Nordic Women Mediators
First network meeting, Oslo, November 2015 (Photo: Julie Lunde Lillesæter/Differ Media)
Elisabeth Rehn at the launch of the Nordic network in Oslo, November 2015 (Photo: Julie Lunde Lillesæter/Differ Media)
International launch of the Nordic Women Mediators in New York, May 2016 (Photo: Klara Grenhagen/FBA)
Inspired by a similar initiative in southern Africa, the Nordic governments endorsed the creation of the network at the Nordic African Foreign Ministers’ meeting in April 2015. The NWM was officially launched in Oslo on 27 November 2015, followed by an international launch in March 2016 at the United Nations in New York.
There is recognition that despite important gains resulting from the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR 1325), formal peace and mediation processes have lagged behind in effectively engaging and meaningfully involving women, whether as parties to a conflict or as members of the teams facilitating and leading peace processes. The UN Security Council has on numerous occasions expressed concern at the persistent obstacles to women’s full involvement in the prevention and resolution of conflicts. Special attention has been drawn to the constant under-representation of women in peace processes, transitional processes and post-political settlement decision-making, institutions and reconstruction. A UN study has found that only two per cent of chief mediators, nine per cent of negotiators, and four per cent of signatories were women.
The Nordic Women Mediators’ objectives are to:
- Increase the number of Nordic women that are actively involved in international peace-making efforts.
- Strengthen the role of women mediators in conflict-affected countries and regions, both at a state or country level, and in regional and international organizations.
- Engage with similar initiatives in other countries, regions and/or internationally.
The network aims to reach out to actors engaged in peace processes, transitional processes and post-political settlement processes and institutions. Interacting with other similar women’s networks will be an important component. The NWM also aims to make women’s competence in this area more visible, to counter arguments about the shortage or low availability of women with mediation expertise.
The Nordic Women Mediators consists of national women mediator networks from the Nordic countries operating under one umbrella. The network is comprised of: a contact group representing participating Nordic ministries; together with an advisory group consisting of senior women mediators from the Nordic countries, serving as a sounding board for the network members; and an operational group representing the Nordic Ministries’ operational partners (listed below).
For more information on the network, please contact one of the following operational group partners:
- Denmark: Centre for Resolution of International Conflicts (CRIC)
Contact: Isabel Bramsen
- Finland: Crisis Management Initiative (CMI)
Contact: Johanna Poutanen
- Iceland: United Nations University Gender Equality Studies and Training Programme (UNU-GEST)
Contact: Irma Erlingsdóttir
- Norway: Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution (NOREF)
Contact: Torunn L. Tryggestad and Laura Mitchell
- Sweden: Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA)
Contact: Camilla Riesenfeld and Klara Grenhagen
Follow the network in social media on #WomenMediators and find the partners on Twitter:
Read more about the Swedish Women Mediation Network here.