The STRENGHENING OF WOMEN AT THE TABLE (SAWT project)
Co-implemented with the Arab Reform Initiative, the SAWT project is dedicated to support Syrian women along with their Libyan, Iraqi, Yemeni and Palestinian counterparts in their endeavor as actors in peace processes.
In the field of Women, Peace and security, the project takes a feminist approach across all components promoting exchange of information, knowledge, skills as well as experiences.
The project’s internal logic is built on four parallel and interlocking activities that complement one another both in terms of their expected outcomes and impact, but also in terms of their specific level of intervention and type of activity and output. The project will do work at the individual, national, regional, and international levels through various actions of knowledge production and knowledge sharing, capacity building and confidence building, coalition and network formation, and advocacy and policy influencing.
- Comparative and cross-cutting Research at the MENA region level to understand the variety of political, structural, economic, social, and cultural contextual factors that act as constraints to women’s inclusion and active political participation in peace processes
- Research Fellowship Program with the American University of Beirut: The program involves providing the necessary skills, knowledge, and confidence to emerging women leaders and young activists so that their participation at political and peace tables is meaningful. Capacity-building will be carried out, and promotion of regional exchange and learning between emerging women leaders and the new generation of feminist activists in the five target countries.
- International Advocacy through moderate euro-med exchanges and advocacy trips to the EU, providing women from four of the target countries (Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen) with privileged access points to policy-making and diplomacy in the EU; with the objective of promoting mutual exchange and understanding on specific thematic topics where viewpoints might also be very different…
- National Dialogues: This component involves raising women’s priorities in the public sphere and in political discussions by providing the spaces and means for women’s organizations and groups at the national level to deploy collective advocacy work…
Programs previously implemented by CL:
WPS Agenda: the Way Forward (2016-2020), co-implemented with Hivos
For decades, Syrian women activists have militated to change harmful or gender bias clauses in Syrian regulations and law enforcement, and to show how the latter have a tremendous effect on socio-economic behaviors and patterns.
The project focused on shedding the light on the obstacles and constraints faced by women to reach decision-making positions. As a result of this combined effort, there was a civil law amendment in 2019 (laws #4 and 20 of 2019) for the first time since 1953.
On February 7th, Law#4 was passed to amend a large part of the initial civil law, followed by a second phase of partial alterations on June 20th to five provisions previously amended by law#4.
Amendments have been made on the penal code on 17 March 2020, with the issuance of law#2, abolishing the legal provision no.548 and all its related clauses. This change in law, basically banned the practice of “honor crimes”, which affects the rights of Syrian women inside and outside the country and works towards the gradual social and cultural change of wrong beliefs.
The targeted segment of the project considered 75% women and 25% men beneficiaries, with a total of 10 empowered leading ladies in the field of women’s rights in general and the integration of these rights in the Syrian constitution for higher gender sensitivity. This effort strengthened their capacity within their respective organizations and increased their decision-making potential, with the support of their men peers as well as husbands, who took part in the empowerment activities.
The project continued its influence on combatting other forms of domestic violence, especially against women during the Syrian conflict, by breaking taboos around the subject matter. Many personal stories were shared by women beneficiaries of the project, the latter witnessing or experiencing intimate partner violence or abuse (verbal and sexual).
The project also worked on instituting psychosocial support units within partner community-based organizations such as Gharsa, Women Now in Development and Sawa for Development and Aid, in consultation and coordination with local incumbent organizations, who also work with our partners and benefit the same segment of Syrian refugees.
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