OSH, Kyrgyzstan, 3 August 2011 – A co-operation agreement between women community leaders, the community police, healthcare and education structures and the Mayor’s Office was signed today in Osh in the framework of an OSCE project on gender issues and conflict prevention in southern Kyrgyzstan.
The project, which aims to engage women in peace-building initiatives at the grass-roots level with the active support of relevant government agencies, is implemented by the OSCE Field Office in Osh in partnership with the local public association Ensan Diamond.
During the meeting, the newly established Women’s Initiative Group, consisting of women leaders from the communities of 11 territorial councils in Osh, discussed co-operation mechanisms with local structures to address root causes of tension and develop a plan of action on conflict prevention and reconciliation.
Lilian Darii, the Deputy Head of the OSCE Centre in Bishkek, said: “The involvement of women will help include all sections of the communities and, in the long run, will contribute to restoring confidence towards institutions in the south of the country. The OSCE is committed to building the potential of women in the south of Kyrgyzstan as local focal points. With this pilot project we will take stock of mediation efforts at the national and local level and identify local solutions to conflict prevention. ”
Mamatemin Omurzakov, the chief of the department for the co-ordination of the Osh city territorial councils at the Mayor’s Office, added: “We hope that today’s signing of the Memorandum will enable the Women Initiative Groups to achieve the goal of preventing tensions in a sustainable way. Full assistance will be provided to them by all 11 territorial councils of Osh and by the local state agencies involved in this initiative.”
The women leaders will also receive training on conflict prevention, early warning and case referrals by, among others, mediators’ networks set up earlier with OSCE support. A similar event will take place in Jalal-Abad on 5 August.