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Scotland’s Unique Solution To The Syrian Crisis Empowers Women

(ANTIMEDIA) United Kingdom — Nicola Sturgeon has announced that Scotland is to help train Syrian women who are involved in the peace process. The Scottish government is to work with the U.N. to offer female peacemakers training in negotiation and communication.

With the U.K. embroiled in its very own “Battle of Britain” on whether to launch airstrikes on the Islamic State in Syria — Scotland’s First Minister and SNP leader, Sturgeon, has been clear all along that her party would vote against the action.

“There is no shortage of countries bombing Syria, what there is a shortage of is people trying to get a ceasefire on the ground amongst the non-Daesh combatants and unify in the action against them,” she told The Scotsman.

More recently, the first minister announced that she has accepted an invitation for Scotland to host an international women’s summit and offer female peacemakers training in negotiation and communication.

The initiative emerged after a recent meeting with U.N. Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura — who suggested Scotland could play a useful role in the peace process through support for female peacemakers.

“In particular, he has asked for our support in training Syrian peacemakers in negotiation and communication skills to best prepare them to maximise their role in the talks,” Sturgeon told The Scotsman.

Last month over 100 Syrian refugees arrived in Glasgow as part of the U.K. government’s pledge to take in 1,000 people by Christmas. Acknowledging Scotland’s role in welcoming refugees and provision of funding to aid agencies in Syria and the surrounding countries, Sturgeon had said the country was open to exploring other ways to assist in the crisis.

Consequently, the U.N. asked for Scotland’s support in training Syrian peacemakers to best prepare them to maximise their role in the talks. Special Envoy, Mr. de Mistura said: “Women’s leadership and participation in conflict resolution are critical for sustainable solutions. The engagement of women in shaping the future of Syria is more important now than ever before.”

Recent figures from the Scottish Parliament’s independent information center ranked Scotland far ahead of the U.K. in terms of women’s political empowerment.

“Scotland has set out its determination to put women at the heart of government and politics. Our Parliament has three female party leaders and a female Presiding Officer and I have appointed one of the first gender-balanced cabinets in the world,” Sturgeon told The Herald.

She continued: “Scotland’s work on gender issues has clearly been noticed by the United Nations and we are happy to explore how we can best help.”

This article (Scotland’s Unique Solution to the Syrian Crisis Empowers Women) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Michaela Whitton and theAntiMedia.org.
Nicholas Merrill speaks at PopTech 2012 in Camden, Maine on October 20, 2012. (Flickr / Nicholas Merrill)
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Michaela Whitton

Michaela Whitton