ICAN is a U.S.-based non-profit organization whose mission is to support civil society activism in promoting women’s rights, peace and human security in countries affected by conflict, transition and closed political space. ICAN aims to support women’s efforts through bridging the divisions between activists and the policy community, elevating the voices and experiences of women activists, building skills, and ensuring the exchange of knowledge and resources.
ICAN achieves its mission through trainings, information generation, sharing and exchange, and dialogue facilitation.
2021-24: Channel made a general operating grant to ICAN to support its work promoting inclusive and sustainable peace in countries affected by violent conflict, extremism, militarism, and closing political space. Funds will help ICAN to continue its advocacy, funding and capacity strengthening initiatives, via programs such as its Innovative Peace Fund (IPF), the “first and only independent, multi-donor, global fund dedicated to supporting women-led peacebuilding organizations,” the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL), and the She Builds Peace campaign amongst others.
2020: Channel made a grant to support ICAN’s work on human rights and strengthening the capacity of women’s peacebuilding organizations. ICAN accomplishes this partly via She Builds Peace: Stand with Women Peacebuilders, a collaborative campaign and a global call to action to stand with women peacebuilders. ICAN’s goal is to ensure that women peacebuilders are safe and protected, that governments fulfill their obligations to include them in peace and security decision making, and that women peacebuilders are appreciated and resourced to continue their critical work.
2018: Channel made a grant to ICAN to support the Innovative Peace Fund to enable the channeling of bilateral and philanthropic funds to ICAN’s partners within the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL), a growing alliance of independent women-led organizations in over 30 countries. WASL brings together existing women rights and peace practitioners, organizations, and networks actively engaged in preventing extremism and promoting peace, rights and pluralism, to enable their systematic and strategic collaboration.
In addition, funds supported ICAN’s leadership and knowledge production as ICAN informs and influences international peace and security policies and practices with its ‘What the Women Say’ gendered political and security briefs and with the production and development of audio-visual/infographics materials (and translations into Arabic). These materials help to convey the key findings of ICAN’s groundbreaking reports to a wider audience.
2011-2016: Starting in 2011, Channel made annual grants to support ICAN to strategically link women’s rights and peacebuilding groups in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) and Asia regions via a solidarity network of support created to enable more sharing of strategies around peace activism and promotion of women’s rights. This support was focused on the implementation of South-South/Capacity Building exchanges as part of ICAN’s work linking women’s rights and peace building groups in the region to each other and helping to elevate their voices and concerns to global policy fora.
As part of this process, ICAN began holding annual MENA/Asia Regional Meetings on Women’s Rights, Peace and Security, the first one of which was in Sept. 2012 in Istanbul. In addition, support helped fund the provision of urgent programmatic support (eg. for campaigns, workshops, grassroots outreach, organizational development etc.) in the form of small seed grants to partners on the ground.
ICAN held its 6th Annual Women, Peace & Security Forum, “From Extreme Violence to Violent Extremism: Women’s Strategic Engagements to Provide Positive Sustainable Solutions” in Morocco in November 2017. Women peace builders and human rights defenders from over 35 countries shared their expertise, strategies and approaches for building strategic alliances to reduce violence, counter extremism, foster social cohesion and sustain space for independent civil society.
2013-2015: Channel made a series of annual grants to the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders program of ICAN to raise awareness, build capacity, and monitor the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and 1820 in South Sudan. Through community radio projects, GNWP built strong local support for the women, peace and security agenda resolutions and promotes their full and effective implementation especially at the local level. GNWP also built leadership capacity among the women and girls of South Sudan through workshops, literacy training, and the Girl Ambassadors for Peace program. GNWP tried to enhance the capacities of Congolese and South Sudanese women and their local communities to use UNSCR 1325 and 1820 to hold duty bearers accountable, to find peaceful solutions to the conflict, and to promote women and girls’ rights in conflict and post-conflict situations. Funds supported the training of the Girl Ambassadors for Peace which included components on radio and video production.
2010: Channel made a grant to ICAN to support the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) Project which uses media to facilitate development and implementation of community-based sexual violence prevention programs in conflict-affected situations using existing national action plans on 1325 and 1820 and equivalent policies. GNWP works to popularize and create support for ICAN’s Women’s Security Campaign (WSC) project. The project includes production of radio and TV spots and use of social networks as well as mobilization of national and community media associations.
As part of “Living Without Fear: Media and Local Communities Working Together to Prevent Sexual Violence in Conflict Affected Areas – Using UNSCR 1325 and 1820 as Policy Framework,” GNWP, in partnership with local partners Corporación de Investigación y Acción Social y Económica (CIASE) and Red Nacional de Mujeres, conducted five community-focused capacity building workshops with over 130 women and men from February 8 to March 2, 2012 in the cities and municipalities of Cali, Buenaventura, Cartagena, Montes de Maria, and Pasto, Colombia. The workshop participants were predominantly indigenous and Afro-Colombian. Together, GNWP and its partners developed scripts and produced three radio spots that focused on UNSCR 1325 that were eventually played on 10 radio programs over various radio stations in Cali, Cartagena, Montes de Maria, Palmira, Jamundi and Yumbo. Please find more information about the Colombia workshops here. GNWP held additional workshops in September 2012.
2009: Channel made a grant to support ICAN to conduct several case studies as part of an assessment of the impact of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 in the 10 years since its passage. The ICAN/MIT report, “What the Women Say: Participation and UNSCR 1325,” includes case studies from six countries (Liberia, Sri Lanka, Aceh, Israel/Palestine, Colombia and Uganda) and key recommendations. A critical aspect of the project was to return to women in conflict zones to “capture their voices and experiences regarding the relevance and impact of 1325 and related activities in their countries.” The report accuses donors of “not practicing what they preach,” because they have failed to support and include women’s participation in peace-related activities.
2008: Channel made a grant to support a 1325 Global Bridges workshop in Kandy, Sri Lanka focused on bringing women leaders together to discuss implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 and to ensure women’s participation in conflict resolution and peacebuilding in conflict zones. In September 2008 ICAN led a five day training for 26 diverse Sri Lankan women on women, peacebuilding, and the implementation of Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820.
ICAN’s “What the Women Say” country-specific and regional briefs are gendered political and security analyses carried out in partnership with local activists and international organizations. There are briefs on the Arab Spring, Tunisia, Iran, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Libya, Turkey, Morocco and Yemen.