News and Updates
With the intra-Afghan talks just kicking off, there is still an opportunity to rectify past oversights. The onus is on the international community to ensure that more peace builders than the few remarkable women on the government delegation are at the peace table. We owe this to the women of Afghanistan who in a recent “Letter to Allies” clearly stated: “We seek accountability in the process: accountability from Afghan leaders but also from leaders like you, who can use your influence to shape a better outcome and help ensure its implementation.” We owe this, as the parties that take little or no responsibility for protecting populations will continue to resist the participation of those who represent the real concerns and experiences of communities enduring violence.
ICAN’s Better Peace Tool is now available in Farsi.
Our fund disbursed $1 million in grants to 24 partners across 17 countries from Syria to Somalia, Colombia to Cameroon, Iraq to Indonesia & more Investing In Trust
Check out this 📽️ to see how ICAN’s Innovative Peace Fund supported women peacebuilders’ COVID19 response.
A Date to Remember: The UN Security Council in Conversation with WASL, the United Nations of Women Peacebuilders
“Twenty years ago, we as women peacebuilders invited the Security Council to join us in the basement of the [UN] Church Center in New York,” said ICAN’s Founder and CEO, Sanam Naraghi Anderlini in her welcoming remarks. That conversation was a steppingstone towards attaining UNSCR 1325 on women, peace and security (WPS). “The peacebuilders that we have with us here are risking their lives every day to bring peace,” she added. “We want to have a genuine exchange, between the UN’s Security Council and our partners in WASL, who are a united nations of women peacebuilders. We each have questions and answers for each other. I hope we can challenge ourselves about what we can do differently together to ensure sustainable peace now and for the future”, said Naraghi Anderlini.
During our weekly community check-in calls, WASL partners have been discussing the dynamics of recognition and protection of peacebuilding work, as well as the effect that international policies have on the lived experiences of peacebuilders on the ground.
Read the full summary
ICAN’s 2019 Annual Report is here!
Producing it in the midst of the pandemic felt like reminiscing over distant memories. But it was a reminder of how much our team and our partners achieved. We consolidated our programs and sustained our dual focus on advancing global policies on women, peace and security, and sustaining local women’s peace work. This dual strategy enabled us to pivot quickly to address the additional challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
I’m privileged to work with a dedicated and professional team and a supportive board. The trust of our peacebuilding partners in WASL and those of our financial partners internationally is humbling. Together they inspire and enable us to do our work while remaining creative and cutting edge.
Click here for more details and highlights of our breakfast with the UN’s Secretary General and annual forum with HRH the Countess of Wessex, and H.E Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide, Norway’s Foreign Minister.
Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, MBE
“Stop the rhetoric on promising rights, development and gender equality, and deliver on that promise. If your promises stay empty, you lose the trust of the people,” warned ICAN’s Founder and CEO, Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, MBE, during a high level session of the UN’s 7th Biannual Review of the Global Counter Terrorism Strategy.
Ms. Anderlini spoke alongside Professor Ni Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, the UN’s Special Rapporteur Ambassador Pascale Baeriswyl, Switzerland’s Permanent Representative to the UN and Ambassador Nicolas de Rivière, Permanent Representative of France to the UN in a session on “Protecting and promoting Human Rights as a cornerstone of building resilience against terrorism”.
Read Ms. Anderlini’s full speech.
Around the world, women peacebuilders are working within their communities to de-escalate violent conflict and prevent the recurrence of conflict in post-conflict or transitional environments. However, their work is made increasingly more difficult by the framing of conflict resolution as a linear process. WASL partners suggest that conflict is actually a cycle and that most countries will experience multiple phases of the cycle, simultaneously.
In the 14th virtual WASL call, peacebuilders discussed the ‘cycle of conflict’ and how it affects their work on conflict prevention, de-escalation, and peacebuilding.
Read the full summary.
The concept of interconnectedness is one that ICAN has directly addressed through the formal establishment of WASL, meaning “to connect” in Arabic, Farsi and Urdu. In the 12th weekly call, WASL members shared their stories of what this alliance means to them as a family and community of support.
“ICAN and WASL offer moral and political support to women. They energize us and empower us to raise our voice.”
Read the full summary.
As COVID-19 has exacerbated existing gaps in services on the ground, and many women peacebuilders pivoted their work during the pandemic to deal with urgent humanitarian response, the question of whether development aid reaches local communities arose. Members of the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL) highlighted the need for change so that development aid can reach local communities and provide the basic services of food, healthcare, and education.
Canada’s Minister of International Development, Karina Gould, and Canada’s Ambassador for Women, Peace and Security, Jacqueline O’Neill joined WASL members in the conversation.
Read the full summary
During the COVID-19 pandemic, women peacebuilders witnessed an increase in xenophobia and extremist messaging. Weakness in state infrastructure and response has left a vacuum which extremist actors have exploited for their own interests. Women peacebuilders are meeting this challenge by building a counter-narrative that is also grounded in the local culture, religion, and traditions.
“We need to be connected with you and establish new working methods for inclusive, sustainable peace,” remarked State Secretary Marianne Hagen from Norway who joined the 9th weekly call with the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL).
Read the full summary of the call.
Called the “shadow pandemic”, domestic violence has surged since the emergence of COVID-19. Globally, reports indicate a 25-33% increase in domestic violence with civil society and governments trying to address the crisis.
ICAN, after consultation with partners in the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL) across 38 countries and a review of existing literature, offers key steps to governments and the international community for new initiatives and urgently needed reforms that can prevent and reduce domestic violence immediately and sustainably.
As the levels of domestic violence have soared globally since the COVID-19 outbreak, women peacebuilders have been the first to respond to the crisis in their own communities adapting their peacebuilding approaches to tackle the dual challenges of COVID-19 and domestic violence.
Across the range of countries, women peacebuilders consistently identified the issues of rising domestic violence and the need for mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) in light of this pandemic. In response ICAN facilitated two separate sessions on these topics to support in-depth analysis, cross regional exchange of learning and best practices, and strategic discussion.
As some countries begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel, for many others, respite is not on the horizon. During the eighth virtual meeting of the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL) on May 21, 2020, women peacebuilders highlighted some tough truths about worsening poverty, mismanaged Covid-19 funds, tragic events that have been largely ignored, and feelings of desertion by the international community.
A Global Solutions Exchange Workshop "Peacebuilding in the Age of Corona: What it Means and Why it Matters" As the Coronavirus pandemic sweeps across conflict affected and fragile states, women-led peacebuilding organizations have been the first responders in their...
As weeks of lock downs, remote work, and stay-at-home orders turn into months, at ICAN we continue to regularly connect virtually with our partners in the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL).
On May 7, we were joined by H.E. Anne Linde, Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, as the discussions focused on how the pandemic is impacting current peace processes.