Hafida Benchehida, Senator of Algeria, is an active member of several networks. She is a founding member of the Arab Women Parliamentarian for Parity and Equality for which she is in charge of international relations; and of the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network. She is also a member of the International Civil Action Network for women rights, peace and security (ICAN) and of the Women Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL). As a Parliamentarian, she was deputy chair of the Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee of the Senate, and also member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and of the political Committee of the Parliamentarian Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean, in charge of Human Rights and security issues. Additionally, during her career as an international interpreter she attended major international conferences including the Non Aligned Summit, G77 or G8 summits, OPEC or AU, IMF or UNEP/UNIDO focusing on numerous international issues. Her engagement in mediation stems from her participation in the UNWomen mission in Libya to meet local women parliamentarians; where she further acknowledged the need for dialogue and acceptance of a different position, opinions, approaches. She has also attended 2 mediation trainings with CITPAX Toledo Center in Spain for which she is now also an advisor. Her main interest is the role of women in preventing violent extremism and de-radicalization, especially in the Maghreb and Sahel and women Morchidates with special religious training to offer a counter narrative to potential radicalized youth.
Özge Özoğul is the Operations Officer of the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR), a multi-communal civil society organization that plays a role in the peacebuilding process in Cyprus through education. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in the Basque Country in the Doctoral Program ‘Education: School, Language and Society’. She is from Nicosia, Cyprus, and graduated from the University of Southampton, the United Kingdom. She received her M.A. degree from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, in Multilingualism with a specialization in Multilingual Education and Language Policy Planning. She had opportunities to enhance her knowledge and skills in peacebuilding and mediation further through her position at the AHDR and attending trainings, which encouraged her to connect with mediators and be actively engaged in mediation. She became a member of the MWMN in order to learn with and from members; to give visibility to women’s voices locally, regionally and internationally; advocate for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions; and to strengthen collaboration between WPS and YPS agendas. One of her values is reflection which contributes to her being an effective practitioner, and nurtures responsibility, creativity and advancement. Through her position, she plays an active role in crafting and implementing educational interventions that i) promote dialogue, cooperation and trust between different communities in Cyprus, and within each community; ii) foster critical thinking, multi-perspectivity and historical understanding; and iii) provide spaces for inquiry and peer to peer learning. She also facilitates peace education workshops.