Where Do We Go From Here? Reflections on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence

In response to the UK’s plan to host an international conference on the ten-year anniversary of their preventing sexual violence in conflict initiative (PVSI), members of the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL) shared their reflections during our weekly community check-in call. Despite mention of conflict related and other sexual violence (CRSV) in 8 security council resolutions since 2008, there remains substantial gap in implementation with the Secretary General’s reports indicating low levels of compliance by conflict parties.

Gender and Extremisms: ICAN Delivers Training in Cameroon

ICAN facilitated a training on gender and violent extremism organized by the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Unit, from 3-5 March in Yaoundé, Cameroon. The training served as a follow-up to the 2019 workshop delivered by ICAN. Participants traveled from all regions of Cameroon to participate in the workshop.

Economic Security of Women Peacebuilders and the Role of the Private Sector in Supporting Them and Their Work

On January 26, 2022, Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex joined ICAN and members of WASL for a discussion on the economic security of women peacebuilders and the role of the private sector in supporting their work.

The work of peacebuilding, as evidenced by the poor implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 16 which emphasizes on the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, is often perceived as the purview of governments with little to no contribution from the private sector. But peace and security are essential for economic growth including infrastructure, development, and investment in human resources. The nexus of the private and peacebuilding sectors could be strengthened and benefit from a strong partnership.

Self-Resourcing and Income-Generation in Peacebuilding Work: How Women Peacebuilders Put the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus into Practice

ICAN and our partners in WASL have always recognized the need to break down silos between the humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding sectors. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated in stark terms how women peacebuilders are present, active, preemptive, and responsive to crises, leveraging limited resources to tackle multiple challenges in fragile contexts. To better respond to situations as they arise and meet the immediate humanitarian and security needs of their communities, women peacebuilders are combining their peacebuilding work with the provision of livelihoods training activities. To complement donor funding, some women peacebuilders are implementing income generation and “self-resourcing” strategies that enable them to autonomously fund and sustain their peacebuilding work.

On Wednesday 15th December, we held the first of an ongoing series of discussions about this expansive topic. In our final thematic WASL call of 2021, WASL members from Yemen, Cameroon, Tajikistan, Libya, Liberia and Syria shared their experiences combining livelihoods support, income-generation and self-resourcing with peacebuilding activities.

How the Counterterrorism Agenda Has Failed Women Peacebuilders – and Where Do We Go from Here?

The crisis in Afghanistan has forced many of us to reckon with the failures of the C/PVE agenda, as well as with the lack of will of the international community to protect the human rights of the women peacebuilders who have been asked to support it.

What is the meaning of counterterrorism when the world has collectively abandoned a country and its people to be governed by a terrorist organization? How can states speak of gender-sensitive P/CVE or of the importance of women, peace, and security, when they have left Afghan women to their fate? To engage in a conversation on these questions and more, Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, joined the weekly WASL call on September 23, 2021. Click to read a summary of the call.