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Project empowers women to bring peace to Middle East

Edinburgh academics are key members of a project that aims to build lasting peace in some of the world’s most troubled spots by ensuring women are involved in rebuilding after conflict.

The scheme will engage the United Nations, governments and special agencies to give women more opportunity to be key participants in establishing peace in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The project, Enhancing Women’s Leadership for Sustainable Peace in Fragile Contexts in the MENA Region, will focus on Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Libya.

Women vital

Research shows that women’s involvement in peace processes is crucial for success. The strong influence of women on negotiation is positively related with a greater likelihood of agreements being implemented.

Experts say that a need remains for women’s organisations to not just be consulted in rebuilding after war, but to be involved in the technical issues of peace negotiations. More training is therefore required.

Fostering inclusion

Academics from the Political Settlements Research Programme (PSRP), based at the University’s Law School, will create a series of five policy briefings on topics such as power-sharing, security arrangements, governance systems, transitional justice provisions and constitution making.

The PSRP, led by Professor Christine Bell, will also deliver eight country-specific briefs and guides to help foster women’s inclusion in countries such as Syria and Yemen. It will hold four regional focus groups to discuss and share the guides.

The overall project has been commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and will be implemented by UN Women and Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit.

Related links

Political Settlements Research Project

Edinburgh Law School

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

UN Women