Participation of Marginalized Groups
Making sure that everybody is heard and can participate is an essential element of sustainable peace processes. All affected parties in a conflict need to be able to express their needs and interests and be taken into serious consideration in order to come to an agreement that everybody will accept, respect, and support. Unfortunately, peace agreements are more often rather exclusive. The interests of less powerful, marginalized groups, like women, youth, or Indigenous Peoples are generally not taken into account.
To achieve inclusive peace processes, we connect actors and stakeholders vertically and horizontally. First, horizontal connections among organizations, institutions, and individuals who are working for the same goals or face the same challenges are strengthened. With mutual support and coordinated activities, they can create a critical mass to put their issues on the peace table.
Then, vertically, we link grassroots, civil society and peace organizations to high level decision makers. We organize dialogues and community meetings, providing safe space for exchange among the various stakeholders of the peace process. Thereby we enable a flow of information in which participants receive direct updates on the dynamics of the peace process, discuss concerns and think about common solutions. In addition, a weekly radio program builds a bridge between people from remote conflict areas, and experts and decision makers. The radio is a two-way line: on the one hand informing about the peace process and on the other providing space for discussing the concerns of the listeners.