Working Group on Preventing and Addressing Structural Violence

Together Campaign

“Together to End Violence Against Women (VAW) in MENA/Asia Region” is a collective effort by women’s rights and peace activists and groups in the MENA/ASIA region and the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN). This Campaign will work around the year to bring attention to issues of concern around VAW, in the countries involved in the effort.

To mark the #16Days of activism against Gender Based Violence, group members are working as a collective to raise awareness about a specific issue of concern on VAW in their respective countries.

Participating countries & their activities: 

1. Afghanistan: Working to End Child Marriage

2. Egypt: Highlighting Pressures on Women Human Rights Defenders

3. Iran: Working to End Child Marriage

4. Iraq: Working to Support War Widows

5. Lebanon: Working to End Racism Against Refugees, Migrants and Other Women

6. Palestine: Working to End Honor Crimes Against Women

7. Syria (Kurdistan Focused): Working to End Recruitment of Girl Soldiers into Militia Groups

8. Tajikistan: Working to Raise Awareness of Family Laws, e.g., importance of civil registration

9. Tunisia: Working to Promote Implementation of Legal Protections for Women and Adopt Laws to End VAW

This collective work seeks to bring attention to the issues of VAW in the MENA/Asia regions and to end practices that are harmful to women and girls. It also intends to drive home the message that the demand for equality, justice and peace and security are indigenous to the region, and not imported concepts.

Collectively, we seek to showcase the positive efforts of those who strive toward a society without violence and discrimination, where women and girls are equal and able to pursue their full aspirations.

Check out the FB page ( to see the activities from each country in honor of the 16 Days of Activism to Prevent Gender Based Violence.

It should be noted that country representatives of the Working Group to Prevent Structural Violence in MENA/Asia group met in November 2015 at the ICAN Forum in Istanbul, Turkey. During this meeting, the working group decided to change the name of the regional campaign to “Together to End Violence in MENA/Asia”, which they felt was more appropriate and inclusive of the array of issues they wanted to address than “Reclaiming the Dignity of Women”, the original name.

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Iraq: Raising Awareness Around needs of Widows
Iran: Preventing Early and Child Marriage
Palestine: Preventing Honor Crimes and Killings
Syria (Kurdish region): Preventing the Recruitment of Girls into Armed Militia Groups
Tajikistan: Sexual and Reproductive Rights of Young Women with Disabilities


“Reclaiming the Dignity of Women Campaign”

The campaign identified for 2015 is intended to bring attention to issues which undermine the dignity of women. Each country participating in the Campaign chooses a specific topic to address as part of the larger theme of “Reclaiming the Dignity of Women.”

Each country group developed a description of the problem including recommendations for action of various stakeholders and hold awareness raising and advocacy campaigns and activities throughout the year. News on these activities are shared through the ICAN website and Facebook dedicated to this issue. Please follow us, share info about the various campaigns in different countries or join us with your own Campaigns in MENA/Asias region intent on preventing all forms of social, political, cultural and legal violence against women.


ICAN Forum 2014

The activists involved in International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN)’s Working Group on Preventing and Addressing Structural Violence against Women in MENA/Asia met during the 2014 ICAN Forum in Sile, Turkey to discuss a regional Campaign or cooperation. The intent of the campaign is to engage in collaborative and collective regional work on a common issue with the aim of bringing attention to the broader issue of structural violence (or social, political, cultural, legal violence) facing women. The regional cooperation is not intended to burden the working group participants with extra or new work, but it intends to build solidarity and strength through numbers and collaboration around existing activities on prevention of VAW.