New 5-year program will focus on some of the world’s conflict hotspots
WASHINGTON DC, December 8, 2021 — Search for Common Ground (“Search”), the international peacebuilding organization, is announcing a five-year $5 million program to advance local women’s leadership in peacebuilding and strengthening democracies. The program —funded by the US Department of State, Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, and titled Supporting Her Empowerment: Women’s Inclusion for New Security (SHE WINS) — will equip women-led organizations and initiatives in Yemen, Uzbekistan, Central African Republic, Cameroon, and the Democratic Republic of Congo with the resources to influence and drive peace efforts.
“Include more women, change everything,” said Sharmila Shewprasad, Search’s Director for Global Affairs and Partnerships. “Peace efforts that ignore the influence and power of half of society are unlikely to succeed. The international community needs better ways of equitably partnering with women on the frontlines of war and peace. With a strong emphasis on flexible support for women peacemakers, we hope to grow and sustain women’s leadership.”
Working with the University of San Diego’s Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice’s Women Waging Peace Network, Search will work to forge partnerships and deliver local support for women, peace and security in the five nations that are the focus of the program.
The new program was part of the commitments made at the President’s Leadership Summit for Democracy, held on December 8, 2021. There, the United States Government and the Government of Sweden hosted “Empowering Prosperity: Advancing the Status of Women to Advance the Status of Democracy” to showcase women’s civic and political leadership and participation as central to the democratic progress, and demonstrate how champions of all gender identities can tackle barriers to gender equality and women’s empowerment.
”Peace agreements are 35% more likely to last 15+ years when women participate. And countries with smaller gender gaps have higher levels of trust in government, lower levels of child mortality, stronger social safety nets, and are — simply — healthier, more just societies. This investment will support women’s leadership in building peace and strengthening democracy in countries affected by violent conflict,” said Shamil Idriss, CEO of Search for Common Ground.
Notes to editors
SEARCH FOR COMMON GROUND is the largest dedicated peacebuilding organization. Since 1982, we have worked to end violent conflict and to build healthy, safe, and just societies all over the world. Currently, we work in 31 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America. www.sfcg.org