a) gender equality is a critical indicator of both development and peace,
b) women’s movements combined with the power of international treatise are the primary drivers of change and promotion of gender equality in countries worldwide, and
c) the involvement of civil society movements in peacemaking and transition substantially increases the chances of sustainable peaceful solutions.
ICAN’s vision is predicated on these findings. ICAN believes women are the best champions of their own causes and key actors in the fight against intolerance. ICAN also believes, and experience proves, that a strong, independent civil society is critical in the fight against extremism and state authoritarianism and essential for the promotion of rights, peace, democracy and human security.
It is imperative to harness the powerful potential of women’s movements, which are locally rooted and authentic, and also globally connected. This is particularly important in the MENA/Asia countries, as conservative forces are attacking women’s rights movements by claiming they are western or not culturally suitable, and international policymakers (including many in the US) are buying into that narrative. ICAN believes that regional collaboration and solidarity drives home the message that women’s rights are integral to their history, rooted in their cultures, and universal.
The comparative advantage that ICAN brings to this arena is our global connectivity. ICAN acts as a bridge and conduit among its partners, the international policy arena and the ever-widening global network of activists, practitioners and experts. ICAN believes that its responsibility is to enable maximum exchange of information, and to ensure that regional experts in the form of women peacebuilders are given the opportunity to address international forums.