All participating organisations receive financial support that enables them to continue their projects aiming for gender equality, women’s rights, or peace and security. Activities vary widely, from organising conferences, to trainings, awareness campaigns and round-table discussions with relevant stakeholders.
Projects can focus on legal reform and women’s participation, such as laws and policies against domestic violence, the instalment of women’s quota in Parliament or in political parties, or the inclusion of women’s rights in the constitution. Or they can work towards peace building and security, by reconnecting members of polarised communities in conflict areas, pushing for local cease-fires, or by involving police and community leaders in fighting sexual harassment and violence. In these activities, skills acquired in the capacity development component of the Women on the Frontline programme are implemented.
Through the financial support of the programme, several successful initiatives were set up leading to concrete results. For example, an Iraqi-Kurdish partner organisation, together with a group of women MPs and political party members, organized a conference on Iraq’s Yezidi population that was assaulted by IS in 2014.
The results of this conference were a road map for rehabilitation of the Yezidi community and a follow-up committee with government representatives and other relevant stakeholders from Baghdad and Erbil. The programme’s efforts for better coordination and collaboration amongst civil society groups has led to the foundation of the Iraqi 1325 Alliance, an alliance of twenty-three Iraqi and Kurdish CSOs pushing for the implementation of the UNSCR 1325 Iraqi National Action Plan.
In order to change the reality of most participants, for whom international donor money is their current only viable source of funding for activities and projects, other ways of obtaining income are explored in the programme.
For this reason, a crowd-funding challenge specifically for women’s organisations in the MENA region was set up.