The Elders


Meet the women peacebuilders

From grassroots activists, to policy advisors and campaigners, four women are working to include women at all levels in the peace process. 

Guest panellist: Asha Haji Elmi joins President Carter, Mary Robinson and Sanam Anderlini to discuss women as the key to conflict prevention

Asha's main focus: Peace activist; campaigner for female participation in conflict resolution; campaigner against Female Genital Mutilation; women’s leadership mentor

What she does: Asha is peace activist in Somalia and a member of the Somalian Federal Parliament. In 2008, she won the Right Livelihood Award and in 2009, the Clinton Global Citizen Award.

What she's done: When women were excluded from the peace process in Somalia, Asha formed the Six Clan 125 movement involving women from all the traditional clans to ensure their participation in the process. She is internationally active promoting women’s rights in Somalia. She is also the founder of Save Somali Women and Children (SSWC) and campaigns internationally against female genital mutilation in Somalia and in other areas of Africa as well as setting up a number of rape crisis counselling centres. She actively encourages young women leaders and mentors them into leadership positions.

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Got a question? Ask it with #WhereAreTheWomen


Guest panellist: Jessica Neuwirth (@JessicaNeuwirth) joins Manal Omar, Kofi Annan and Hina Jilani to discuss women at the peace table

Jessica's main focus: campaigning on sexual trafficking; sexual violence and Female Genital Mutilation

What she does: Jessica is President of Equality Now, an international human rights organisation which works to end all forms of violence and discrimination against women. She is founder of Donor Direct Action which links front-line women's rights activists to money, visibility and popular support.

What she's done: Jessica has held positions at Amnesty International, and been involved in sovereign debt restructuring. She’s most recently worked with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda on issues of sexual violence and helped win landmark decisions recognising rape as a form of genocide. She also held Rwandan media executives accountable for the role of the media in the 1994 genocide. She has taught international women’s human rights at Harvard Law School.

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Guest panellist: Sanam Naraghi Anderlini (@sanambna) joins President Carter, Mary Robinson and Asha Haji Elmi to discuss women as the key to conflict prevention

Sanam's main focus: UN advisor; writer; activist; expert on conflict and gender

What she does: Sanam is one of the world’s most respected experts on gender and security. She is the Senior Gender, Peace, and Security Advisor on the UN’s Mediation Standby Team. She is the co-founder of the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN), a US-based NGO dedicated to supporting civil society activism in peace and security in conflict-affected countries.

What she's done: A native of Iran, for over a decade Sanam has been a leading international advocate, researcher, trainer, and writer on conflict prevention and peacebuilding. In 2000, she was among civil society drafters of UN Security Council Resolution 1325. Between 2002-2005, as Director of the Women Waging Peace Policy Commission, she led field research on women’s contributions to conflict prevention, security and peace-making in 12 countries. Since 2005, she has also provided strategic guidance and training to key UN agencies, the UK government, and NGOs worldwide. She has written Women Building Peace: What they do, why it matters, and was lead author on the joint CIS-ICAN study “What the Women Say: Participation and UNSCR 1325.”

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Guest Panellist: Manal Omar (@ManalOmar) joins Kofi Annan, Hina Jilani and Jessica Neuwirth to discuss women at the peace table

Manal's main focus: Advisor, writer, expert on Middle East and gender

What she does: Manal is Acting Vice President at the Center for Middle East and Africa at the US Institute of Peace.

What she's done: Manal was voted among the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by Georgetown University and The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in 2009. She has extensive experience in the Middle East and has worked with Women for Women International as regional coordinator for Afghanistan, Iraq and Sudan. Manal also served as an international advisor for the Libya Stabilization Team in Benghazi in 2011. As a journalist in the Middle East in 1996, she worked for UNESCO. She also spent more than three years with the World Bank’s development economics group. She has carried out training programmes in Yemen, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Sudan, Lebanon, Palestinian Territories and Kenya among others. Manal is on the advisory board of Peaceful Families Project, she also serves on the advisory board of Prosperity Catalyst and Women’s Voices Now.

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Got a question? Ask it with #WhereAreTheWomen

On Wednesday 5 November at 7pm EST, The Elders are hosting two debates with four invited experts in front of a live audience at The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

They will be debating on the theme: “Building A Lasting Peace: Where Are The Women?”

Find out more about the debate and watch the live stream. You can ask questions of our panellists via the hashtag #WhereAreTheWomen.

On the Web
Ireland is currently preparing a new 1325 NAP. What actions in such plans can support increased participation by women? #WhereAreTheWomen
Do female peacemakers represent their gender, or do they espouse factional interests at the table?Women aren't homogenous #WhereAreTheWomen
Information,education,opportunity and presence, essential in getting women round the peacemaking tables globally #wherearethewomen
What are the most pivotal roles for women in being truly engaged in the peace process: negotiators, witnesses, mediators? #WhereAreTheWomen
Tomorrow, @TheElders will discuss an important issues in peace building work: #WhereAreTheWomen? Livestream info:…
TOMORROW: Tune into @TheElders #WhereAreTheWomen talk with Jimmy Carter & others…
What role can/should the humanitarian community place in supporting women's involvement in the peace process? #WhereAreTheWomen
What role does non-conflict related Violence against women play in limiting women's involvement in the peace process? #WhereAreTheWomen
Res 1325 passed in 2000, female lead mediator a UN DPA 2014 target... Does continued failure mean UN impotent/irrelevant? #WhereAreTheWomen
We'll be watching @sanambna of @ICAN in 'Building a lasting #peace: #WhereAreTheWomen?' Join @TheElders' debate…
How are we localizing the peace building process? How can women's role in localizing 1325 transfer to higher levels? #WhereAreTheWomen
How might #women be able to break cycles of #violence? Which #conflict could have been prevented sooner? Tweet your Q with #WhereAreTheWomen
What’s keeping #women from the peace-table? #Poverty? #Patriarchy? Tweet Qs to Elders & women peace experts with #WhereAreTheWomen
Video from Jimmy Carter: Join me on 5 Nov for a panel debate about #WhereAreTheWomen peacebuilders @CarterCenter:…
In 31 major peace processes 1992-2011, just 4% of signatories were women… #WhereAreTheWomen…
Why are so few women's voices heard at the peace table? Join @ManalOmar for an online debate tmrw… #WhereAreTheWomen


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The Elders are independent global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela, who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity.

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