Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Female Peace Activists in Caucasus Get Message Across

A new IWPR film examines attempts by women in the region to build bridges between estranged communities in Georgia.
By IWPR staff

A new video feature by the Caucasus reporting team, Women For Peace, draws attention to womens’ limited involvement in regional peace building processes and points to the important role they can play.

With official negotiations over the Abkhazia and South Ossetian conflicts stalemated, links and cooperation between civil society activists on either side of the frontlines are gaining more and more importance as a means of sustaining dialogue.

Women’s groups are increasingly involved in such communication, but they face numerous hurdles and their work gets little public attention. The video Women For Peace looks at the contribution being made by female Ossetian and Georgian activists towards building bridges between the estranged communities.

The feature was first shown at round table-discussion in Georgia to coincide with the International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament on May 24.

Participtants discussed past and ongoing peace-building projects as well as new initiatives which seek to incluide women in activities aimed at promoting dialogue between people on either side of the conflict divide.

Those who attended the event agreed that women bring a new energy into the peace process which has so far delivered few results and is currently stalled.

“Women have practically no representation in the peace process despite having a lot to contribute towards dialogue and reconciliation,” said journalist Goga Aptsiauri, one of the conference participants.

Manana Mebuke, chairwoman of the movement Women for Peace and Security, said meetings between women’s groups from opposite sides of the conflict had their teething troubles but are now quite productive.

“I can say that in the beginning there were some complaints and problems, but with the passage of time our meetings have become more action and results oriented,” she said.

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