Women for Peace and Participation (WPP) is a non-partisan and non-profit organization, which promotes the social and political inclusion of women and youth in peacebuilding processes at the grassroots, national and global levels. WPP works directly with marginalized individuals in conflict-affected countries, and provides opportunities and platforms for women and youth to enable them to participate in decision-making processes and policy debates. In addition to working directly with women and youth, WPP also works with their relevant diaspora and refugee populations.
Our Key Objectives
- – To support and empower women and youth by providing them with essential skills to participate in peace building and state building processes
- – To develop the leadership skills of women and young people
- – To facilitate conflict resolution at the community level
- – To enhance opportunities for the inclusion of women and youth in decision-making processes
- – To develop partnerships with individuals, communities and organizations working in development, peace-building and state-building – all aimed at creating a shared consensus on the policies needed to bring effective political, economic and social change in war torn societies
To date, WPP has piloted programs primarily with Afghan communities in insecure areas and relevant stakeholders – including diaspora, refugees, international policy-makers and thought leaders – on devising strategies for durable peacebuilding. A substantial component of this work focuses on hard-to-reach and remote populations, building their capacity and enabling them to participate in policy-formulation and implementation at community, provincial and national levels. In addition to programs in Afghanistan, WPP conducts research, builds networks of female and youth activists, and is called upon to advise on challenges to inclusive peacebuilding. WPP’s programs include:
- * Youth Empowerment: WPP has facilitated and supported the establishment of youth ‘shuras’ in Helmand, Kandahar and Kabul that can engage with local communities to address the root causes of conflict and drivers of extremism. After this pilot phase, WPP will build on lessons learned as well as explore new approaches to engaging youth in peacebuilding activities.
- * United Women for Peace: WPP is building a network of women peace-builders highlighting the importance of women in peace negotiations and their role in influence. A key element of this project involves the review of international frameworks and their effectiveness at the grassroots level, as well as the impact on countering violent extremism at the community level. The project also involves working with highly skilled women from conflict tattered countries in the diaspora – on researches and advocacy.
- * Story-Telling: WPP is documenting and presenting the real-life stories of women in conflict zones, highlighting their contribution in promoting peace and their endeavours towards active engagement in conflict mitigation and resolution at community levels.
- * Diaspora and Peacebuilding: Working with Afghan diaspora in the UK, US and Europe to enhance their knowledge of youth on indigenous methods of peacebuilding. The project also aims to bridge the gap between academia, policy and practice by investigating and assessing current approaches.
OUR STRATEGIC DIRECTION
Over the next five years, we will focus our work in the following areas:
- 1. Advance knowledge and develop concepts and strategies to achieve inclusive peace-building
- Monitor the gender responsiveness of development programs in target areas.
- Review existing policies together with affected people in local communities and youth associations, and based on their inputs, recommend and pursue amendments with policymakers to ensure effective policies leading to peace sustainability.
- Establish partnerships and networking with governments, CSOs and international community.
- 2. Create and strengthen networks of peace-builders within fragile and conflict-affected regions to highlight the important role of women and youth in inclusive processes, to profile innovative approaches, and to collectively devise new solutions to the problems of social and political exclusion from decision-making processes on peace and security. Over the next two years, we will:
- Continue to establish networks of relevant diaspora and refugee communities who remain excluded from peace processes. A key focus is to connect diaspora with their areas of origin.
- Create broad networks of women and youth within Afghan communities inside Afghanistan and abroad. A key objective is to connect women from provinces and districts to the outside world.
- Establish a network of key women peace-builders from conflict and post-conflict countries that can share experiences and provide advice and strategic support, advocate at the international level and conduct researches.
- Build bridges between women and youth groups in local communities and connect them with government authorities and international partners.
- 3. Conduct training and education for individuals and civil society organizations in effective outreach in communities, on sustainable peace-building and peaceful co-existence, etc.
- Organise public conferences and workshops including community-based events exclusively for women and youth inside the country and among the Afghan diaspora, and women in the diaspora of other conflict and post conflict countries.
- Provide formal and informal education, including policy level consultation and transfer of knowledge, on social, political and justice issues
- Promote awareness of the role of women role in decision-making in local communities, focusing particularly on the most vulnerable populations, refugees, IDPs and the Afghan diaspora.
- 4. Advise and work with Provincial Peace Councils in Afghanistan to raise their awareness of regional policies and utilize their capacity to promote the inclusion of women and youth in the peace process.
WPP works with various civil society groups and educational institutions in a coordinated manner, mobilizing groups of people to support each other’s efforts to move towards a sustainable peace, and leveraging existing and new resources to implement its plans and align efforts. A key strategy focuses on combining efforts with civil society, relevant organizations and individuals that reach the most deprived and underprivileged areas. WPP also works closely with government and policy-makers, to enhance the effectiveness of their policies, frameworks and decision-making processes and implementation.
WPP was founded in 2012 by Quhramaana Kakar, a peace activist who has advised senior government officials and international policy-makers on improving strategies and building inclusive coalitions for peace-building at the grassroots and national levels. In 2010, she was asked to serve as the Gender Adviser to the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program and Joint Secretariat of the High Peace Council, where she recommended strategies and policies to ensure the participation of women and youth in the peace process. Her experiences in peacebuilding, international development and leadership development led her to found WPP, along with the support of other activists in Europe and Kabul, to advance strategic efforts to bring about inclusive peace-building processes that could connect grassroots initiatives to inform policy- and decision-making processes.