On October 19 in Diyarbakır, the Democratic Progress Institute (DPI), in association with the Irish Embassy in Ankara and the Diyarbakır Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DTSO)’s Women Council, hosted a Peace Table event titled “Women Voicing Peace.” The event’s keynote speaker was Monica McWilliams, co-founder of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition and one of the two women who represented the Northern Irish Women’s Coalition at the multi-party peace talks that led to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. Following the screening of the film “Wave Goodbye to the Dinosaurs”, which chronicles the formation of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition and its contribution to peacebuilding, McWilliams shared her experiences and discussed the role of women in peace processes in Northern Ireland as well as critical issues including inclusivity, pluralism, and mediation, which are crucial to the success of negotiation processes and persuasion of the political elites and various segments of society.
The event was an opportunity for the participants to share their own experiences of the peace process in 2013 and reflect on what should be done differently in a possible new process.
DPI continues to place a high priority on this issue in its program because it views women’s active and meaningful participation in peace making and conflict resolution activities as being essential.
This Peace Table is one of several events that are scheduled as part of the Voicing Peace and Fostering Inclusivity in Turkey project, which is funded by the governments of Ireland, Norway and Switzerland.