Sadly as we sit here today celebrating International Women's day, around the world more countries than for a generation are experiencing violent conflict. Whilst women suffer greatly from the impact of war, they are often excluded from official peace processes, which make the examples of women peacebuilders all the more remarkable. As we reflect on this year's International Women's day theme of #PressforProgress in celebration of women's achievements, we encourage you to read International Alert's 7 women peace builders you should know. This incredible group of women are working to support peace against the odds.
Paperboat were delighted to meet UNABU today - an impressive rights group in Rwanda, empowering girls and women with disabilities and working with communities to promote inclusion and rights awareness, showing that women with disabilities have so much to offer. We are sure their partnership with Kvinna till Kvinna will be highly productive.
Paperboat are happy to be back in Rwanda working with women’s rights champions Kvinna till Kvinna and meeting their partner organisations to build their capacity and support their work on gender based violence, conflict resolution and economic and political participation. We were delighted to hear of the successes of Association of Kigali Women in Sport, who use sport as a platform to raise women’s rights in Rwanda.
Last week, Frances and Rosie visited Kigali to deliver a two day women's economic empowerment (WEE) workshop for Kvinna till Kvinna country teams from Rwanda, DRC and Liberia. The workshop helped participants develop their understanding and approach to WEE and provided tools to assist Kvinna till Kvinna in planning their WEE programmes and activities. The training was part of an ongoing action research study looking at the development of Kvinna till Kvinna's work in this area and how it fits with other strands of their work. Paperboat are helping Kvinna till Kvinna develop guiding principles for WEE and supporting them to identify their niche and added value. The visit was an inspiring and productive process. It is a privilege to support Kvinna till Kvinna as they navigate and develop this exciting area of work.
Congratulations to the tireless work of women's rights advocates in Lebanon and MENA region as Lebanon axes law allowing rapists to escape justice by marrying victims. Read more.
Paperboat had the opportunity to visit the Syrian Female Journalist Networks powerful exhibition - Female Storytellers - an exhibition presenting eight sculptures created by Syrian artist Oula A Haidar. The sculptures were accompanied by audio recordings and the book Out of the Shadows which tells the stories of a number of Syrian women who have stepped out of the shadows to fight for their rights to equality and freedom. It was so refreshing to hear women’s stories told in such a truthful light.
Paperboat were thrilled to visit the Peace Hut in Monrovia, Liberia. Liberian women were instrumental in securing peace for their country after years of civil war, and have transformed the idea of 'palava huts' where conflicts occurred into 'peace huts' where women come together and work for peace. All sorts of wonderful things happen there - they are safe spaces, spaces to learn, to sing, support each other and to organise. Thank you for a wonderful visit!
In March, Paperboat along with new associate John Kabia from the Fund for Global Human Rights visited Liberia to witness the valuable work being undertaken by Kvinna till Kvinna funded partner organisations working to support women’s empowerment. Women’s organisations across Liberia are playing a crucial role in supporting women’s economic empowerment, raising awareness of gender-based violence and increasing political participation amongst women. The Liberian women’s movement has also been instrumental to ensuring successful peace talks with warlords, that led to the ending of its Civil War.
Paperboat have undertaken a baseline study of partner organisations work being delivered across Liberia and in April, had the opportunity to return to Monrovia to deliver a two-day capacity building training for nine Kvinna till Kvinna partners, examining how organisations can creatively capture impact of activities through simple monitoring and evaluations systems.
Meg Aubrey, Paperboat Director said: 'It has been a privilege and an inspirational trip traveling across Liberia to witness the fantastic work that has been undertaken by these organisations.'
Paperboat have been in Turkey and Lebanon meeting women's rights organisations and activists Kvinna till Kvinna are supporting. These women work tirelessly despite enormous challenges to improve the lives of Syrian women. Together they are building a strong women's movement, celebrating the strength of Syrian women and championing their empowerment. Seriously impressive and inspiring women. Thanks again to Kvinna till Kvinna for this wonderful opportunity to support such important work.