Roundtable Meeting: The Role of Women in Conflict Resolution

DPI Roundtable Meeting: ‘The role of Women in Conflict Resolution’ Van, Turkey, 28 September 2013 The Democratic Progress Institute (DPI), in conjunction with Yüzüncü Yıl University, this weekend held a roundtable meeting in Van, Turkey, on the subject of the Role of Women in Conflict Resolution. The aim of the roundtable was to broaden bases for dialogue among women and men, on the subject of gender and conflict resolution. Among participants were those from across Turkey’s political spectrum, including some of the country’s most renowned journalists and media personalities (from both national, regional and local television and newspaper media); representatives from numerous civil society organisations including from women’s organisations, human rights associations (including the Bar Association) and others; senior academics; and key individuals from the art and literature worlds. Representatives from all of Turkey’s main political parties were present, as well as diplomats and senior representatives from international embassies. Panel speakers at the roundtable included international and Turkey based conflict resolution and gender experts and practitioners. International speakers included Kate Fearon, a founder of Northern Ireland’s Women’s Coalition, Jane Connors, Chief of the Special Procedures Branch at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and David Gorman, Regional Director for Eurasia for the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. Speakers from Turkey included Nurcan Baysal, previously of the UN Development Programme; Nil Mutluer, academic and expert on gender and conflict; and Bejan Matur, author, poet and renowned public figure in Turkey. Moderators and other contributors were author and women’s rights advocate Yıldız Ramazanoğlu; academic Asli Tunç of Bilgi University; Yılmaz Ensaroğlu of SETA and DPI’s Catriona Vine. The roundtable meeting examined issues surrounding women’s role in and contribution to peace processes, including the challenges faced in mobilising and facilitating women’s involvement in conflict resolution processes. Among case studies examined were Northern Ireland and the Philippines. UN mechanisms available to women were also examined, with discussion on the means by which women in Turkey can use such international mechanisms to equip themselves and participate in the current process. DPI Council of Experts member Bejan Matur said of the meeting: ‘This was a very timely and valuable roundtable organised by DPI, successfully bringing together key members of parliament, representatives from civil society and media, and experts in conflict resolution and gender, to explore ways in which women can contribute to the ongoing process in Turkey’. This is the second in DPI’s series of roundtable meetings on the subject of Women’s Role on Conflict Resolution and is part of the Institute’s Turkey programme. Records of all of DPI’s activities have been published and are available via the Institute’s website. For any further information please contact Eleanor Johnson at