In March 2017, Fatima was awarded the Women’s International Day Prize, bestowed by the Youth Leadership Development Foundation and sponsored by UN Women, in recognition of her efforts on dispute resolution and contribution to maintain social peace in Lawdar District, Abyan Governorate. She was one of the trainees who completed the Dialogue Design and Facilitation, and Conflict Transformation for Insider Mediators training developed that targeted 56 insider mediator in Abyan, and implemented by the Search for Common Ground (SFCC), an implementing partner of UNDP under the Enhanced Rural Resilience in Yemen (ERRY) Programme. Fatima has expressed her happiness because of the recogniation that she has received in Women’s International Day.
Fatima is not only a skilled insider mediator, but also an activist in civil society, as the Head of a local NGO, Women Development Association in Abyan. With her frequent interaction with other civil society actors, she witnessed the internal disputes over financial issues of a local NGO which led to the suspension of activities. Despite various efforts, the dispute remained unsolved for six months. To put her mediation and facilitation skills acquired from the training into practice, Fatima initiated informal dialogue sessions with parties of dispute, including members of the administrative body and General Assembly members of that NGO. Her voluntary initiative, impartiality and professionalism were recognised by both parties and the local authority.
With the positive feedback received, Fatima was encouraged to take a step forward. She opened the dialogue channel between both parties. The dialogue started with each party separately and it allowed Fatima to have a clear understanding on the dispute and its drivers, thus she identified the common ground required to bring both parties together to the dialogue table. After more than eight dialogue sessions, consensus and solution were finally reached - the President and members of the administrative body of that local NGO would resign, and the General Assembly meeting would be conducted to elect the new administrative body under the supervision of local authority. In mid-September 2016, a fair election was held in the presence of all stakeholders, and the result was endorsed. Since then, the local NGO resumed and continued to expand its interventions to ensure the wellbeing of people in Lawdar, Abyan Governorate.
The Enhanced Rural Resilience in Yemen (ERRY) Programme, funded by the European Union, is committed to equip the communities with the necessary skills and tools to raise awareness of local sources of tension and conflict in rural areas, and empower local communities to establish sustainable system for both short- and long-term conflict management across four governorates in Yemen, namely Abyan, Lahj, Hajjah and Hudaydah.
- 56 insider mediator participated in the training
- Abyan governorate has been scene of military and AQAP operations in recent years