Inspired by a similar initiative in southern Africa, the Nordic governments endorsed the creation of the Nordic Women Mediators (NWM) network at the Nordic African Foreign Ministers' meeting in April 2015. The NWM was officially launched in Oslo on 27 November 2015, followed by an international launch at the United Nations in New York in March 2016. The PRIO GPS Centre is an operational partner of the NWM in Norway, together with the Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution (NOREF).
The UN Security Council has on numerous occasions expressed concern at the persistent obstacles to women's full involvement in the prevention and resolution of conflicts. Special attention has been drawn to the constant under-representation of women in peace processes, transitional processes and post-political settlement decision-making, institutions and reconstruction. A UN study (pdf) has found that only two per cent of chief mediators, nine per cent of negotiators, and four per cent of signatories were women.
NWM members at the Reykjavik, Iceland meeting in May 2017. Photo: UNU-GEST
What is the Nordic Women Mediators?
The Nordic Women Mediators (NWM) is a network of women from the five Nordic countries who have professional expertise relevant to conflict mediation, peacebuilding and negotiations. NWM network members share a commitment to sustaining peace through the inclusive and meaningful participation of women in all phases of peace processes. NWM is an instrument for the involvement of Nordic women in advocacy and operational engagement in support for peace.
The membership of the network comprises Nordic women with diverse professional experiences, ranging from foreign affairs and international law to multilateral and regional organizations, such as the UN, the EU and the OSCE, and civil society.
NWM network members have expertise on a variety of issues relevant to all phases of peace processes, including mediation, ceasefire arrangements, constitutional reform, civil-military relations, international humanitarian law, human rights, communications and inclusive strategies. Promoting women in negotiations, mediation and all phases of peace-making is at the heart of the work of the NWM.
NWM is a collaborative forum, building on national women mediators' networks in all five Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The network was launched in Oslo in November 2015.
NWM's Mission and Objectives
The Nordic Women Mediators (NWM) mission is to enable Nordic women mediators and peacebuilders to advance the inclusion and meaningful participation of women in all phases of peace processes, in order to contribute to achieving and sustaining peace.
To achieve the mission of the network, the NWM will work according to the following objectives:
- To strengthen women's participation in peace processes at all levels by:
- amplifying the voices of women mediators and peacemakers in conflict affected areas;
- advocating for all peace processes to be inclusive;
- developing and fostering partnerships with other mediation and peacebuilding networks and organisations; and
- creating and supporting joint activities among members and with partners, as appropriate.
- To strengthen Nordic women actively involved in international peace-making efforts by:
- enabling the sharing of experiences, knowledge and know-how among members, including through networking opportunities;
- promoting and supporting members in their functions, as well as drawing on members' expertise across networks;
- facilitating access and providing networking opportunities with mediating and peacebuilding actors globally.
How is the NWM organised?
- The NWM is a collaborative forum composed of national networks in each of the five Nordic countries.
- The NWM meets once a year with some ten women participating from each country. Hosting of meetings rotates between the Nordic countries.
- A contact group representing participating Nordic ministries serves as a strategic-level coordinating body.
- A group of operational partners from the five Nordic countries (contact details below) are responsible for the organization and implementation of all network activities whether at the national or Nordic level. The operational partners play a central role in convening and organizing the annual Nordic-level meeting.
- An advisory group consisting of senior Nordic women mediators and peacebuilders provides input and advice on the overall substantive direction of the NWM.
- At the national level, each network may have its own profile.
Norwegian Operational Partners and Contact Persons
- Operational partners: PRIO Centre on Gender, Peace and Security (PRIO GPS Centre) and Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution(NOREF)
- Contact persons: Stine Aspevik Bosheim, email@example.com and Florence Mandelik, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Twitter: @prioGPS and @NOREFno
For more information, see the website Nordic Women Mediators.
Follow the Norwegian chapter of the network in social media on @NWM_norway and through the hashtag #WomenMediators