OSCE Dialogue Academy, focused on women involvement in dialogue and policy making from Prishtinë/Priština and Belgrade, concluded in Austria/
The OSCE Dialogue Academy, proposed by the group of prominent women from Prishtinë/Priština and Belgrade as part of their OSCE-supported “Follow us” initiative, was held from 27 November to 6 December 2015 at Stadt Schlaining, Austria.
The Academy provided 22 young women activists from civil society and youth organizations, students and young professionals an opportunity to discuss the role of women in conflict mediation and politics in the region.
The Academy aimed at encouraging women to play a stronger role in peace building, negotiation processes and decision making and to increase their prospects for being a vehicle for contributing to normalization of relations between Prishtinë/Priština and Belgrade. Through seminars held by scholars and experts, participants learned about technics for mediation and negotiations, gender equality, women and youth in political parties, challenges of women participation in politics.
Prominent women from Follow us Initiative also joined the Dialogue Academy, to share their experience in politics and decision making, promotion of dialogue through the initiative, and have discussed issues of concern affecting women in the region.
“During these days we learnt that we have so much in common,” said one of the participants. “There are no differences between us and we must continue to work together and foster women role in society.”
The Deputy Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, Paivi Nikander, addressing the participants at the closing ceremony, expressed the OSCE’s satisfaction with the Dialogue Academy. “We are proud of this overall initiative and what it has become, and we will make sure to support it further.”The event was organized by the OSCE Mission in Kosovo in co-operation with the OSCE Mission to Serbia as part of their work to promote dialogue and reconciliation and gender equality in public participation.