Alexandra M. Dias is an International Relations scholar and Africanist based at the Department of Political Studies of NOVA University of Lisbon (NOVA/FCSH). She is a researcher and member of the Board of Directors of the Portuguese Institute of International Relations (IPRI-NOVA). She has integrated and been the Principal Investigator of several research projects on Conflict, Peace and Security in Africa with fieldwork experience in the Horn of Africa. She has integrated the International Electoral Observation Missions of Somaliland Presidential Elections in June 2010 & November 2017. She is a founding member of the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network (MWMN). She joined the network because it engages with mediation across divides: societal, civilizational and gender-based ones; it is based upon the principle of bringing together different parties without advancing one party’s interests in detriment of the others; and it is gender-sensitive and through those lenses it engages with silenced topics in peace processes.
Anna Cervi is an Italian national with ten years’ experience with International Non-Governmental Organisations in Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Darfur, supporting peace and reconciliation processes through humanitarian interventions. In Syria since 2015, she is currently serving as Country Director of the Norwegian Refugee Council, where she represented the INGO community in Damascus for over four years, being their spokesperson at the Senior Official Meetings on Syria and the Protection Rapporteur for the Brussels III conference on Syria. She holds a degree in Development and Cooperation Studies from the University of Bologna and a Master of Science in Forced Migration from the University of Oxford. She further developed her expertise in negotiations and peace mediation at the London School of Economics in 2017 and at the Peace Mediation Course by the Swiss FDFA in 2018. She became a member of the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network in 2019 to further contribute to playing an active and transformative role on gender equality, peace and security.
Ayat Mohamed is a Gender Analyst at the Office of the UN Special Envoy for Syria. She had previously worked on women and civil society inclusion in the Syrian political process with the Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution (NOREF). She is a strong proponent of women’s inclusion in political processes, mediation efforts and on all levels. Ms. Mohamed has experience in mediation support, social dialogue, inclusive peace processes. She has written on hybrid mediation and women in peace processes. She has experience working on Middle East contexts. Ms. Mohamed has an MA degree in political science, and speaks Arabic, English, and intermediate French.
Bochra Bel Haj Hmida is an attorney at the Court of Cassation and a member of the Assembly of People’s Representatives since 2014. She is a feminist activist who has contributed to the creation of several associations and has participated in human rights campaigns. She was the President of the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women and then appointed General Secretary from 2003 to 2005. She is a member of the first network of Arab women. Additionally, she is also the co-founder and member of The Caucus for Women Politicians in the Arab Region, working with women in conflict zones on UNSC Resolution 1325 related issues. She was appointed President of the Committee on Rights and Freedoms of the People’s Assembly, is President of the Committee on Individual Freedoms and Equality and a member of the G7 Advisory Council for Gender Equality. She has given several conferences internationally. She was awarded honors by several Arab and Western organizations and women’s magazines additionally to being given the medal of the Type 2 Order of the Republic, the Anna Lindh Civil Society Award in 2015, the Hero award of the Global Campaign against Extremism and Intolerance from the International Coalition of Hope and the Fatima El Fehri award from the Muslims for Progressive Values Association. She has always been involved in mediation, as a lawyer practicing family mediation, as an activist when attending international trials and investigation on human rights violations including sexual violence in conflict zones and as a member of parliament negotiating between parties including for the introduction of a law on violence again women.
Claudia Maffettone is the Track II Mediation Program Manager at Search for Common Ground. She has led over 35 dialogue initiatives in support of US-Iran and US-Russian relations, the Syrian peace process, demining in Libya, and of broader inclusion in peace processes. She is an advocate for the advancement of the practice of mediation and leads an international consortium to support African insider mediators and their engagement in high-level processes. She is an experienced mediator, trained at the US Institute of Peace, PATRIR, Harvard Law School, and the New York City Bar. Previously, Claudia worked at Soliya, a pioneering organization in the field of virtual exchange and intercultural dialogue, advancing partnerships with educational institutions, NGOs and CSOs in the MENA Region, Asia, Europe, and North America. Claudia holds a BA in International Relations and Diplomacy from the Universita’ degli Studi di Napoli ‘L’Orientale’, in Italy, and a MA Conflict Resolution from the University of Bradford in the UK, where is studied as a Rotary Peace Fellow. Through her work, Claudia has had the opportunity to learn that while only a small number of women are mediators, signatories or negotiators in peace processes, the engagement of women in mediation makes peace agreements all the more likely to succeed. Thus she is eager to ensure those numbers increase and that the women at the table may be equipped with the best tools to make a meaningful difference and increase the sustainability of peace agreements.
Dalal Iriqat is the Vice President for International Relations and Assistant Professor of Conflict Resolution, Diplomacy and Strategic Planning at the Arab American University in Palestine since 2015. Since 2016, she has been a weekly columnist at AlQuds Newspaper. She has served as advisor of Strategic Communications at the PMO in 2017 and 2018, and as the senior policy consultant for writing the Human Development Report UNDP for Palestine in 2015. Prior to joining the Arab American University in Palestine, she taught at the faculty of law and Public Administration at Birzeit University. Throughout her academic career she has always been engaged being elected President of the Diplomatic Academy of London Students’ Association and a member of the students’ council at the University of Jordan. She is passionate about bringing change into the Palestinian society through education, and about improving Palestinian Diplomacy and better brand Palestine. She holds a PhD in Public Administration from Paris I Sorbonne 2011, a Masters degree in Diplomatic Studies from Westminster University in London 2004 and a Bachelor Degree in Political Science from the University of Jordan 2003. Being a strong believer in the individual role in bringing change and being very passionate about bringing change through education and especially through her background in conflict resolution, mediation and diplomacy, she joined the MWMN.
Elif Kalan is a freelance consultant on conflict analysis and resolution, peacebuilding and community-based programs and initiatives with extensive experience working with international organisations, such as GIZ, UN agencies, the European Commission, IMC and Ret International. Recently, she consulted for UN Women Turkey in Gender Sensitive Refugee Response Program working with Syrian and host communities on gender in complex emergencies and conflict as well as on mitigation through local mediation practices and social cohesion approach. She has also organised trainings and workshops in numerous universities. She is a co-founder of Conflictus Consultancy on Conflict Resolution in Turkey where she has designed, maintained, developed and delivered several training programs and projects to boost the skills and knowledge of groups particularly on conflict resolution and community-based mediation. She has been active within the MWMN Turkey antenna since the beginning and has co-conducted a gender sensitive mediation training program titled ‘Women and Mediation’ reaching out to women working extensively in refugee response programs at CSOs and local authorities. She is highly motivated and interested in women and youth leadership in conflict resolution and mediation processes at all levels and in developing tailor-made and specific training programs through using gender-sensitive and youth and women-specific mediation methods. She holds an MA in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Sabanci University in Istanbul and an MSc in Political Sociology from London School of Economics with Jean-Monnet scholarship as is part of the Women in Conflict 1325 Fellowship Program and the Legislative Fellowship Program supported by the US State Department.
Emine Çolak is a Turkish Cypriot lawyer/barrister practicing in Nicosia since 1982, specializing in human rights. For 25 years, she has trained in and used mediation and negotiation skills professionally and in activism. She is member of several cross community dialogue groups for reconciliation and reunification focusing on tangible ways to resolve the frozen conflict. She coordinated Committees negotiating laws attached to the comprehensive solution proposal, the Annan Plan in 2004. As a co-founder and head of the Turkish Cypriot Human Rights Foundation for 10 years, she worked 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. She speaks fluent Turkish and English and reasonable French. During 2015 and 2016 she served as the Foreign Minister of her community. She considers her expertise to be in conflict dynamics arising after independence in former colonies with communities clashing over ethnic/linguistic differences believing that reinforcing human rights is an essential tool for overcoming disputes within and between communities. Being dedicated to achieving gender equality and the effective participation of women in all fields of life and governance she regards the absence of enough women and gender sensitivity peace processes is clearly a major cause of the limited success of many of them. Consequently, she is now a member of the Women Mediators Across the Commonwealth and the Mediterranean Women Mediators networks, and co-founder of its Cyprus Antenna.
Farida Jaidi, a career diplomat, has worked for 38 years at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation as Head of Department, Head of Division, Director of Multilateral Cooperation, as Consul General in Montreal, as Ambassador to Sweden, Brazil, Paraguay and Suriname, and as Diplomatic Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. She has participated in numerous Conferences and Summit at the international level (UN, MNA, UNDP, UNEP, FAO). Advisor to the Prime Minister at the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), she was part of the OIF delegation that oversaw the elections in Mauritania and chaired the delegation of OIF that oversaw the elections in Niger. Currently, she is a trainer and master coach in personal and professional development as well as a diplomatic coach, practicing in the Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She is very active at the national level participating in seminars on numerous gender-related issues ranging from health to economics to entrepreneurship to development. Over the years she has also received numerous honors and has been decorated by His Majesty the King of Morocco. She is a member of the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network, which she joined to contribute to the achievement of peace in the world. She believes women have an important responsibility in this regard but need the autonomy and the political and economic rights. She is a member of FemWise and since 2016, she is the President of the Environmental Women Association (EWA).