The Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL) brings together existing women rights and peace practitioners, organizations, and networks actively engaged in preventing extremism and promoting peace, rights and pluralism, to enable their systematic and strategic collaboration.
‘Wasl’ means to ‘connect’ in Arabic, Urdu and Persian.
Our Core Values
- Nonviolence and active support of positive inclusive peace;
- Pluralism, social cohesion, equality, and non-discrimination;
- Social, political, and economic justice;
- Adherence to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
- Transforming gendered power relations to realize equality and rights;
- Amplifying community voices and building a progressive majority;
- Building on the history and legacy of women’s activism and leadership;
- Mutual empowerment, support, and respect for others’ experiences and avoiding duplication of work.
“Women’s rights activists are the longest-standing socially-rooted, transnational groups mobilizing for peace, countering rising extremism, and providing an alternative vision for the future.”
— WASL founding statement
We cultivate vertical, horizontal and diagonal connections
- Facilitate access for national and grassroots women-led organizations to engage substantively in the international countering violent extremism (CVE) debate by collating their perspectives on critical issues (e.g. security, economics, education) and publishing policy papers. This includes information sharing and analyses from the ground to increase knowledge of the gender dimensions of violent extremism with a focus on solutions to root causes and contributions to preventative action.
- Link women’s networks, practitioners, and organizations more effectively to governmental processes, enabling them to share lessons learned and shape state and multilateral policies and programs based on ground realities and needs.
- Develop shared, conceptually-sound solutions to challenges the security-oriented approaches and narratives of existing CVE policies and programs.
- Avoid duplication of efforts and provide a means of coordination and mutual development and support based on a division of labor and core strengths among INGOs, government, and multilateral organizations.
- Provide opportunities to enable the sharing of strategies and lessons learned across countries between grassroots, national civil society actors, and regional and international activists/organizations facing similar manifestations of extremism, including “know-how” and good practices for scaling up successful and promising initiatives.
- Ensure allocation of resources to support innovative solutions locally and internationally in a range of spheres — notably practical community-based work, messaging and communications, production of knowledge, etc.
- Connect existing women-led organizations and resource persons working on extremism and promoting peace to deepen solidarity and strengthen their impact.
- Initiate country-focused public surveys and other efforts to tap into the aspirations of potentially vulnerable populations and use that data to articulate a coherent and realistic alternative vision with attention to improvements in education, justice, economic, and other human security policies.
- Include and reach out to other sectors – notably arts and culture, journalism, religious communities, the private sector, and governmental agencies to echo and amplify the voices and perspectives emerging from women’s organizations.
- Draw on each sector and organization’s unique competencies to ensure innovative mass outreach and build wider public participation in disseminating the vision, values, and messages of WASL members.
تقرير: حقائقُ مقلِـقة، حِكَمٌ اســـتثنائية في التقرير الأول من سلسلة التقارير المعنية بالسياسات، يعرض التحالف النسوي للقيادة الأمنية (وَصْل) وجهة نظر المرأة حول الأبعاد الأمنية لأجندة منع ومكافحة التطرف العنيف بما في ذلك خبرات النساء الذاتية في إشراك الجهات العسكرية...
Women’s perspectives on violent extremism and security interventions
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On July 15, 2019, the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Prevention Project—Organizing Against Violent Extremism, and the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), convened a day-long expert roundtable on the margins of the UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development.
Stories of women peacebuilders don’t often make it to the headlines. However, they are part of the longest-standing, socially-rooted transnational groups mobilizing for peace, women’s rights and security, and providing an alternative vision for the future.
Members of the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL) gathered with ICAN who partnered with Initiatives of Change to host the 2019 Caux Forum: Towards an Inclusive Peace. With an emphasis on integrated approaches to prevention, over 100 peacebuilders from around the world gathered in Caux, Switzerland for four days of panel discussions, storytelling, country focused sessions, and thematic workshops.
ICAN and WASL partner with German Foreign Office and the Center for Feminist Foreign Policy to discuss protection needs and strategies for women peacebuilders.
ICAN facilitated a training on gender and preventing and countering violent extremism organized by the Commonwealth Secretariat’s CVE Unit, from 11-14 June in Douala, Cameroon. The participants were comprised mainly of women civil society actors who have been working in various ways to address violence and build peace in their communities, among them were journalists, lawyers, psychotherapists, educators, youth workers and others.
“At ICAN and through the Better Peace Initiative, we’ve looked at gender responsiveness in peace treaties. There is already a lot of information on the why, so we are focusing on the how,” ICAN’s Better Peace Initiative’s Program Director, Helena Gronberg said.
A 2-day expert level group meeting was held in New York, and discussed issues ranging from protecting and recognizing women peacebuilders as a sector, to funding and strategy for inclusive implementation of peace agreements.