Here is the full transcript of our July 10 MEPEACE Chat Workshop, the first of a three-part series on the topic 'Promoting women's approaches to peacebuilding'.

For your convenience, I've also attached a downloadable .doc file with the full text of the transcript.

Thank you, Cigdem and Eyal, for transcribing the workshop!




Official transcript of the MEPEACE Chat Workshop on July 10
Event link:


Attendees: Oliver, Bonny, Eyal, Linda, Tanya, Roger, Moad, Libby and Len, Gail, Susan






Oliver: Hello everybody! Welcome to tonight’s MEPEACE Chat Workshop - on the topic ‘Promoting women’s approaches to peacemaking. I’m proud to host this workshop tonight and happy to see you all here... Who’s with me tonight? Perhaps we could start with a shor introduction of ours elves before I will introduce the topic in greater detail.

Bonny: I’m here. Intro? In Denver, Colarado USA

Oliver: Welcome Bonny!

Eyal Raviv: :) Hi all, Eyal Raviv, 35, in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. I’m a fan of women and think this (world) would look different if women were in charge... Hope to find out what this might mean for peace.

Oliver: Welcome Eyal!

Eyal: Yup, thanks. *this world would look different in women were in charge

Oliver: Thanks for clarifying :)

Linda: I’m Linda, from Windsor, Ontario, Canada, wishing for winter on a hot and humid afternoon.

Oliver: Welcome Linda! I’ll give you my German (almost)-winter and you give me your Canadia summer in return :)

Linda: It’s 33 today with extremely high humidity, Oliver. Are you sure you want to trade?

Oliver: will think about it... Neri, Roger, Stewart, are you with us?... Perhaps more peacemakers will join us later.. we should start now, though...

Oliver: Not only in the Middle East, but virtually everywhere in the world, i appears that women’s voices are often not being heard when it comes to peacebuilding and reconciliation processes... While we pretend to have left the dark ages of  male dominanc behind for good, there is still a long way to go until we attain full equality for men and women, especially in the field of (international) politics... Women might contribute to peacebyuilding and reconciliation in different, often more constructive and holistic ways than men. But even where there’s an acceptable level of women’s participation, the overarching structures are often dominated by men... That’s the background of the discussion we want to lead today..

Oliver: All of us should think about why this world is still a ‘man’s world’... In most sectors of society -- even in more progressive society like Germany -- there is male dominance... One of the important questions we will raise today is ‘how could peacebuilding efforts look like when there would be male/female equality of involvement...

Oliver: Before I announce the first leading question of tonight’s workshop, let me explain some rules... Please use ‘rmh’ before you speak...

(Oliver: Leading question: How can societies in general, and Middle East society in particular, become more equal when it comes to men's and women's participation in politics and the various sectors of civil society (NGOs,...)?)

(Linda: Comments on the importance of Family)

Eyal: rmh

Oliver: Eyal

Eyal: Thanks. Well, I like Linda’s though no starting equality in the family... We do have to start at home... But to answer Oliver’s question, we really need to start everywhere... That is, if we want equality in politics and civil society, we need to be equal everywhere.

Bonny: rmh

Oliver: Bonny

Bonny: ok, this is some of a perspective thing... and I don’t agree with the original statements, for my perspective... for me

Tanya: Hi, everyone. Sorry I’m late, but the Internet is slow at my end.

Bonny: women do not make better rules than men

Linda: welcome, tanya. i am glad you are feeling well enough to be with us today.

Oliver: Welcome Tanya! … Bonny... go ahead please

Bonny: No meditating was another discussion... for self peace... I agree with your family idea.... I don’t agree about the perspective of patriarchal societies.

Oliver: Why? … (Welcome Moad!)

Bonny: I come from an old family of tribal Judaism... Women had much power in the family... Men study Torah... It’s the two halves that are supposed to come together to  work.

Linda: rmh

Oliver: Linda

Linda: It is pretty ahistorical, too.

Tanya: rmh..

Oliver: Tanya

Bonny: rmh

Oliver: Tanya - Bonny

Tanya: I think women in Muslim society, especially in the Arab world have an important role to play, also, in that they’re the bosses when it comes to raising their children. Politically, though, we still have a long way to go.

Linda: Bonny - Linda - 2nd leading question

Bonny: Then there is the woman behind the man perspective... This I hav done often in cultures that do not let women show their power... The power is there. They just don’t get the credit... The man who let them work with them does.

Oliver: Linda
Bonny: Women in Africa talk in circle

Oliver: Let’s get a bit closer to our actual topic... and announce the 2nd leading question: How can divided societies benefit from increased active women’s involvement? What could be the implications for conflict resolution?

Tanya: Some go to their friends’ or neighbors’ houses for lunch; others go to meetings at the friends’ or neighbors’ houses, also.

Bonny: rmh

Linda: rmh

Oliver: Bonny - Linda

Bonny: one link I sent is about women on a bridge stopping war between congo and rwanda... since greece women on both sides withholding ‘wifely duities’ have stopped wars... see Liberia for how the women stoppe internal war... have to look up movie go on.

Oliver: Linda

Roger: rmh

Oliver: Linda - Roger

Bonny: Pray the Devil back to Hell  see this movie

Linda: i think we in the west tend to see women as more pacifist, which is delusionary.  a society at war can wage war precisely because of the cooperation of both men and women... the men provide their bodies and weapons... the women provide the logistics... they prepare the food, make the clothing, manage the household in the absence of men, reproduce the next generation of warriors, and pass down ideologies about the male heroism, the nobility of suffering and sacrifice and the need for women to acquiesce

Oliver: (thanks, Bonny, I will look up this one)

Linda: they are active particiapants in the war making effort.

Roger: Collective intelligence of groups goes up when there are more women in the group.

Gail: rmh

Oliver: Gail

Gail: In Canada this week, there was a first for women...During Soccer Week, a Palestinian and Israeli soccer team was formed to play in Vancouver. Women on both sides of the team were interviewed and this very much raised the profile in the media and provided a way for these two countries to express friendship in sport and competition.

Linda: rmh

Oliver: Linda
Gail: Could this be tried in other countries as well?

Tanya: Wow that’s something! If women from both sides of the conflict can work together in sports, why not in other arenas?

Bonny: rmh

Roger: rmh

Linda: I think what Gail has related is exciting...

Oliver: Linda - Bonny - Roger

Linda: it shows what can happen if women can break through the ideological blinders in which they are raised...they can refuse to play along with the politics of agression and they can act transgressively to bring about new ways of thinking and doing.

Oliver: Bonny

Bonny: Two things... . You reminded me that this is going to be on pbs...on sports that is a major...I was at an international conference on sports and it had a lot on peace and sports. I need to write a paper on what I learned...too much for here...Oh I just find the links and raise back in.

Roger: Gender issues cross cut national/religious divides. The Women’s Movement has gone global and from the global perspective, peace is a necessity for us all -- have to go in a couple minutes --  good discussion.

Oliver: Linda

Linda: Bonny...I found your comments and Gail’s on sports very interesting because we usually view sports as a surrogate form of war. Do you know if kinesiology departments or faculties are showing any interest in teaching future teachers how to use sport for peacemaking purposes?

Gail: rmh

Oliver: Gail

Gail: very good question, Linda.

Bonny: rmh

Oliver: Bonny
Bonny: I was at the Denver one...another link... .

Gail: rmh

Oliver: Gail

Linda: thanks for the links, Bonny. They’re really useful. Gail, your turn since Bonny is finished.

Gail: Stories within sports can be used to bring optimism. Not only with countries, but with individuals.

Tanya: rmh

Oliver: Tanya

Tanya: How about women from Israel and Palestine forming an organization similar to the Civilian Conservation Corps? Could that work, too?

Linda: rmh

Bonny: rmh

Oliver: Linda - Bonny

Linda: I wanted to ask what the civilian conservation corps is since i need a context into which to place Tanya’s proposal.

Bonny: rmh...

Libby and Len:

Oliver: Bonny - 3rd leading question... Welcome Libby and Len!

Libby and Len: :)

Bonny: Tanya I like your comment... I don’t totally get it...

Tanya: I’ll be happy to explain it. The Civilian Conservation Corps was established by Franklin Delano Roosevelt on March 21, 1933. A friend of mine on FB is trying to get a 21st century version of it activated, so women, as well as men, of all backgrounds can join and serve the U.S. in a non-military way.

Linda: rmh

Bonny: but they claim micro credit programs only work with women

Oliver: Linda (last comment before 3rd leading question)

Bonny: I would look into it as a micro credit.

Tanya: Maybe if women were included in a program here similar to the one that was established in the U.S., women could work together for peace in that capacity, also. That’s an idea...microcredit :)

Linda: I notice the ccc paid people to work in its programs, and the money went to improve the general living conditions of those most hurt by the depression. Who would underwrite a contemporary version of the ccc?

Bonny: I know someone that did mc in me

Oliver: Let’s turn to our final leading question: What can do to help ensure women’s voices are heard all over the Middle East?

Eyal: rmh

Oliver: Eyal
Tanya: Good question, Linda.

Eyal: Thanks. I wanted first crack at this question because I think MEPEACE can do more... First, MEPEACE can be an example for quality... We can be an example by encouraging the female voice...

Tanya: :)

Eyal: Second, we can be an example having men and women equally active in the leadership...Third, we can look at couples like Libby and Len Traubman, who exemplify equality and cooperation and full expression, and make an example of them...

Tanya: :)

Eyal: I will add that the MEPEACE Team, including Oliver and Linda here, are mindful of equality and full expression for men and women. (and this Chat Workshop is an example of how important women are to MEPEACE and peace)

Linda: Yes, Eyal, but for example, you are interested in promoting peace through technology, and i do not know how many women in Palestine have access to or expertise in technology. How many Palestinian women have we spoken with over the last year? We can set an example, but we have to be an accessible and accessed example.

Oliver: ...possibly through more accessible on-the-ground events that might be used as a ‘trigger’ for online engagement.

Linda: We have to work within women’s space, and space is carved up very differently between genders. Right, Oliver.

Tanya: You’re right Linda. That’s another kind of equality we want to be an example of.

Oliver: You’re right, Linda... Technology alone is not the panacea.

Linda: The Traubmans make an effective use of technology, but their hands-on encounters are critical.

Oliver: but once technology is accepted by both genders and by all involved in conflict societies, it can become a crucial tool.

Tanya: That’s true... you need a combination of technology and face to face interaction.

Linda: We have to tailor mepeace to cell phones if we want to reach women. How many go to internet cafes or have their own computers? Probably far fewer than have cell phones. But I don’t know.

Tanya: Good point, Linda.

Oliver: Our time is almost up... we have 5 minutes left. Time to post conclusions / final comments. (at around 9.35 we’ll start our Volunteer Chat. You’re all invited to stay around)

Bonny: rmh

Oliver: Bonny

Bonny: Women ROCK. Men can rock too.

Tanya: I’m so with you on that, Bonny!

Linda: :D

Tanya: They’re Wonder Women!

Linda: We, we wonder women have to set up a committee to discuss how to get networks of communication going with women in IP, and especially P.

Oliver: Good luck w that :)

Linda: or we have to hook into networks that already exist... I’m sure there must be many.

Eyal: conclusion: Women DO rock, and men can rock even more by enabling full and equal participation everywhere. MEPEACE is attuned to this and will continue promoting women’s approaches to peacebuilding. Thank you all. :)

Linda: if mepeace can work with yala it can work with women’s orgs

Tanya: (My favourite superheroine is Wonder Woman because she’s strong on the inside as well as on the outside and has a strong moral code.)

Linda: (good reasons, Tanya)

Oliver: Thanks everyone for participating.. We had an active workshop and I must say I learned quite something about women’s involvement.


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