Barrier Four: “This doesn’t concern women.”

“This doesn’t concern women.” Military and security issues are ‘technical’ and ‘not relevant’ to women peacebuilders. Some argue that women do not need to be included in peace negotiations because the military and security issues on the table are not relevant to their...

Barrier Three: “Who are these women anyway?”

“Who are these women anyway?” Questioning the legitimacy of women peacebuilders. Questioning the legitimacy of a group or individuals is a sure means of excluding them from the mediation process. On the inclusion of women, this ‘legitimacy’ question is often raised....

Barrier Two: “The mediator can’t do everything.”

“The mediator can’t do everything,” or doesn’t consider inclusion of women a priority. Given the urgency of ending violence, mediators often assume that women are not directly relevant at the early stages of mediation. Some worry that engaging women will complicate a...

Barrier One: “We represent everyone.”

Conflict parties won’t accept women at the table. Experience and research show that belligerent parties are open to interaction with civil society actors, notably elders and religious leaders. But on the question of women, there is significant resistance across most...

Building A More Inclusive Political Transition in Syria

On 18-19 July 2013, a group of practitioners, scholars, and policy makers with global experience representing a variety of institutions gathered in Washington, DC to explore how the principles and practicalities of including non-violent, non-state actors in mediation,...