Safety and Security

In the last year...

3400
Women survivors of violence received services such as counselling
300
Women’s Human Rights Defenders worked with our partners
173500
People have been provided with awareness raising or training on gender issues and women’s equal rights. That’s six times more than last year

During 2016-17, IWDA partners provided support services for survivors of gender-based violence to over 3,600 women. This included legal assistance, referral and crisis assistance, safe emergency accommodation and support services, counselling and support for individual women, peace mediators, police and health centres, support services to sex workers, and peer support programs for survivors of violence. IWDA partners also worked with male perpetrators.

Peace Building in Myanmar

This year Women’s League of Burma made history. Together with a group of strong, diverse women’s rights activists, the League travelled to the United Nations in Geneva to present their findings on how the Myanmar Government has failed their commitments to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Eighty-two organisations participated in consultation workshops that led to the final report. By preparing a Shadow CEDAW Report, Women’s League of Burma and its sister organisations showed the reality of what is still happening to women in Myanmar, and held the Government accountable.

Earlier this year, Karen Women’s Organisation, an ethnic women’s rights group based in Karen State, released a statement on the current conflict in Rakhine State and the impact its having on the Rohingya people.

Women, Peace and Security Coalition roundtable discussions

The Women, Peace and Security Coalition roundtable discussions brought together voices of diverse women to discuss what peace and security actually means in practice. IWDA’s Research, Policy and Advocacy team were responsible for managing the communications, including developing a communications pack for roundtable leads in each city, which included briefing information and promotional materials for the events, and promoting the event through social media platforms.

New Partner Family Support Centre focussing on child protection in Solomon Islands

Family Support Centre, IWDA’s newest partner in Safety and Security programming in Solomon Islands, implemented their first outreach training in preventing and responding to violence against women under the Family Protection Act (2014). New alliances with the police and Public Solicitor were made as a result of the training and four exceptional volunteers identified to convene three local committees focussed on supporting women experiencing violence.

Women’s Human Rights Defenders (WHRD) become community leaders

In PNG, the Nazareth Centre for Rehabilitation training for Women’s Human Rights Defenders (WHRD), focused on supporting new and existing WHRDs to carry out initiatives related to gender-based violence, gender inequality and peace in communities. Arising from Nazareth’s work a total of 507 people (277 women, 230 men) now had increased understanding of issues such as Gender Based Violence, human rights, women’s rights, roles of WHRDs and peace and conflict resolution.

Bougainville Women’s Human Rights Defenders Forum

In March 2017, Nazareth Centre for Rehabilitation held their third Bougainville Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRD) Forum in Tunuru, Arawa, which gathered 271 WHRDs from all 13 districts of Bougainville. WHRDs were able to discuss priority issues, such as response to and prevention of violence against women and children, sorcery-related violence, rape and incest, conflict resolution and peace building, working with communities and men, and women’s leadership and roles in maintaining peace and security in the lead up to 2019 Bougainville Referendum. WHRDs reflected on achievements, challenges and plans of Women Human Rights Defenders.

Programs

Description

The Voice for Change project aims to increase opportunities for women survivors of violence to receive needed support and crisis services.

Partners Implementing

Voice for Change

Country

Papua New Guinea

Description

This program empowers women across 64 villages in Cambodia to exercise their political, economic and psycho-social rights by strengthening women’s capacity in leadership and enhancing women leaders networks for their political empowerment and their own sustainable development. The program supports women and girl survivors of violence to access safe accommodation and other necessary social services. It also supports women from poor families and women with disabilities to build appropriate skills for food production and income generation.

Partners Implementing
Country

Cambodia

Description

This project will expand mobile counselling and legal services to reach the Solomon Islands’ mostly-rural population.

Partners Implementing

Family Support Centre

Country

Solomon Islands

Description

The program aims to reduce family and sexual violence in Bougainville by addressing the root causes of gender inequality through supporting Bougainville Women’s Human Rights Defenders to lead responses to and prevention of family and sexual violence with government and communities. The program also enables men and women to prevent family and sexual violence at a community level by promoting shared power and decision making.

Partners Implementing

Nazareth Centre For Rehabilitation (NCfR)

Country

Papua New Guinea

Description

Our program partner ALFeLa Provides legal assistance to women and children to access a fair, formal, justice system through legal aid, community legal education and advocacy in Timor-Leste.

Country

Timor-Leste

Description

This project aims to prevent violence against women in Palaung communities, deliver high-quality support services to women experiencing violence and increase referrals to crisis support centres.

Partners Implementing

Ta’ang Women’s Organisation

Country

Myanmar

Description

Providing crisis counselling and support to female survivors of violence and their families in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea.

Partners Implementing

Eastern Highlands Family Voice

Country

Papua New Guinea

Description

IWDA provides technical support to the Oxfam Solomon Islands’ Safe Families project, including targeted, regular, context-specific training on gender and eliminating violence against women.

Partners Implementing
Country

Solomon Islands

Description

This program aims to strengthen girls’ engagement in advocating for human rights, safety and security. It includes girls’ leadership training, alumni for previous graduates and engaging parents/carers, civil society and government in advancing girls’ human rights.

Partners Implementing
Country

Fiji

Description

This is a pilot project to provide support to Women’s Human Rights Defenders from Bougainville and Highlands who are in immediate danger because of the work they do to address gender-based violence.

Partners Implementing

Nazareth Centre For Rehabilitation (NCfR) and Voice for Change

Country

Papua New Guinea

Description

Operates women’s shelters, and works to prevent violence against women through community exchanges in Myanmar.

Partners Implementing
Country

Myanmar

Description

Supporting women leaders from natural disaster-affected communities in five Pacific Island countries to participate in and inform disaster preparedness and response decision-making.

Partners Implementing
Country

Fiji

Stories from the field

The new service connecting rural women survivors in Solomon Islands to crisis support

Roughly two-thirds of women aged 15-49 will experience physical or sexual violence. But social stigma, difficulty accessing justice and rural isolation mean many women don’t speak out against abuse. IWDA partner Family Support Centre are a lifeline across the archipelago. They are the only secular organisation in Solomon Islands providing free counselling and in-house legal services to survivors of sexual and physical violence. This year, Family Support Centre are expanding their services to reach women in rural areas who have never before had access to support in the wake of violence.

The women-run radio station saving lives during natural disasters in Fiji

Imagine you’re living on a small island in Fiji, and you hear rumours that a cyclone is heading your way.  You don’t know when the cyclone will hit, or how bad things will get. You’re worried about your home and loved ones. You’re not sure how easy clean water will be to come by. If you’re pregnant or care for small children, the panic intensifies. Last year, thousands of women across Fiji were in this position. But thanks to a community radio station run by IWDA Partner femLINKpacific, they were ready.