Empowering Young Women for Lasting Peace: Graduation of the 2023 Young Women Peacebuilders and New Network Launched


[Joint Press Release]

Cairo and Beirut – A remarkable milestone has been achieved as the Young Women Peacebuilders Programme proudly commemorates the successful graduation of the 2023 cohort. This capacity-building initiative, conducted by UN Women Regional Office for the Arab States (ROAS) in partnership with the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) at the American University of Beirut, equipped 46 young women aged 18-35 from 13 countries across the Arab States with vital skills in peacebuilding, mediation, and conflict resolution. Running throughout the month of August, the programme culminated on Thursday, August 31, with the online graduation ceremony.

The programme, facilitated by Lina Kreidie, PhD, and delivered entirely in Arabic, provided participants with 50 hours of online learning, covering topics from conflict resolution methods to peace theories and mediation approaches. In addition to their coursework, the young women benefited from mentoring sessions with established women mediators and peace actors from the region. Throughout the programme the participants profited from networking and knowledge sharing opportunities with their fellow young women peacebuilders, enabling them to build lasting connections for future collaboration on the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) and Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) agendas across the region.

The graduation ceremony marked not just the end of the programme, but also the beginning of a new phase. A new Young Women Peacebuilders Network will be established by UN Women and IFI, creating a space for continued engagement, knowledge exchange and collaboration among young women from the Arab region engaged in issues of peace and security.

Talking about their experiences on the programme, participants highlighted the positive, transformative impact that it had on them. A participant from Syria commented: “The programme was an opportunity for people from different backgrounds to come together in peace. On a personal level, attending it was like planting the first seed of interest in becoming a human rights activist.” A participant from Yemen noted: “It was a wonderful opportunity to learn, develop my skills, and build relationships with young women from various Arab countries.”

Reflecting on the transformative impact of her work, Prof. Kreidie stated: “I extend my heartfelt gratitude to WPS Hub, UN Women, and to each of the participants for giving me the chance to share my expertise and life experiences on conflict resolution, mediation, negotiation, and peace building. The 50 hours spent with young women with sharp minds and big hearts were rich in discussing case studies, unloading intractable conflicts, and passionately narrating life experiences.”

During the graduation ceremony, the Regional Director of UN Women ROAS Susanne Mikhail Eldhagen also delivered a heartfelt speech in which she praised the dedication and resilience of the young women who completed the programme, becoming agents of positive change in their communities.

The Young Women Peacebuilders Programme has been delivered as part of the UN Women regional programme "Enhancing Women's Leadership for Sustainable Peace in Fragile Contexts in the MENA Region," funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and in cooperation with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

For more information about Young Women Peacebuilders Programme, please see: https://arabstates.unwomen.org/en/stories/announcement/2023/06/young-women-peacebuilders-programme-in-the-arab-states-region


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About UN Women 

UN Women is the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide.

About IFI 

The Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) at the American University of Beirut is an independent, research-based, policy-oriented institute. It aims to initiate and develop policy-relevant research in and about the Arab world, as well as bridge the gap between academia and policymaking by conducting high quality research on the complex issues and challenges faced by Lebanese and Arab societies within shifting international and global contexts.