Shortly after the uprisings in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region in 2011, WILPF has begun to engage in the region following a demand from women civil society groups. The women had been at the forefront of demonstrations, demanding democratic changes and respect for human rights in the region during the uprisings. Now, they were facing unprecedented political developments, a setback for women’s rights, and a rise of armed violence in an already extremely unstable and militarised environment.
WILPF stands firm beside women from the Middle East and North Africa working to define, defend and develop a space for the advancement of feminist peace for equality, justice and demilitarised security in the region.
Partnerships for peace
Since 2011, conflicts are still ongoing and WILPF’s engagement in MENA is expanding. The Middle East North Africa project is the biggest project of WILPF. Today, we partner with grassroots feminist organisations to uphold gender justice in the MENA region by preserving and growing a strong feminist movement for peace.
To date, we have worked with ten countries of the MENA region: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen.
A unique approach to inclusive partnerships
WILPF projects and activities in MENA are successful because we use comprehensive and inclusive processes of gender-sensitive conflict analysis. Our unique and highly appreciated working method always includes close cooperation and consultation with the partners.
We have secured achievements in the way of:
- localising the Women Peace and Security Agenda,
- stigmatising war and strengthening the anti-militarisation discourse,
- influencing discourse at the international level to incorporate gendered analysis,
- enhancing commitment to States’ international obligations,
- affecting gender-sensitive legislative reform, and
- developing tools for gender-sensitive conflict analysis in Arabic.