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WPP women in peacebuilding from the MENA Region Discussing Shrinking Civil Society Space due to Countering Terrorism Financing

Women Peacebuilders Program: New report on Peacebuilders from the MENA Region discussing shrinking civil society space due to countering terrorism financing

The Women Peacebuilders Program has published a new report on "Women Peacebuilders from the MENA Region Discussing Shrinking Civil Society Space due to Countering Terrorism Financing". It recognises at a national and international level the importance of women's civil society engagement for sustainable peacebuilding, and is framed as an important component of preventing and countering violent extremism and countering terrorism. However, in practice, aspects of States’ policies are negatively affecting the operating space of women civil society organizations globally, and on the ground, women activists are increasingly facing restrictive legislation and financial burdens. This constrains their peace and human rights activism, as it undermines their ability to receive and process the funds that sustain their work. 

This is the second such report in 2017, the first in March which was entitled "Tightening the Purse Strings: What Countering Terrorism Financing Costs Gender Equality and Security" which was written by Women Peacebuilders Programme, together with Duke Law's International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC). This study provides a comprehensive analysis of the gender and human rights dimensions and impacts of countering terrorism financing rules. It consists of several components, including a survey of approximately 60 women's rights organizations, as well as a series of interviews with government, inter-governmental, and non-governmental organizations. The goal of the study was to comprehensively and concretely document how countering terrorism financing impacts are felt amongst different actors within civil society as well as to identify policy recommendations.

The Women Peacemakers Program was established in 1977, and has become an independent, women-led organization, dedicated to advancing sustainable peace through gender-sensitive active nonviolence. It works for the nonviolent resolution of conflict, and the inclusion of women’s voice and leadership in nonviolent conflict resolution processes.