Members of the Women Mediators across the Commonwealth (WMC) network

The WMC is an independent network of 49 expert women mediators, which seeks to increase the recognition for and participation of women mediators in different conflict contexts. Established in 2018, with support from Conciliation Resources, the network includes mediators from across all five Commonwealth regions who bring experience of mediating conflicts within communities, at a national level and in support of international peace processes. The WMC uses the power of engagement to strengthen the links between the local and the global, creating a true network of women mediators and peacebuilders.

The network reaches out to women, not only at the political level, but to the grassroots, which is usually lacking in other networks.
Betty Bigombe
Special Envoy for Uganda, South Sudan Peace Process

The network is funded by the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), and Conciliation Resources has provided secretariat support to the network since its inception, enabling its growth and development as an independent entity, led by the WMC Steering Committee.

As a key need identified by the network, Conciliation Resources supported the establishment of the WMC’s Strategic Mediation Fund small grant-making mechanism to provide funding for members’ ongoing peacebuilding and mediation work, addressing some of the funding and financial barriers that exist for women peacebuilders. 11 grants were disbursed for work in eight contexts during 2020 and 2021, giving vital funds to women leading mediation processes and responding to changing conflict dynamics during the pandemic.

In addition, over the past few years, Conciliation Resources has collaborated with the WMC on two different pieces of research examining the barriers and enablers supporting women mediators, and supported the network to disseminate these findings: Women Mediators: Bridging the Peace Gap, published in September 2020 and Beyond the Vertical: What Enables Women Mediators to Mediate, published in October 2021. WMC members have also conducted their own research into thematic areas such as the psychosocial impact of peacebuilding on women mediators. An online database was developed in 2021 to support the deployment of members in ongoing mediation processes, highlighting their skills and experience across a range of geographic areas, types of conflict and approaches to building peace.

Hosting responsibilities and support are now transferring from Conciliation Resources to LSE WPS, as the WMC embarks on the next stage of its journey to achieve its vision of the increased participation of women in peace processes. Over the next three months, Conciliation Resources will work closely with LSE WPS and Senior Strategic Adviser to the WMC, Quhramaana Kakar, to support the transition. Together with the network, LSE WPS will continue to facilitate members’ deployment in mediation processes; support members ongoing peace and mediation efforts in community, national and regional spaces; contribute to women, peace and security scholarships; and add to the evidence base to advocate for women’s greater participation. 

The WMC network is a member of the Global Alliance of Women Mediators Networks, along with the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network, Nordic Women Mediators, FemWise Africa, the Arab Women Mediators Network and the South East Asian Network of Women Peace Negotiators and Mediators. These networks come together to ensure strengthened cooperation and coordination between the regional women mediator networks, as well as to embody a collective voice to amplify their common goals.