United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women

Training Workshop on Conflict Management for Women
As a Follow-up to the Consultation on Enhancing Women's Participation in Peace-Building held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 23 to 25 April 2001

Cape Town, South Africa
22 - 26 October, 2001


A. Introduction

The Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, in close collaboration with the Centre for Conflict Resolution of Cape Town University, will organize a training workshop on conflict management for women from 22 - 26 October 2001 in Cape Town, South Africa to implement some of the recommendations arising from the sub-regional consultation meeting on enhancing women's participation in peace-building held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 23 to 25 April 2001. The training will be conducted by the Centre for Conflict Resolution.

The training workshop is an essential part of the project, entitled "Activities for the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action", funded under the Development Dividend.

B. Background

The International Decade for Women identified three themes for the advancement of women, namely, equality, peace, and development. During the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995, this was reaffirmed and clearly re-addressed in the Beijing Declaration. In order to achieve these goals, the Governments made commitments to implement the Platform for Action to ensure that a gender perspective is reflected in all policies and programmes, and urged the UN system, regional and international financial institutions, other relevant regional and international institutions, as well as non-governmental organizations, and all sectors of civil society, for their full commitment and contributions in the implementation of the Platform for Action. Women and armed conflict was identified as one of the 12 critical areas of concern in the Beijing Platform for Action.

As follow up activities to the Beijing Conference, several experts group meetings were organised, which identified the lack of information on good practices which can be replicated in other countries, and addressed the need for establishing sub-regional and regional networks to disseminate such information. The Commission on the Status of Women, in its 43rd Session in March 1999, also expressed concern over the limited information available, and identified the lack of technical expertise as an obstacle in certain areas, in particular, the role and contribution of women to peace building, human rights of women, implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and access to appropriate technology. In these areas, adequate training need to be provided to strengthen national capacity.

C. Context

Project on "Activities for the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action"

This three-year project was approved under the Development Account, and is being implemented by the Division for the Advancement of Women. The overall objectives of the project is to strengthen the capacity of national, regional and sub-regional mechanisms and institutions for the advancement of women, to collect, analyze and apply knowledge, information and expertise to policy development, with emphasis on supporting the increased role of women in leadership and decision making, in particular during the peace-building process.

International Women's Day in March 2000

With the theme "Women Uniting for Peace," several UN entities emphasised the importance of women's involvement in peace activities. The President of the Security Council on behalf of the Security Council stressed the need for adequate representation of women at all decision-making levels with regard to conflict resolution, conflict management, post-conflict reconciliation and reconstruction.

Security Council

Recognizing the importance of the issue of women and armed conflict, the President of the Security Council (Namibia) sponsored on 24 and 25 October 2000 an open discussion on the topic "Women, Peace and Security" in the Security Council. At the discussion, the Secretary-General, delegates and representatives of UN agencies underlined the importance of protecting women in armed conflict as well as ensuring that women participate in the all stages of peace process. In addition, the Security Council reaffirmed, "the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and in peace-building", and stressed "the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security" (S/RES/1325, preamble).

International Women's Day in March 2001

On 8 March 2001, the issue of women and peace was, once again, selected as a central theme for International Women's Day. During a panel discussion moderated by Ms King, Special Advisor on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, the Deputy Secretary-General Mrs. Louise Fréchette stated that women can be a powerful force for peace and reconciliation and must be more effectively integrated in the peace process. The President of the Security Council stressed the need for full implementation of the Security Council resolution 1325 by all stakeholders. He urged all relevant United Nations agencies and bodies to take into account this resolution in their respective areas of work. The President of the General Assembly stressed the need to promote equal participation of women in all forums and peace activities at all levels, particularly at the decision-making level, and to integrate a gender perspective in conflict resolution.

Consultation Meeting on "Enhancing Women's Participation in Peace-Building" held in Addis Ababa in April 2001

Under the above project, the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) organised a consultation meeting on "Enhancing Women's Participation in Peace-building" in close collaboration with the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Women Committee on Peace and Development (AWCPD) in Addis Ababa in April 2001. This aimed to: (1) review current initiatives in relation to women and peace-building to identify strengths and weaknesses; and (2) identify capacity building needs for women to enhance their contribution to the peace process.

The consultation identified the following capacity building needs for women:

  1. launch and support a women's peace network in the Great Lakes Region;
  2. train women in political skills, including communication, mediation, and negotiation skills;
  3. train trainers in conflict resolution and in assisting women in exercising their human rights;
  4. build support for alliances with and between grassroots, national, regional and international women's groups;
  5. support training in stress and trauma healing and counseling;
  6. train NGOs in early warning methods.

The training workshop to be held in South Africa will address some of these needs.

D. Objectives and Format of the Training Workshop

The women and peace-building project aims to enhance women's role and strengthen their capacity to effectively participate in and contribute to the post-conflict peace-building process.

This training specifically aims to create a learning situation to enable women participants to:

  • Apply theory and tools to analyse conflicts
  • Critically compare and use various negotiation styles
  • Understand mediation approaches, process and challenges through case studies
  • Apply their understanding in simulation exercises
  • Identify and garner key lessons for facilitating intra-state or national peace processes
  • Learn early warning methods

Training Workshop Format

The workshop will combine a seminar and skills training format. The experiences of skilled resource persons with international mediation experience will be utilized. Participants will be challenged to address conflicts by utilizing tools shared, their own work and life experiences and the expertise of the resource persons to deepen their understanding of conflict and the methods for resolving it. Participants will spend 50% of the course engaged in exercises aimed at skill development. The overall methodology of the seminars will be highly interactive and conducted in an atmosphere of collegiality and respect for the rich experiences participants bring into the shared learning space.

E. Expected Outputs

The expected outputs include the following:

  • Improved capacity of senior government officials and NGO leadership in theory and practice of conflict analysis, negotiation and conflict management
  • Development of a better understanding on the part of senior government officials and NGO leadership of the dynamics that inform constructive management of inter- and intra-state conflict.
  • Ability to apply theoretical models to analyse, design and manage negotiation and peace processes.
  • Acquisition of skills to constructively resolve issues that emerge in negotiation and peace processes.

F. Participants and Administrative Matters

The training workshop will be organized by the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) in collaboration with the Center for Conflict Resolution (CCR). Overall organizational responsibility for the preparations and conduct is with DAW/DESA and CCR.

DAW will be responsible for:

    (a) the planning and preparation of the Workshop; (b) the selection as well as the invitations of participants from Africa, in consultation with CCR and DPA; (c) the provision of substantive support during and after the meeting; (d) travel arrangements to and from South Africa for participants from Africa funded by the United Nations.

As the official host institution, CCR will provide:

  1. trainers and training materials for the workshop;
  2. administrative support personnel, including secretariat assistance for the workshop;
  3. office supplies, stationery, office and reproduction equipment such as personal computers, typewriters and photocopying machines;
  4. undertake other local logistics and organisational services, including arranging local transportation between the airport and hotel on arrival and departure days, conference rooms, meeting facilities and office space as required, hotel accommodations, as well as change or confirmations of return flight reservations for participants. .

Venue and Participants

The consultation will be conducted at the Alphen Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa, and is scheduled to take place from Monday 22 to Friday 26 October 2001.

The number of participants will be between 22 - 26, and will include senior women government officials and women in NGO leadership positions from selected countries in Africa [Burundi, Central African Republic, Cote d"Ivoire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda].

In addition, the following will participate:

  1. UNDESA/DAW as organisers, substantive contributions and to ensure follow-up
  2. Representatives nominated by the host government
  3. Resource persons and facilitators
  4. CCR staff

Language of the consultation

The working language of the workshop will be English with interpretation from and to French. Documentation for the consultation will be provided both in English and French.

Passports and Visas

Participants will be expected to make necessary arrangements with regard to passports, visa and health certificates for travel and consultation attendance.

All relevant correspondence should be addressed to:

Fatiha Serour
Chief, Gender Advisory Services Unit, (DAW)
Tel. (212) 963 8379
Fax. (212) 963 3463

Division for the Advancement of Women -- DAW

Website: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/
Department of Economic and Social Affairs
United Nations