Strengthening the role of feminist CSOS Working in the implementation of the women, peace and Security Agenda (WPSA)

    •    Background
The «Strengthening the role of feminist CSOs working in the implementing of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda (WPSA)» program aims at contributing to the effective implementation of the WPSA in Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine through empowering feminist civil society organisations (CSOs) and women-led Community Based Organizations (CBOs) to play a leading role in implementing the WPSA, combating Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) comprehensively and enhancing women’s participation at local, national and regional levels. The program started on 1st March 2023 and will run until 28th February 2026.
The program is structured around three components:  
    •    Provision of financial support to national and local CSOs and CBOs
    •    Capacity-building and learning
    •    Regional networking and exchange of expertise and practices
The program is implemented by a consortium of five organisations in the four countries: EuroMed Feminist Initiative (EFI), Women Empowerment Organisation (WEO) in Iraq, Arab Women Organisation (AWO) in Jordan, Association Najdeh (AN) in Lebanon and Palestinian Working Women Society in Development (PWWSD) in Palestine. All are members of EFI, a policy platform that provides expertise in the field of gender equality and women’s rights as inseparable from democracy building and citizenship, and advocates for political solutions to all conflicts, and for the right of peoples to self-determination.
This program is funded by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) which implements France’s policy on international development and solidarity. Through its financing of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the public sector, as well as its research and publications, AFD supports and accelerates transitions towards a fairer, more resilient world. It also provides training in sustainable development (at AFD Campus) and other awareness-raising activities in France.
The project will be implemented in Lebanon targeting seven governorates including (Akkar, Baalbek-Hermel, Beirut, Beqaa (Zahlé), Mount Lebanon, North and South)).

•    Why Women, Peace and Security Agenda?
Women and girls continue to be disproportionately affected by the conflict-related crises in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine. As gender inequalities remain deeply rooted in discriminatory laws and social practices (RCSO, 2020), the post-conflict situation in Iraq, the ongoing occupation and conflict in Palestine and the refugee crisis in Jordan and Lebanon have added layers of vulnerability for women and girls. The disintegration of the economic and social fabric and the Covid-19 pandemic have further heightened VAWG while restricting effective access to services for women and girls victims or at risk. The lack of rehabilitation mechanisms, the guilt and shame associated with sexual violence hinder victims’ social reintegration. VAWG is also a major barrier for the participation of women in decision-making. Conflict-related factors contribute to further excluding women from political participation.
The Women, Peace and Security Agenda (WPSA) recognises the continuum of VAWG, states that addressing inequality between women and men as the root cause of VAWG is crucial to preventing conflicts, draws attention to the gender dimension in all responses to threats to peace and security, and calls for conflicts to be resolved by political means and avoiding escalations of armed interventions. Working in conjunction with, and building on other international human rights instruments, WPSA stresses that equality between women and men is central to citizenship and therefore to peace and security of the whole society.
WPSA emphasizes the need to prevent and protect women and girls from sexual violence and exploitation and focuses on victims’ rights to justice and redress for sexual violence while stressing the importance of ending impunity for such crimes. Moreover, WPSA focuses not only on preventing VAWG and protecting women and girls from violence, but also on women’s right to participate in all decision-making processes, aiming at ensuring that equality and the active participation of women and girls are observed and upheld in both peaceful times and times of conflicts. It calls for equal access for women to power and resources, to the labour market, in relief and recovery, and transitional justice.
WPSA aims to ensure the implementation of UNSCR 1325 on women, peace and security adopted in 2000, and its consequent Resolutions. Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine have adopted National Action Plans (NAPs) for the implementation of UNSCR 1325. There is a need for governments to allocate budgets and resources and establish a strong and systematic cooperation with feminist CSOs for the implementation of the UNSCR 1325, and to place women’s participation in the centre of all planning for achieving peace and security at all levels, including diplomatic positions, local councils, parliaments, peace missions, and security apparatus.
Supporting women’s role and participation in conflict prevention, management and resolution and peacebuilding is particularly relevant to the Middle East fragile context.

    •    Call for Proposals – Seed Funds to women led CBOs
Within the framework of the program, the seed funds to women led CBOs aim at reaching out to women and girls while strengthening the CBOs and initiatives working at local and grassroots levels to widen the discussion on issues related to the WPSA, combating VAWG, and promoting women’s participation. The CBOs will be expected to expand and diversify their involvement on grassroots level to improve the coordination and dialogue among individuals, other CBOs and local authorities and influence public opinion towards women’s rights, participation and protection.
Relevant women led CBOs and local initiatives are encouraged to apply on a yearly basis for the open call for proposals in Lebanon targeting seven governorates including (Akkar, Baalbek-Hermel, Beirut, Beqaa (Zahlé), Mount Lebanon, North and South)). Seed funds will be provided to three grassroots women led CBOs and initiatives working at community level each year following the evaluation process described under Section 10 of this guidelines.

How to apply

To apply for the seed funds, each Applicant must submit the following:
    •    Complete the attached forms:
    •    Annex A. Concept Note
    •    Annex B. Budget
    •    Annex C. Action Plan

    •    Attach the following administrative documents:
    •    Annex D. Statement of integrity
    •    Annex E. Administrative profile including the statutes/bylaws of association, and an identification document of the legal entity indicating the name of the CBO, the member of its governing body (e.g. board) and list of personnel.

For the first year covering the period of 1st September 2023 – 29th February 2024, please send the full Application by email before [21st August 2023] at the following address:  [email protected]  & [email protected] specifying in the subject WPSA – Application Scheme 2 Name of CBO
CBOs can qualify only for one seed fund per year. If an organisation submits multiple applications, only the application received first will be considered and any subsequent applications will be rejected.