WAVE Quarter One Report

 

As bereaved mothers, sisters, daughters, and wives, women bear the brunt of violence brought on by radicalization. They, therefore, have a vested interest in peace and stability for their families and communities, and they should be empowered and mobilized to be at the forefront of countering violence and extremism (VE).

Iraq Foundation (IF) is implementing a 12-month pilot project in 4 locations: the city of Mosul and Hamdaniya in Nenawa governorate; Hayy Al-Mal’ab in Ramadi, Anbar governorate; and Hayy Arba’een in the city of Tikrit, Salaheddin governorate, with the goal of equipping women to build family and community resilience against violence and extremism. The project is providing a core group (56) of returnee (and IDP) women who are survivors of violence with training to enable them to coach and guide a broader segment of women in their communities. Trained women “coaches” will reach out to and work with a broader group of women in the community to increase their understanding about VE and coach them to recognize extremist and violent behavior, build family resilience, and evolve strategies and tools to promote tolerance and moderation, and to resolve conflicts peacefully.

While addressing women directly, the project also addresses stresses and tensions faced by families and therefore has a “whole community” dimension. The goal is to enable women, particularly those who have lost loved ones, to become agents for peace and moderation, to bolster resilience to radicalization among family members, and to develop women-led, community-based solutions to the problem of violence and extremism. The project will allow women to discuss challenges, define markers of VE from their own experiences, and come up with family-based interventions and community-based activities that can be effective within the family framework. The project takes into account ethnic and religious diversity in post-conflict locations and seeks to reflect diversity, and tolerance of diversity, in its programming.

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