To ensure that women’s work at the frontlines is valued and understood, it is essential for their experiences to be amplified

Peacebuilders Interviews and Stories

Boko Haram and Banditry: Northeast Nigeria’s Deteriorating Security Situation

Boko Haram and Banditry: Northeast Nigeria’s Deteriorating Security Situation

“We need a special intervention, we need our country back, it’s becoming lawless”, warns women’s rights and peace activist, Hamsatu Allamin, WASL member and Founder of Allamin Foundation. The situation in northeast and northwest Nigeria demands urgent international attention, not only as a matter of humanitarian urgency but also for its impact on international peace and security.

“We are not afraid, we are resisting”: A strong message from the Director of Myanmar’s Gender Equality Network

“We are not afraid, we are resisting”: A strong message from the Director of Myanmar’s Gender Equality Network

At 8pm every evening since February 1, 2021 hundreds of thousands across Myanmar bang pots and pans to demonstrate their non-violent resistance to the military coup. This symbolic act is part of the Red Ribbon campaign, a nationwide Civil Disobedience Movement. The movement’s message is clear, explains May Sabe Phyu, Director of the Gender Equality Network (GEN) and a member of WASL: “We are not afraid; we are resisting the coup.”

“Let us go where the guns are loud”:  How Esther Omam Builds Peace in Cameroon

“Let us go where the guns are loud”: How Esther Omam Builds Peace in Cameroon

“Women peacebuilders run to the problem when everyone else is running away,” said ICAN’s CEO and Founder, Sanam Naraghi Anderlini. This statement could not be truer of award-winning Cameroonian peacebuilder, Esther Omam. Esther’s career has seen her go from development worker to humanitarian responder to mediator and peacebuilder, in the South-West region of Cameroon.

Abductees’ Mothers Association: On the Front Lines of Yemen’s Prisoner Swap

Abductees’ Mothers Association: On the Front Lines of Yemen’s Prisoner Swap

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. For many years, this coalition of mothers has been the only hope for Yemen’s forcibly disappeared. 

Despite Tragedy, Peacebuilder Khedija Arfaoui Remains Resilient

Despite Tragedy, Peacebuilder Khedija Arfaoui Remains Resilient

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.

Peace Heroes: Najlaa El Sheikh Helps Syrian Women Refugees Become Business Owners

Peace Heroes: Najlaa El Sheikh Helps Syrian Women Refugees Become Business Owners

“I often dream the jasmine returns to Syria to decorate and perfume our streets.”
As the Syrian regime rained barrel bombs on her hometown in Syria, Najlaa and her family were forced to flee to Turkey where she established the first organization led by a Syrian woman to help other women refugees with literacy, economic empowerment, and psychosocial support.
Peace Hero Najlaa El Sheikh speaks to ICAN about her journey, her work, and her dreams.

Freeing the Kidnapped in Yemen’s War

Freeing the Kidnapped in Yemen’s War

How Yemeni Mothers Succeeded Where Everyone Else Failed.
Thousands of young men are being forcibly disappeared in Yemen, and mediation efforts by the United Nations envoys, the Red Cross, and many other international organizations have not been successful. The only successful group so far is a coalition of Yemeni mothers, the Abductees’ Mothers’ Association.

Peace Heroes: Muna Luqman and the Role of Women in War-Stricken Yemen

Peace Heroes: Muna Luqman and the Role of Women in War-Stricken Yemen

We spoke to Yemeni peace activist Muna Luqman, co-founder of the Women Solidarity Network and member of the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL), about the war in Yemen, its devastating ramifications, and about the strength of Yemeni women in the face of this destruction.

In Hodeidah, Yemeni Women Saving Lives at the Frontlines of a Devastating War

In Hodeidah, Yemeni Women Saving Lives at the Frontlines of a Devastating War

As the Saudi-led coalition storms the airport compound of Yemen’s main port Hodiedah, in attempts to recapture the city which is considered the lifeline for food and medicine imports into Yemen, fears mount for the safety of its 400,000 residents. “Now we focus on Hodeidah,” says Muna Luqman, founder and director of Food4Humanity which has been providing humanitarian aid to conflict-affected Yemenis.

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