Clingendael is celebrating International Women’s Day and is very proud to support women negotiators and mediators who are leading the way in diplomacy, conflict resolution and peace negotiations. Over the past decade, Clingendael Academy has conducted numerous training courses to strengthen women’s negotiation and mediation skills which have empowered them to actively participate in various decision-making processes.
This is incredibly important, as women and girls are disproportionally affected by conflict and (humanitarian) crises. Empowering women in their negotiation and mediation skills allows for an increase in the representation of women during these processes. This is pivotal to ensure that the needs of girls and women are included during negotiation and mediation, as well as ensuring a gender-sensitive outcome that benefits and empowers the position of girls and women internationally.
We would like to showcase the work of some of the (future) female negotiators and mediators Clingendael has worked with, who strive towards a more equitable and just world for all every single day. We also invite you to read our publication Increasing Voices of Women in Peace Talks.
Libyan Women Network for Peacebuilding
The Libyan Women Network for Peacebuilding (LWNP) was created in 2019 with the support of UN Women. It's a network of women representing a broad spectrum of conflict-affected Libya. Through training, they have taken on a bridgebuilding role and strengthened their capacities to act as intermediaries within local and regional conflicts or to play a role in national-level political dialogue. This has for instance enabled them to negotiate and mediate between the different stakeholders to carry out their mission to hold national elections of the Women Union in Libya in an exemplary and democratic way.
A representative of UN Women stated:
"Sixteen network members have reportedly used the skills gained during the workshops to carry out dialogue initiatives at the local level on mediation and peace-building. Eighty per cent reported a reduction in community tension following the dialogue initiatives."
Read more about the LWNP.
African Women Negotiation Programme
The African Women Negotiation Programme (AWNP) supports the initiative of increasing the number of highly qualified and trained women in African conflict resolution and peace negotiations. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Africa (DIRCO), FemWise (network of the African Union) and Clingendael Academy have been closely working together in the organisation of conflict resolution, negotiation and mediation programmes for Africa.
"If you want to have more women in peace negotiating teams, you must invest more in instruments where women can build experience."
- Ron Ton, Clingendael Academy Director
Listen to his conversation about DIRCO's International Women Capacity Building programme with South Africa's Ubuntu Radio
Read more about the AWNP.
Women Ambassador Network in The Hague
Clingendael Academy has hosted the Women Ambassador Network in The Hague for the past few years. Women Ambassadors and Women Directors of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs came together and trained their international negotiating skills to solve complex issues. During these meetings, participants also discussed the importance of including women in peace negotiations and how this can be supported, with emphasis on the political context of negotiations and the extra challenges women face.
Read more about The Women Ambassador Network.
Publication 'Increasing Voices of Women in Peace Talks'
How can we increase women’s voices in peace processes through capacity strengthening? What are key internal factors that can hinder women’s groups' effective engagement and what support do they need to meaningfully engage in political processes and have an impact on the outcome? Clingendael Academy has conducted an extensive needs assessment to answer these questions, where we bring together insights from international mediation support officers, women peacebuilders from Yemen, Syria, Nigeria, and The Philippines and female participants of Clingendael negotiation and mediation training courses.
In 2023, Clingendael Academy will continue to strengthen women negotiators’ and mediators’ skills and capacities to support their meaningful engagement in peace- and other decision-making processes. For example, we will work with women-led groups active in East Sudan and women political party leaders in Sierra Leone. Stay tuned for more updates!