Seminar in Rome for Leading Israeli and Palestinian Women

On March 2 through 5, the Geneva Initiative hosted a seminar in Rome for leading Israeli and Palestinian women in cooperation with the Italian Center for Middle East Peace (CIPMO).
The event, which brought together leading Israeli and Palestinian woman for four days of discussion, opened with remarks by a representative of the Province of Rome and of the Analysis and Planning Unit of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Nidal Foqaha and Gadi Baltiansky, Directors General of the Geneva Initiative in Ramallah and Tel Aviv respectively, also offered opening remarks in a session chaired by Janiki Cingoli, Director of the Italian Center for Peace in the Middle East (CIPMO).
On Thursday, articipants met with the President of the Province of Rome, Nicola Zingaretti. After the meeting, President Zingaretti held a press conference with representatives of the respective delegations, the Geneva Initiative, and CIPMO.
Participants also met with representatives of the Comitato Pari Opportunità or “Committee for Equal Oppportunities,” the body of the Italian Parliament aimed at reaching equal rights for women and men. They discussed the position of women in the social, political and institutional structure, at the local and national level, in Israel, in Italy and in the Palestinian Authority.
Mr. Baltiansky led a conversation on, "Clinton Parameters, the Arab League Peace Initiative, and the Geneva Initiative," and Mr. Foqaha led a conversation on "The Middle East: Past, Present, Difficulties and Opportunities."
On Friday, the group attended a panel discussion on the development of women’s organizations and of female peace organizations in Israel and Palestine with Tammy Rafidi, Project Manager at the Yasser Arafat Foundation, and Nurit Tsur, Executive Director of the Israel Women's Network.
Attorney Talia Sasson, writer of "Sasson Report" regarding the settlements, led a conversation on obstacles for peace, and Alberto Negri, a journalist of the major daily newspaper Il Sole 24-Ore and an expert on Middle Eastern and Iranian issues, led a conversation on World Media and the conflict.
To conclude the seminar with some capacity building, the woman participated in a training on effective ways of conveying a message led by Merav Parsi Zadok, cofounder of Yossi Kucik - Merav Parsi-Zadok Strategy and Communications.
The seminar ended with a session on possible follow-ups chaired by Talia Sasson, GI-Israel's Hadas Grinvald and GI-PPC's Fatina Abbud. The women were very practically-oriented and proposed a series of rich and varied ideas, which will be further discussed at a meeting at the end of March.