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Recognizing the value and need to channel equitable resources to local women’s peacebuilding organizations (WPBOs) have been constant stipulations of the value of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda since its inception at the turn of the 21st century. From the United Nations to its 193 member states, the desire and intent to support such organizations has increased over the years. But the chasm between donors’ good intentions and their political, financial, and administrative constraints has hampered the flow of funds to the grassroots women who need them the most.
Women Peacebuilders on the Frontlines of COVID-19
As coronavirus sweeps across the world, many of our WASL partners, alongside other women peacebuilders, have pivoted their work to respond to COVID-19 and related issues. These women peacebuilders are again on the frontlines, shifting from building peace in their communities and countries to working to prevent the spread of a pandemic. When civil society is strong and independent, CSOs can respond to a variety of crises, from war to a pandemic.
On the morning of Friday 16th October, the Abductees’ Mothers Association celebrated a major victory when Yemen’s warring parties completed the largest prisoner exchange in the history of the five-and-a-half-year long conflict. In a two-day process, 1,056 individuals held by both the Houthi rebels and the Yemeni government were released and transferred home, facilitated by the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC). The Abductees’ Mothers Association has been the most prominent voice in calling for the release of abductees and has been instrumental in facilitating talks on the issue. For many years, this coalition of mothers has been the only hope for Yemen’s forcibly disappeared.
On September 7, 2020, a Turkish court sentenced a man to life in prison for carrying out the Istanbul nightclub attack on New Years Day in 2017. 39 people lost their lives in the early hours of that day—including Dr. Khedijah Arfaoui’s son and daughter-in-law, Mohamed and Senda. Debates surrounding a moratorium on the death penalty have re-surfaced in Tunisia but Arfaoui continues to advocate for non-violence and remains opposed to the death penalty. Read the full story.
An Op-Ed by Malalai Habibi and Helena Grönberg discussing the ongoing Afghanistan peace talks, and the international community’s obligation to ensure an inclusive and gender-responsive processes.
ICAN promotes inclusive and sustainable peace in countries affected by violent conflict, extremism, militarism, and closing political space. Recognizing the gendered impact of conflict and the critical role of women peacebuilders, we fulfill our mission through a dual strategy of:
- Shaping and influencing the peace and security policies of governments, multilateral organizations, and the wider international community by providing thought leadership, strategic advice, and gender-responsive analysis and operational guidance; and
- Sustaining and strengthening a global movement of innovative locally rooted women peacebuilders to have voice and influence wherever matters of peace, violent conflict, rights, and human security are determined.
We bring the word and spirit of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and the global women, peace and security agenda to life.
“I truly believe that a small group, like ICAN, of very committed women, can get the message across that there is not going to be a sustainable solution to extremism without including women”
– Senator Mobina Jaffer
“ICAN has one agenda, and it is Peace.”
– Sri Lankan woman peacebuilder
“ICAN provides a safe open space and a healthy environment for discussions that will bring about the needed change.”
– Palestinian woman peacebuilder
“Through ICAN, our work reached international platforms for the first time, including the UN.”
– Iraqi woman peacebuilder
“ICAN brings together women that have worked with extremist groups and within very violent conflicts. I share and learn new strategies from them.”
– Ugandan woman peacebuilder
The diversity I found in ICAN helps me and nurtures my experience and enables me to go forward”
– Tunisian women peacebuilder
“ICAN helps us learn new strategies through sharing experiences with other women from different countries”
– Somali woman peacebuilder