Towards empowering women to participate more actively in peace processes on a community level, ACCORD has conducted a mediation training for members of the Progressive Women's Movement South Africa (PWMSA). The development of skilled female mediators who take an active role in their respective communities, is a vital component of addressing conflict within South Africa societies. ACCORD is pleased to play an ongoing role in establishing and enhancing such skills at a local level.
The training took place from 27-29 March 2012 in Middleburg, and brought together 18 PWMSA members from the Mpumalanga Province. In addition to being PWMSA members, participants represented the private sector, non-governmental organisations, political parties and workers' unions. The training consisted of an introduction to the methodology, approaches, and processes of mediation. It used training tools such as case studies, role-play exercises, issue mapping, and discussion groups towards creating an interactive learning environment.
In August 2011, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between ACCORD and the PWMSA. The objective of this partnership is to contribute towards durable peace and sustainable development in South Africa, and on the continent, through supporting the development and training of women mediators. Also, in keeping with UN Resolution 1325, ACCORD seeks to empower women to participate more actively in peace processes. As such, this training programme is part of a wider initiative that seeks to develop mediation skills amongst women in South Africa.