Women Focused Networks from South Caucasus develop capacities in “women rights as human rights”

The first capacity building workshop of our follow-up project “Women Focused Networks 2020" took place during the last week of August with women from Armenia, Azerbadjian & Gerogia.

Following COVID-19 safety regulations and under a strict conflict-sensitive approach due to the escalation of the conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, the first activity of the project took place parallel in all three participating countries, with CRISP joining via online sessions.
 
The training kicked-off with initiating a strong ownership of the support circles for the new project in 2020. The long-term goal of the project is that the local support groups of women in 6 rural areas in the South Caucasus, who were built in 2019, become an independent platform of women supporting women in the region.

This training aimed to refresh the knowledge of the 24 participants in conflict analysis and furthermore build capacities of the women in women's rights as human rights as well as in community development. Methods were applied through a peer-to-peer approach. The highlights were: sessions on the regional implementation of the UN-Resolution 1325, discussions about common challenges the women in all three countries are facing, and the harming effects of COVID-19 on women in the region. By creating a safer space for the women to exchange their experience and learn from each other, this workshop aimed to equip the support networks with skills, methods and the necessary self-confidence to become an independent network in the long-run.

The participants benefitted from the expertise of local human rights experts and women rights trainers in each country. In Georgia our local partners organized a 2-hour zoom conference together with the Prime Minister's Advisor for Gender Equality. This networking event provided a direct exchange between the women from the villages and the expert for gender equality as a state representative.
 
Especially in view of the current political situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, we are satisfied that during this workshop, the trainers were able to build on the common ground that the women developed last year. This was possible due to the diligent efforts of our local partners “Consent” (Georgia), “Peace Dialogue” (Armenia) and “Youth Club” (Azerbadjian)!
 
In the next weeks, the 6 support networks are supposed to return to their regions to organize a regional workshop for knowledge transfer in their communities and function as multipliers for women rights.

Update 28.09.2020: Due to the declaration of a state of war in Armenia and Azerbaijan and the effect on civilians, the planned project activities can´t be implemented currently. We are in communication with our local partners and hope that the situation will stabilize as soon as possible. Our thoughts are with our partners and participants. Updates will follow.