A focus group discussion on the inclusion of women and effectiveness of peace processes took place at the OSCE, in Vienna, on 19 June 2019, with the aim of supporting the process of developing a toolkit on the inclusion of women for more effective peace processes under the guidance of the OSCE Mediation Support Team and Gender Section. Complementing the 2013 OSCE Guidance Note on Enhancing Gender-Responsive Mediation, the toolkit aims to support the implementation of OSCE commitments regarding women participation and representation in all phases of the conflict cycle, pursuing a threefold objective:
1) Identifying how women and women’s groups are engaged in peace work in the contexts where the OSCE is supporting a formal negotiation or dialogue facilitation process, as well as possible linkages with official formats.
2) Identifying OSCE process-related and context-related factors that advance or hinder the inclusion and participation of women in such processes.
3) Identifying with OSCE mediators and negotiating parties the tools and practices relevant in the OSCE context that will increase the meaningful participation of women for more effective mediation processes.
For the development of the toolkit, the role of women in peace work in the contexts, where the OSCE is supporting formal negotiation processes was researched and interviews with special representatives and persons involved in the formats were conducted. The meeting brought together a selected group of women experts in mediation and peacebuilding, including members of the Mediterranean Women Mediator Network, represented by Yakın Ertürk (Turkey), Vesna Škare Ožbolt (Croatia), and Irene Fellin (MWMN Secretariat), the Nordic Women Mediators and the Women Mediators Across the Commonwealth with the objective to discuss preliminary findings of the research and explore possible tools to further advance the inclusion of women in OSCE processes.