7 November 2023 - 11.15-13.00  / Room 9 Palais de l'Europe

Interpretation FR/EN

In co-operation with Council of Europe’s Gender Equality Division                                         

Women often pay the full price of war, getting nothing but its miseries in return. In campaigns of ethnic cleansing, they are a particularly vulnerable target group.

Many authoritarian regimes pride themselves on imposing rules on women’s behaviour, while decreasing the scope and quality of their rights. Women have also played an invaluable role in promoting peace across the globe and were often among the main protagonists of democratisation efforts. From grassroots movements to high-level negotiations, women’s agency has been demonstrated to be instrumental, if not crucial, for delivering a lasting peace. Acknowledgement of the already significant contribution of women to peace is important, but the even more significant potential for creating a world characterised by democracy and peace can only be realised with the participation of women.  Gender equality is a facilitator of peace. The important question is – how do we get there? Can a gender-sensitive approach to history teaching empower women to assume their role as peacebuilders more often? Are democracies with more women on high-level decision-making posts more likely to promote peace, or less likely to stoke conflict?

Forum Talk 3: Women, Democracy and Peace

Full screen: ENFR / ORIGINAL

Palais de l'Europe, room 9 7 November 2023 (11.15-13.00)
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MIFTARI Edita 2023


Governance and Leadership Expert

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Edita Miftari is a gender mainstreaming and programme management professional working with UN Women in Bosnia and Herzegovina as the Governance and Leadership Programme Coordinator. Over the past 10 years, she has been supporting international development also through OSCE, U.S. Department of State, Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa, German Development Agency GIZ, British Council, Westminster Foundation for Democracy, Transparency International and others, as well as the work and development of local civil society organizations and networks. Edita holds an MA in Gender Studies from Central European University and a BA in Security Studies from Sarajevo University. She was a Fulbright Scholarship recipient in 2015, spending one academic year at Clark University as Visiting Researcher.

GHAFARI Zarifa 2023


Former Mayor of Maidan Shahr, North South Prize Laureate 2021


Zharifa Ghafari is an Afghan entrepreneur and politician, who served as Mayor of Maydan Shahr from 2019 to 2021. She fled Afghanistan in August 2021, shortly after the Taliban came to power; She receives death threats on the grounds that she is a female mayor. She is a refugee in Germany.



Mothers of Peace, Peacemaker / Community relations worker at Falls Women’s Centre

United Kingdom

As Managing Director of Falls Women’s Centre Susan has been involved with the Centre since 1991. She has more than 30 years’ experience supporting women in communities most affected by conflict and economic disadvantage. Recognising the role of women in peacebuilding, Susan ensures women most affected by the conflict come together to participate in working towards a shared, equal and peaceful future. In 2021 Susan received the “Good Relations Award” from Community Relations Council for her role in creating opportunities for women in peacebuilding. She gained a BA Hons Degree in Community Development from University of Ulster as an adult returner. Today she advocates for community education within the women’s centre where women can access childcare and support.


Eileen WEIR

Mothers of Peace, Peacemaker / Community relations worker at Shankill Women’s Centre

United Kingdom

Eileen is a well-respected community development practitioner with extensive experience in building community capacity, supporting community cohesion and strategic community development. She is currently employed by Shankill Women’s Centre as the Greater North Belfast Women’s Network Co-Ordinator.  Eileen is also a STEPS practitioner, a personal development programme with a qualified facilitator who helps participants to co-create their learning through interactive discussions and personal reflection. Eileen has delivered the programme to a wide range of groups across Belfast. In 2018 Eileen received two prestigious awards the first presented by CRC Community Relations Council “Exceptional Achievement Award” and the second the “McCluskey Civil Rights Award” for her role in Human Rights, Civil Rights and Peace Building activities.



Member of the Montana House of Representatives


In 2022, Zooey Zephyr became the first trans woman elected to public office in the state of Montana. Throughout her time in office, Representative Zephyr has been a fierce advocate for affordable housing, healthcare, and human rights throughout Montana.  In 2023, Representative Zephyr made national news when she said that legislators who voted yes on a gender-affirming care ban would have “blood on their hands.” After her speech, Republican leadership refused to allow her to speak on any bills, effectively removing her ability to represent her constituents in debate on the House floor. When Montanans protested that decision, chanting “let her speak,” Representative Zephyr raised her microphone in support of the protestors and was subsequently banned from the House floor by the state’s Republican supermajority. Representative Zephyr then continued working from the public area outside the House chambers, and since the legislature adjourned, she has travelled the country building coalition in the fight for civil rights.



Youth Delegate


Tuyên Đăng (Tiny) is a program manager of The Sphere organization whose mission is to improve human resource development, especially the youth and young professionals across Vietnam. To achieve that objective, his mission is to ensure equal interdisciplinary education accessibility and better development policy for marginalized communities (LGBTQIA+, disabled, and ethnic groups). Deemed as one of the countries with inadequate and limited democratic promotion and implementation, Vietnam has always been in the Western media’s attention on the topic of human rights. Therefore, coming to the World Forum for Democracy, Tiny hopes to elaborate on the slander and distorted claims of no democracy in Vietnam from his perspective of philanthropy work.



Youth delegate


Aimee Tymkin is a Master’s student at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, studying Diplomacy and Foreign Policy. A passionate gender equality, human rights and accessible education advocate, she has represented the voices of postsecondary students to Manitoba politicians and government officials with the Canadian Federation of Students. In 2023, Aimee was chosen as a member of Canada’s official delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Aimee is passionate about youth advocacy, the empowerment of women in political spaces, and foreign policy rooted in human-rights approaches.