Who are we?


Founded in 2006, ICAN is a US based nonprofit 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 places partnership and collaboration as core principles of its interactions with other NGOs as well as academic institutions and multilateral organizations. We pride ourselves in listening to and responding to the needs of our partners in conflict affected countries in order to identify the critical issues that must be addressed and support the types of work and organizations that will have the strongest impact. ICAN has developed a strong network of international institutions, INGOs, government partners, and local organizations and actors spanning North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. This extensive network allows us to bridge north-south divisions and foster a mutually beneficial exchange of expertise, knowledge, and practice.


ICAN was founded with the explicit goal of supporting women peacebuilders’ and women-led civil society organizations’ inclusion in the promotion of peace, rights, and security in international and national policy-making and programs, in line with the words and spirit of the UNSCR 1325 agenda.

In Fall 2015, building on the momentum of the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) and the European Regional CVE Summit, and following consultations with its regional partners and counterparts globally, ICAN formally spearheaded the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL), with representatives from women-led organizations in 15 countries. WASL is committed to preventing extremism by promoting rights, peace, and pluralism. WASL builds on ICAN’s five years of experience in providing a platform for networking among independent, women-led civil society organizations that are active in promoting rights, peace and pluralism, and countering the rapid spread of extremism and state authoritarianism across the MENA/Asia regions. WASL is becoming an umbrella for ICAN’s regional operational and international advocacy efforts.

Visit the WASL website.

Where We Work