#HerStories from the  Mediterranean Women Mediators Network

Women play a significant role in peacebuilding and mediation but their voices often remain unheard and their work invisible to the wider public. With the goal of increasing the visibility and amplifying the voices of women peacebuilders, Magda Zenon, Cypriot member of the MWMN, in collaboration with UN Women has developed a podcast series entitled “#HerStories”. 

In each episode a different member of the MWMN will narrate her story. From diverse contexts and with different challenges, each will share her experiences, her success story and will reflect on the role women play in peacebuilding.

TRAILER: #HerStories from the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network

by Magda Zenon

Listen to the episodes

Episode 1: Edita Tahiri – The only woman peace negotiator in the Balkans

Former Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo Edita Tahiri speaks on #HerStories of participating in a number of international peace processes and as Chief Negotiator of Kosovo at the EU facilitated Dialogue on normalization of neighbourly relations between Kosovo and Serbia (2011-2017).

She also speaks about her experience as the Chief Negotiator of Kosovo in the EU mediated peace talks with Serbia and of being a signatory of the first ever-reached agreement between Kosovo and Serbia, after 20 years of peace talks.

Episode 3: Ayşe Betül Çelik – Teaching gender-sensitive mediation to diverse groups of women

A Professor at Sabanci University in Istanbul and an expert on women in peacebuilding and inter-group dialogue, Ayşe Betül Çelik speaks on #HerStories of her focus on ethnicity, forced migration, reconciliation, civil society, and gender in peacebuilding and peace-making and how she actively works to teach gender-sensitive mediation and organize conflict resolution dialogue groups among diverse group of women in Turkey.




Episode 5: Emine Çolak – Focussing on the legislation attached to a comprehensive peace plan

As a member of several cross-community dialogue groups for reconciliation and reunification focusing on tangible ways to resolve the frozen conflict, Turkish Cypriot lawyer/barrister, Emine Çolak speaks on #HerStories of coordinating committees negotiating laws attached to the Annan Plan in 2004; a comprehensive peace solution proposal. As a co-founder and head of the Turkish Cypriot Human Rights Foundation for 10 years, she also speaks of working to elevate the standard of human rights in her community through awareness raising, reporting and legal challenges also contributing to the formation of the Immoveable Property Commission to solve property disputes pending a solution.

Episode 7: Karma Ekmekji – #Diplowomen

Former International Affairs and Relations Advisor to former PM of Lebanon Saad Hariri, Karma Ekmekji speaks on #HerStories about the need to connect all the dots (the local, national, regional, global and diplomatic), stemming from a strong interest in empowering women in the field of diplomacy, peace-making, mediation and negotiation. In addition to that, she speaks about #Diplowomen,  a physical and digital platform that she recently founded in order to empower women through knowledge sharing, mentoring and networking. 

Episode 2: Patricia Quillacq – Mediation goes environmental

While not pursuing a career as a ‘traditional’ mediator, International & Environmental lawyer, Patricia Quillacq speaks on #HerStories of how she integrated the techniques and skills of mediation in her career, including while working for the Region of Tuscany, and later as a consultant for the Project GoverNat which dealt with participatory processes in managing water and biodiversity.

Episode 4: Rada Borić – Connecting the local to the global and including the feminine form

Activist, feminist linguist and political activist Rada Borić spoke on #HerStories of editing the first Finnish-Croatian / Croatian-Finnish dictionary, ensuring that all nouns included both the feminine and masculine forms and of returning to Zagreb as the start of the Bosnian War, and working at the Center for Women Victims of War. She also speaks of a life-changing meeting with writer Eve Ensler, and together with other women involved in the movement to end violence against women of launching V-Day, to raise awareness globally. The movement kicked off in 1998 with a production of The Vagina Monologues, aimed to raise funds to support community anti-violence groups and programs.

Episode 6: Alexandra M. Dias – Mediation across societal, civilizational and gender-based divides

International Relations scholar and Africanist based at the Department of Political Studies of NOVA University of Lisbon Alexandra Magnolia Dias speaks on #HerStories of her several research projects on Conflict, Peace and Security in Africa with fieldwork experience in the Horn of Africa; of mediation across divides: societal, civilizational and gender-based ones; and of the similarities and differences between what she knew of the Horn of Africa and what she saw when she visited Cyprus.




Episode 8: On designing mediation systems and various ADR schemes, including the integration of women

Katerina Kresal is President and Founder of the European Centre for Dispute Resolution, a regional institutional provider of alternative dispute resolution procedures and consulting institution for the Rule of Law projects, based in Ljubljana. She speaks on #HerStories about her engagement in various international projects as international consultant and about her specific expertise as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) expert, in designing mediation systems and various ADR schemes. Apart from her extensive legal career, she talks about her time as Minister of the Interior, member of the National Assembly (MP), and President of the Slovenian parliamentary party Liberal Democracy.