Changing Faces Women's Leadership Program

Women and Conflict Transformation in Asia, the Pacific, and the United States
"Humankind has understood history as a series of battles because, to this day, it regards conflict as the central facet of life." —Anton Chekhov, Russian author and playwright
In a region experiencing a wide range of low-and high-intensity conflicts the assertion that conflict is unavoidable certainly rings true. The real choice then, lies is in how to confront, analyze, and respond to conflict in a way that moves society forward toward positive change. The importance of women’s participation in peacebuilding, security decision-making, and conflict transformation, has been most clearly put forth in UN Security Council Resolution 1325 in the year 2000: “stressing the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security, and the need to increase their role in decision-making with regard to conflict prevention and resolution.” Notably, the resolution calls on all actors involved in negotiating and implementing peace agreements to institute support local women's peace initiatives and indigenous processes for conflict resolution, and that involve women in all of the implementation mechanisms of the peace agreements. In a statement during open debate on women, peace, and security issues marking the fifth anniversary of the adoption of Resolution 1325 in October 2005, the Romanian delegation to the Security Council articulated the compelling motivation for women’s representation: “Women should be acknowledged as having a valuable contribution to their societies and to international relations not because of their high potential to become victims, but because they are recognized as valuable and skillful resources, able to make a difference and bring added-value to peace processes in all parts of the world.”
The Changing Faces Women’s Leadership Program will focus on the issue of women’s involvement in conflict transformation. Conflict may arise in relation to political recognition and representation, or access to natural, social, or economic resources, and at every level: from the community to international. And when conflicts arise, every level and facet of society is affected: economic development and sustainability, resource allocation and use, education, and public policy. Women’s involvement in the transformation of these conflict situations is imperative. The program seeks professional women, in both the public and private sectors, at lower and middle level positions of leadership from around the United States and the Asia Pacific region to participate in a program of dialogue, exchange, and leadership skills building focused on the issue of women and conflict transformation.
Application Requirements
Women from all professional backgrounds, including elected officials, government agencies, civil society organizations, the private sector, education, and the media, who have 5–12 years of work experience and are active in community development, inter-communal/inter-religious dialogue, or current conflict/post-conflict peacebuilding efforts are welcome to apply. In particular, the program seeks applicants with demonstrated leadership experience, either professionally or through voluntary community activities, and who have the potential to move into positions of greater responsibility and influence. Applicants must have the ability to use English in a multi-cultural, professional setting. Preference will be given to candidates without significant previous international travel experience.

Costs for participation (housing accommodations, meals related to the program, ground transportation, program materials, and a modest per diem) will be provided by the East-West Center. Participants will be responsible for their round-trip transportation to Honolulu as well as all fees for obtaining their visas. A limited number of travel stipends (contingent on available funding) will be available for participants from developing countries, however selected participants should expect some level of cost-sharing.
To apply please submit the following:
  1. The Applicant Contact Information Sheet (PDF, 70 KB). (This form can be downloaded and filled in using Adobe Acrobat software, which is available free of charge from the Adobe website.)
  2. Letter of interest highlighting previous leadership experience and expressing what the applicant hopes to gain from the program. Resume including work and educational experience. (Two pages maximum)
  3. Two professional letters of recommendation. A written response, not to exceed 1,000 words, to ONE of the following questions:
  • What challenges do women in positions of leadership, or those who wish to move into positions of leadership, face in your society?
  • What have been the most important influences on your leadership style?
  • What is women's most important role in peacebuilding?

Applications may be submitted as follows:
Email: ChangingFaces@EastWestCenter.org
Fax: 1-808-944-7600 (ATTN: Changing Faces Program)
Post: East-West Seminars ATTN: Changing Faces ProgramEast-West Center 1601 East-West Rd. Honolulu, HI 96848 USA

Please note: Letters of recommendation should be on letterhead and display the signature of the individual making the recommendation. Faxes are acceptable. If you wish to submit letters of recommendation via e-mail they MUST display the scanned letterhead and signature of the recommender.

More info: http://www.eastwestcenter.org/changingfaces

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