Project Title: Women & Peace
Project Duration:
Oct-2019 till Sep-2020
Reporting period: Jan-2020 to March-2020
Contact person: Shama Hassan Project Officer at AWEC

About UN Women: UN Women is the global champion for gender equality, working to develop and uphold standards and create an environment in which every woman and girl can exercise her human rights and live up to her full potential. We are trusted partners for advocates and decision-makers from all walks of life, and a leader in the effort to achieve gender equality.


Geographic Coverage
Kabul (Paghman, Char-Asyab & Bagrami districts), Balkh (Khulm & Nahr-e-Shahe districts), Badakhshan (Keshm, Barak & Sayed Abad districts), Nangarhar (Sorkh Road, Khewa & Behsud districts), Paktya (Ahmad Abad, Sayed Karam & Mirzaki districts), Herat (Karokh, Guzara & Engil districts), Helmand (Nawa, Gereshk & Nad Ali districts) and Kandahar (Dand, Daman & Arghandab districts).


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
In the second quarter of the project, the second round of surveys was conducted due to not getting satisfactory results from the first round. Some of the surveys and respondents were rejected and instead they were replaced with around 20 new more qualified surveys. The database is still under progress and will be completed and shared by May 2020. In addition, introductory workshops were conducted in all eight provinces with participation of governors, deputy governors, directors of Women’s Affairs, directors of economy, heads of provincial and women councils, peace and women’s rights activists. In these workshops, the project was introduced, its objectives, activities, areas covered as well as its target group. Women & Project was welcomed by all provinces and promised to help AWEC in implementing the project in targeted areas. To start provincial workshops two manuals were developed, one for the trainer and another for women peacebuilders. These manuals will be primarily used to provide local peacebuilders with tools and techniques for approaching conflict in their communities. Unfortunately, one of the biggest challenges faced during the 2nd quarter was a delay in conducting provincial workshops due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in order to avoid delays, a number of plans were designed to conduct these workshops with precautions. These plans are explained in detail in the challenges and lessons learned section in the report. These plans were shared with relevant officials but were rejected assistance due to the dangers and risks associated with the COVID-19 outbreak. Our next step would be to work on peace brief policy paper for the time being and conduct workshops as soon as the situation is back to normal with suitable precaution for this virus.

Laila Jafari talking about improvement in women’s social status after bringing in peace to the country.

Nilab Sadaat promising to help AWEC in implementing the project in selected districts and identifying women in accordance with the selected criteria for the project.

Parnian Gharsheen provincial focal point in Mazar presenting the project to participants.

Inauguration of Women & Peace project in Nangarhar province.

Participants of Introductory workshop and women’s right activist in Helmand province.

Safia Elham provincial focal point in Kandahar province presenting the project to participants.

Inauguration of Women & Peace Project in Badakhshan

Introductory workshop in all 8 provinces
Inauguration of Women & Peace Project in Kabul, Mazar, Herat, Paktya, Nangarhar, Helmand, Kandahar, Badakhshan. 

Deputy Governor of Kabul giving a speech on the importance of having a Women & Peace project in targeted areas.

Mr. Ghulam Afghanyar the Economic director appreciated and welcomed the new project and added this project will provide an opportunity for women at the grass-root level to get involved in peace negotiations.

Mohammad Yaseen governor of Helmand province talking about the importance of peace and how peace can contribute to the development of Afghan people, especially Afghan women.

Wajiha Rasooli Director of Women’s Affairs of Helmand province welcomed the project and considered it a very important project for raising awareness and capacity building of Helmand women.

Deputy Governor and Director of Women’s Affair of Badakhshan province welcomed and promised to assist the AWEC office in finding women peacebuilders and implementing the project in Badakhshan.

Palwasha Hassan stating that peace can only be created by efforts of Afghan people and especially women who are creating and nurturing the society.

Muhammad Afzal Hadid head of provincial council in Mazar talking about the importance of women’s participation in the peace process.

Said Ahmad Hussaini from Directorate of Hajj and religious affairs talking on the importance of peace from an Islamic perspective and warmly welcomed Women & Peace project in Herat province.

Inauguration of Women & Peace project in Paktya province with the participation of the Security commander, Deputy of Paktya’s governor, Directorate of economy, Head of peace councils, and Women’s rights activists.

Participants of the introductory workshop in Kandahar province which includes, Office of the governor of Kandahar, Directorate of Haj and religious affairs, Head of women councils, and peace activists.

Anisa Nabiyar provincial focal point in Badakhshan province presenting Women & Peace project to participants.

OUTPUT 1.1: Women are equipped with skills, knowledge, and abilities to raise their voices in the peace process.

Indicator Baseline Target Result as of (30-3-2020) Status
Peacebuilders mapping created in 8 provinces (24 districts, 3 districts each province)  50-70 women   560 women    447 women In progress
Number of local peacebuilders enrolled in the database 50 women 400 women 400 women In progress

               Activity 1.1: Collecting women peacebuilders Data

Status In Progress
Objective To identify women who are actively engaged in the peace process and other initiatives that are related to peace and conflict resolution.
Activity Planned: 12-22-2019 to 12-31-2019    Actual: 2-1-2020 to 2-15-2020
Progress The data was collected through survey forms. All the survey forms from each province were sent to AWEC main office for developing the database. After analyzing the collected survey papers, many were entered into the database. However, some of the surveys were rejected, because they were not qualified. Thus, the second round of surveys was conducted and we collected another 15-20 backup surveys, to replace them with the rejected ones. We also requested the Directorate of Women’s Affairs in all these provinces to assist us to reach women peacebuilders in different districts. Fortunately, the results of our 2nd round surveys were much better than the first one.

                Activity 1.2: Registering women peacebuilders into the Database

Status In Progress
Objective The objective of this activity is to mainly focus on collecting information on those women who are actively engaged in the peace process and other initiatives that are related to peace and conflict resolution.
Activity 
Planned: 20 Dec-2019 to 31 Jan-2020  Actual: 22 Dec-2019 to 30-4-2020
Progress The registration of women peacebuilders into the database is still in progress because due to the rejection of some unqualified surveys we conducted the surveys again in all 8 provinces. Around 20 new surveys are received from each province, which also includes women from districts not previously covered. We have created a committee for checking and analyzing the newly received surveys. Any unclear answer or error are being shared with provincial focal points, so they can contact the surveyed women to get a clear answer. We are following this process in order to get a reliable and realistic database.
Indicator Baseline Target Result as of (9th Jan to 26th Jan 2020) Status
Number of stakeholders including women, community leaders, tribal elders, and other relevant authorities participated 25 People 30 People 25-30 People in each province Achieved

Activity 1.2

Status Achieved  
Objective These workshops were conducted with the intention of introducing the project and its activities, objectives as well as outcomes to the relevant stakeholders.
Activity Planned: 1st Jan 2020 to 30 Jan 2020.      Actual: 9th Jan 2020 to 26th Jan 2020.
Progress Introductory workshops started at the beginning of Jan-2020 with the participation of relevant stakeholders which included; governors of each province, Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Head of peace councils, women peacebuilders, activists, and those who are engaged in conflict resolution initiatives. In this workshop the project was introduced, its objectives, activities, and the reason for selection of the geographical areas were discussed in detail. Gratefully, the project was welcomed and considered very important especially with these ongoing peace talks in Doha. Governors of each province appreciated the idea of working at district levels that are long forgotten and most women are not aware of their basic rights. They also added that peace is not possible without the participation of our Afghan sisters, and promised to fully support the project with the help of directorate of women affairs in all districts of their respective provinces.

Output 1.3: Conducting provincial workshops on conflict resolution

Indicator Baseline Target Result as of (15th March 2020) Status
% of women participated in training has increased capacity (pre-assessment (as a baseline) and follow up after completion of the training (3 months/ 6 months) 50 Women peacebuilders 400 women peacebuilders 0 Women Peacebuilders Not started
Provincial workshops – conflict resolution, early warning system set up, mediation, advocacy, basic women’s rights in Islam to work, study and mobility 5 Chapters 6 chapters 6 chapters Achieved

Activity 1.2

Status Achieved
Objective The ultimate aim of the manual is to provide peacebuilders tools for success in their communities and set the groundwork for them to become change-makers at the national and provincial levels.
Activity Planned:  15th Nov to 30th Dec 2019.       Actual: 15th Jan to 16th March 2020.
Progress Two manuals are developed for the provincial workshop, a trainer’s and women peacebuilders manual. The Trainer Manual will be primarily used to provide local peacebuilders with tools and techniques for approaching conflict in their communities. The Peacebuilder Manual provides activities and exercises to accompany each section of the Trainer Manual. Since our target group mainly consists of women with less or no education, we, therefore, used more illustration and easier language in this manual to make it suitable for this level of readers. Manuals were designed by AWEC and shared with UNW for review and confirmation, and sent to print and are ready to be used in provincial workshops.

Impact of partnership or the project
In the first stage of this project, women who have prior experience in conflict resolution, done heroic jobs and talked directly to the Taliban for their family and friends, and women who are not literate but still well-respected and influencers in their local areas be it at family or a provincial level were identified through surveys. A database of women peacebuilders, who exist but weren’t recognized before was created. Now, we will be investing in these women by giving them multiple workshops and training on different topics especially related to peace, conflict resolution, negotiation/mediation, and awareness-raising sessions on their rights from the Islamic point of view and constitution.

Besides, they will be creating their own networks with other alike women in provinces we aren’t working but will be invited to meetings by these women and will share their knowledge and understanding from workshops given to them and identifying and tackling problems together by exchanging ideas and finding a common solution. They will feel more confident once they have completed and taken all workshops, which will not just increase their capacity building but the results of workshops and their voices being shared with peace ambassador’s office, peace councils, EU, World Bank, and other relevant stakeholders will increase their hope in peace. Finally, these women who are responsible for taking care and nurturing the next generations will also be building a culture of peace by their meaningful contribution to the development of new models of peacebuilding.

NEXT STEPS
• Conducting provincial workshops in all 8 provinces. This will be a 2 days’ workshop and 50 women will be trained on conflict resolution based on the manual developed. They will be asked to actively participate through Q & A sessions, group work, and role-plays. These workshops will be delivered in 3 rounds one after another. During these workshops, the performance of participants will be evaluated by master trainers and only 5 most active women will be selected for our final workshop in Kabul.
• After the completion of 1st round of workshops, the database will be finalized and shared with partners and stakeholders including the Afghan government.
• Developing a peace brief for national-level networking general meeting. Women peacebuilders at the community and provincial level will be asked to form networks through which they can connect to women in other provinces and form an alliance with the purpose of active engagement in conflict resolution and peace process and its sustainability. The network will be managed by a group of women who are involved in networking activities. It is at their discretion whether they select someone as their leader or work it out as a group of decision-makers. At least five women from each province will be invited to the networking general meeting.