.