KAIROS' Women of Courage: Women, Peace and Security Program to receive $4.5 million
TORONTO, May 30, 2018 /CNW/ - KAIROS Canada is thrilled to announce a renewed collaboration with the Government of Canada to deliver Women of Courage: Women, Peace and Security in Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Philippines, South Sudan, and the West Bank. Global Affairs Canada will inject $4.5 million over five years to support the work of five grassroots women-focused organizations that help to heal female victims of war while empowering them to be peace builders.
Despite challenges and having to work in very difficult contexts, KAIROS and its global partners have persisted in critical, transformative international development work that will be strengthened and expanded through this collaboration.
Matching funding from Global Affairs Canada by 25 percent, KAIROS will invest $1.3 million in this program of transformative psycho-social counselling, legal accompaniment and human rights training for women survivors of war and agents of peace.
KAIROS' Women, Peace and Security program will empower women to contribute to inclusive, equitable, and sustainable peace with justice in conflict zones where women are at particular risk. The program resonates strongly with Canada's Feminist International Assistance Policy, which identifies gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls as the best way to eradicate poverty and build a more peaceful, more inclusive and more prosperous world. The feminist policy also identifies women, peace and security as a core action area.
Historically, women have played a key role in conflict prevention and resolution, as well as in building and sustaining inclusive and just peace, a role recognized in UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000). According to research by Inclusive Security, peace agreements have a 35 percent greater chance of being more effective and durable when women help draft them.
Yet men's voices and experiences continue to dominate peace-building processes. From 1992 to 2011 only two percent of chief mediators and nine percent of negotiators in peace processes were women, according to research from the International Peace Institute.
KAIROS' Women, Peace and Security Program will support five of its long-term global partners: Ecumenical Voice for Peace and Human Rights in the Philippines (EcuVoice), Héritiers de la Justice (DRC), South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC), Organizaciòn Femenina Popular (Colombia), and Wi'am: Palestinian Conflict Resolution Center (West Bank).
Despite limited funding, these partners have persisted in their programs in contexts of extreme human rights and humanitarian crises, and KAIROS has maintained strong relations of solidarity, providing moral, financial, and advocacy support.
Today, KAIROS and its global partners welcome this renewed opportunity to work with Global Affairs Canada on women, peace and security, particularly in the context of the feminist policy. This program, which requires critical support from donors to secure the KAIROS 25 percent match, will allow partners to reach many more women and significantly boost their efforts to build sustainable, just and equitable peace in countries that have suffered some of the worst and most protracted wars in the world.
"This is a story of persistence. Against huge obstacles, KAIROS global partners, including these five dynamic grassroots women's programs, have demonstrated their long-term capacity for bold, transformative international development. In renewing this commitment, the Government of Canada is recognizing resilience and strength in women's leadership and investing in real systemic change in five contexts of militarized conflicts. Canadians should be proud partners with these women—the ones who know the solutions in their contexts--expand their capacity to build and sustain just peace." - Jennifer Henry, KAIROS Executive Director.
"Canada is proud to support the work of KAIROS and the local women-focused organizations that are helping women to heal from the atrocities of war and become effective peacebuilders. Empowering women to raise their voices is what will change our world for the better, and it is the spirit behind our feminist vision for international assistance." Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie.
"The approval of these funds comes at very critical time in Colombia when women are active in the implementation of the peace process, but face a backlash of increased violence and insecurity by those who oppose peace. Through Canada's support, we will ramp up psychosocial and legal support to women survivors of violence, and carry out educational programs on human rights that will allow women to become active citizens and agents of change." - Yolanda Becerra, Organizacion Femenina Popular (OFP).
"Here at Wi'am we face a crucial moment in the capabilities of our programs, which do so much to ameliorate the predicament we face on a daily basis, and inspire the women of our community to become active citizens in Palestine. We work with grassroots women who are active in the implementation of the National Action Plan for UNSCR 1325. With the help of KAIROS and the Canadian government, we will be able to disseminate the resolution dedicated to protecting Palestinian women and strengthen their leadership role in building peace with justice at a local and international level." - Lucy Talgieh, Wi'am Centre.
"Technical and financial support for KAIROS from Global Affairs Canada will enable Héritiers de la Justice to reach more rural areas in the DRC through the Legal Clinic. This support will increase their socio-economic empowerment for women so they are able to claim and enjoy their civil and political rights at a time when the DRC is on the road to democratization, and to become true actors for peace in their households, communities and in the country. As a result of this funding, advocacy to end impunity for sexual and gender-based violence, at the local, provincial and national levels, will be easier." - Chantal Bilulu, Facilitator of the Women and Children Program, Héritiers de la Justice.
"We welcome Global Affairs Canada's funding of KAIROS' Women, Peace and Security Program. The funding will endow EcuVoice with the capacity to reach out to urban and rural poor women, especially the Indigenous peoples in different parts of the country and the Moro people in Mindanao. Currently EcuVoice is working closely with the Indigenous and Moro peoples, women and children who have suffered abuse and exploitation in evacuation centers. Their initiative to set up their own schools, despite bombings and other military operations intended to silence them, will prevail. The funding will definitely give them more power and knowledge. At the same time, it will give us a greater capacity to reach out to ecumenical networks (churches/church hierarchy) to further support our work with the Indigenous and Moro peoples." - Dr. Anie Bautista, National Coordinator, Ecumenical Voice for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (EcuVoice).
"Women in South Sudan are used as tools of conflict, and they and their families experience various violations. And yet, the role of women in peace building in South Sudan is crucial. Church women and other community-based groups are committed to contributing to this process through peaceful prayer processions, promotion of programs on peace dialogue amongst communities, and urging dialogue between the conflicting parties. KAIROS' funded Women, Peace and Security Program will help us build capacity, enabling us to reaching more communities." - Agnes Wasuk Petia, Coordinator of the South Sudan Council of Church's National Women's Programme.
About KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
KAIROS is a faith-based social justice organization of ten Canadian churches and religious organizations. We focus on Indigenous rights, international human rights, and ecological and gender justice. We deliberate on issues of common concern, advocate for social change and join with people of faith and goodwill in action for social transformation. Learn more: www.kairoscanada.org.
SOURCE KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
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