News and Updates
Marie-Joëlle Zahar has been an ICAN Board Member since 2019. In this interview, she reflects on her early experiences during the war in Lebanon and how they shaped her journey in the world of conflict resolution, peacekeeping, post-conflict reconstruction, and gendered work. Marie-Joëlle shares stories of her time as a Senior Expert on the Standby Team of Mediation Experts at the UNDPPA, what it was like being one of the few women in international mediation spaces, and her advice for the next generation of women peacebuilders and WPS practitioners. Read more to view the full conversation.
It is with immense sadness and grief that we in the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL) family, express our condolences for the passing of our dear sister, friend and colleague Roza Eftekhari on July 20, 2021, due to ovarian cancer.
Roza was among the founding members of WASL in 2016, enthusiastically supporting our first collective statement and the vision and values that shaped and have driven our community. A renowned journalist and figure in the Iranian women’s movement, as Managing Editor of the famous Zanan magazine, she created a space for dialogue and common ground between secular and religious voices addressing critical issues of gender equality and human rights.
After 18 months of virtual meetings, on July 14th the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) in partnership with the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the missions of South Africa and Mexico to the UN, hosted the first hybrid event on the margins of the 2021 UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development.
Germany’s Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, shared the stage with ICAN Founder and CEO, Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, together with South Africa’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Mathu Joyini, Mexico’s PR, Ambassador Juan Ramón de la Fuente Ramírez, and UN Women’s Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director, Anita Bhatia. Onscreen zooming in from Tripoli, Libya and Khartoum, Sudan were Dr. Rida Altubuly, Director of Together We Build it and member of the Mediterranean Women’s Mediators’ Network and Enass Muzamel, Executive Director of Madanyia and member of the global Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL).
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Germany, Mexico, South Africa and the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) will host a hybrid event on Re-designing Peacebuilding for the 21st Century: Peace, Power, and Sharing Responsibility, on July 14 from 10 – 11.30 am EST at the German House in New York.
The February 1st military coup in Myanmar brutally crushed dissent, and the crackdowns and killings continue. In May another resurgence of violence in Palestine and Israel brought renewed attention to this 54-year conflict. How do social activists survive and thrive when the tanks roll in, the bombs drop, the raids and the arbitrary arrests begin? These, among other questions, were discussed on June 29th at the fifth session of the Coming of Age of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda series, entitled ‘Survival and Activism under Occupation’, focusing on Myanmar and Palestine.
Our Annual Report details ICAN’s 2020 highlights: the launch of the global She Builds Peace campaign and Frameworks for Action, and other key achievements across our four programs. Find out more about how we adapted and supported women peacebuilders in a year like no other!
ICAN’s Senior Program Officer, Rosalie Fransen provides a gendered analysis of emerging trends and threats in the CT and P/CVE landscape.
Now in Farsi/Persian: 10 Steps to Ensure a Gender-Responsive & Inclusive Constitution-Drafting Process
ICAN’s Better Peace Initiative (BPI) guidance document, 10 Steps to Ensure a Gender-Responsive and Inclusive Constitution-Drafting Process is now available in Farsi/ Persian! ICAN’s guidance, including our “10 pointers” are developed with the intention to inform a variety of stakeholders in their peacebuilding advocacy and practice. Governments, international organizations, women peacebuilders and other civil society all benefit from these to-the-point materials that focus on the “how to” aspects of inclusive peacemaking.
On June 2, 2021, the Coalition for Action on 1325 (CoACT) and the Embassy of Sweden in Kampala hosted a ‘Democracy Talks’ event to discuss youth participation in democratic processes in Uganda. The event was the culmination of over a year of CoACT’s efforts to mobilize youth to build sustainable peace in Uganda. Since May 2020, CoACT has implemented a program to increase inclusiveness and youth participation in election processes, funded by ICAN’s Innovative Peace Fund (IPF).
ICAN Celebrates International Day of UN Peacekeepers with 10 Steps to Increase Women’s Participation in Peacekeeping
As we celebrate the International Day of UN Peacekeepers 2021 ICAN emphasize the importance of effective recruitment and systematic and sustained inclusion of women peacekeepers.
Our Better Peace Initiative (BPI) resource ‘10 Steps to Increase Women’s Participation in Peacekeeping and Reduce Sexual Exploitation and Abuse’ provides concrete recommendations from women-led civil society to improve community security and eradicate Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) from peacekeeping missions through effective recruitment and deployment of women. Available in English and French.
ICAN’s Better Peace Initiative (BPI) is launching a new resource! 10 Steps to Ensure a Gender-Responsive and Inclusive Constitution-Drafting Process is a practical guidance document intended to inform governments, international organizations, women peacebuilders and other civil society advocating for and engaged in constitutional reform processes. Women have a key role to play in developing constitutions that will ensure equal rights for all and adhere to the principles of the global women, peace and security (WPS) agenda. These 10 steps on how to ensure inclusion are now available in English and Arabic.
On May 7th, the Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP) and ICAN hosted a high-level discussion featuring key Afghan women and policy leaders long engaged in the situation in Afghanistan. In light of the announced military withdrawal of United States (U.S.) forces, the panelists discussed its potential implications on the peace process, the tremendous gains of Afghan women, girls, and minorities over the last 20 years, and potential humanitarian and refugee crises, as well as necessary measures to prevent a return to Taliban rule and regional destabilization.
The IPF is the first and only independent, multi-donor, global grant making mechanism wholly dedicated to providing financial support and technical assistance to women-led peacebuilding organizations in countries affected by violent conflict, extremism and militarism. Through the IPF, ICAN offers a solution to donors who have the resources but lack the capacity to manage small– and medium-sized grants.
Watch our short introductory video to the IPF.
As the future of the Afghan peace process remains uncertain, we must ensure that power sharing based on violence does not become the basis for a political settlement. The inclusion of women must inform the substance of all future talks, as it will give negotiations legitimacy, and increase the chance of peace.
This open letter calls on Friends of Afghanistan and Champions of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda to take concrete action to ensure the systematic presence of the Afghan women peacebuilders in the peace process.