In Pakistan women have been actively engaged in resolving feuds, mediating between communities and families and building social cohesion within their communities since decades. Their role as Peacebuilder, negotiator or mediators has not been given due recognition both by the state and the communities. Women’s representation in peace and security arena in Pakistan is nonexistent. There is a gap between the local peacebuilding work of women peacebuilders and mediators and the representation of women in peace and security structures in the country. Mediation is a process that can be applied in different settings, institutions and organization and is not limited to peacebuilding within communities or nations only.
PAIMAN with the support of Conciliation Resource under its FCO funded project implemented an initiative to build the capacity of local women in various aspects of mediation within communities, educational institutions and local government. Reviving the local ways of mediation, application of religious approaches to mediation as well integrating gender dimension into the process, we provide women the knowledge and set of tools so they can work effectively on the realities that they as mediators would face. The aim was to empower women at the local level to prevent, resolve conflicts and promote positive conflict resolution in all walks of life.
Since UNSCR 1325 was adopted in 2000 successive resolutions have called for an increase in the number of women in high level mediation roles. This commitment was reinforced in 2017 by the UN Secretary General who pledged to increase the number of women mediators. But then the issues of untrained women mediators would surface from time to time. To address this issue many new network have emerged globally. One of the goals of formation of Pakistan Women’s mediators’ Network is to link it with Women Mediators Network across the Commonwealth. This will provide opportunities to members of our network to get exposure to knowledge and skills at the regional and international levels.
With the successful completion of ‘Women Mediators Across the Commonwealth’ PAIMAN organized a forum on 19th Dec, 2019 at Islamabad to launch Pakistan Women Mediators’ Network and to share the lesson learned regarding women’s role in mediation at various levels in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa and Azad Kashmir.
Participants of the forum included government officials, Members of Parliament, diplomatic community, INGOs, civil society groups and media representatives. Women mediators shared their stories of success and challenges followed by speeches by representative of FCO and Chairperson of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Commission on the Status of Women.