WOMEN’S ALLIANCE FOR SECURITY LEADERSHIP
Preventing Extremism by Promoting Rights, Peace & Pluralism
The Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (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.
‘Wasl’ means to ‘connect’ in Arabic, Urdu and Persian.
Our Core Values
- Nonviolence and active support of positive inclusive peace;
- Pluralism, social cohesion, equality, and non-discrimination;
- Social, political, and economic justice;
- Adherence to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
- Transforming gendered power relations to realize equality and rights;
- Amplifying community voices and building a progressive majority;
- Building on the history and legacy of women’s activism and leadership;
- Mutual empowerment, support, and respect for others’ experiences and avoiding duplication of work.
“Women’s rights activists are the longest-standing socially-rooted, transnational groups mobilizing for peace, countering rising extremism, and providing an alternative vision for the future.”
— WASL founding statement
We cultivate vertical, horizontal and diagonal connections
- Facilitate access for national and grassroots women-led organizations to engage substantively in the international countering violent extremism (CVE) debate by collating their perspectives on critical issues (e.g. security, economics, education) and publishing policy papers. This includes information sharing and analyses from the ground to increase knowledge of the gender dimensions of violent extremism with a focus on solutions to root causes and contributions to preventative action.
- Link women’s networks, practitioners, and organizations more effectively to governmental processes, enabling them to share lessons learned and shape state and multilateral policies and programs based on ground realities and needs.
- Develop shared, conceptually-sound solutions to challenges the security-oriented approaches and narratives of existing CVE policies and programs.
- Avoid duplication of efforts and provide a means of coordination and mutual development and support based on a division of labor and core strengths among INGOs, government, and multilateral organizations.
- Provide opportunities to enable the sharing of strategies and lessons learned across countries between grassroots, national civil society actors, and regional and international activists/organizations facing similar manifestations of extremism, including “know-how” and good practices for scaling up successful and promising initiatives.
- Ensure allocation of resources to support innovative solutions locally and internationally in a range of spheres — notably practical community-based work, messaging and communications, production of knowledge, etc.
- Connect existing women-led organizations and resource persons working on extremism and promoting peace to deepen solidarity and strengthen their impact.
- Initiate country-focused public surveys and other efforts to tap into the aspirations of potentially vulnerable populations and use that data to articulate a coherent and realistic alternative vision with attention to improvements in education, justice, economic, and other human security policies.
- Include and reach out to other sectors – notably arts and culture, journalism, religious communities, the private sector, and governmental agencies to echo and amplify the voices and perspectives emerging from women’s organizations.
- Draw on each sector and organization’s unique competencies to ensure innovative mass outreach and build wider public participation in disseminating the vision, values, and messages of WASL members.
Invisible Women: Gendered Dimensions of Return, Rehabilitation and Reintegration from Violent Extremism
The joint United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) publication, Invisible Women: Gendered Dimensions of Return, Reintegration and Rehabilitation report contributes a gendered analysis of approaches to the disengagement, rehabilitation and reintegration of women and girls associated with violent extremism. It highlights the gaps in current policies and practice, as well as the solutions that are emerging in part from the experiences and innovations of women-led civil society initiatives. The report concludes with practical recommendations for policymakers and programming guidance for practitioners.read more
10 Steps to Strengthening Rehabilitation and Reintegration Efforts for Terrorism Offenders, Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters, and Victims of Violent Extremism
Managing the return of the many individuals who have traveled to conflict zones and the growing number defecting from terrorist groups is a priority for many countries. Here are ten steps to ensure effective R & Rread more
A GSX document offering steps to improve PVE practice through National Action Plans.read more
A GSX document outlining recommendations from civil society to donors that fund or are interested in funding preventing violent extremism (PVE) programming domestically and/or through development or other foreign assistance.read more
What the U.S. Must Do and Why It Matters A Policy Brief in the 2016-17 U.S. Civil Society Working Group on Women, Peace and Security Policy Brief Series by Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, Rasha Jarhum, Rana Allam, and Devin Cowick. As a critical member of the coalition...read more
A preliminary dialogue on the gap between economic policy intentions and realities on the ground.read more
Why Civil Society and Security Sector Partnerships Matter. Analyzing the impact of security interventions in contributing to and mitigating extremist violence.read more
From Preventing Violent Extremism to Promoting Peace, Resilience, Equal Rights and Pluralism (PREP).read more
A gendered content analysis of nine NAPs, analyzing whether and how specific themes and target groups were discussed, including education, media, civil society, gender/ women, and human rights.read more
10 Steps Governments Can Take to Support the Critical Role of Civil Society in Preventing Violent Extremism
Evidence demonstrates that efforts by governments and multilateral actors, particularly security-focused initiatives, are not sufficient to prevent violent extremism. Governments and multilateral institutions need to work more closely with other sectors of society to...read more
ICAN and WASL partner with German Foreign Office and the Center for Feminist Foreign Policy to discuss protection needs and strategies for women peacebuilders.read more
ICAN facilitated a training on gender and preventing and countering violent extremism organized by the Commonwealth Secretariat’s CVE Unit, from 11-14 June in Douala, Cameroon. The participants were comprised mainly of women civil society actors who have been working in various ways to address violence and build peace in their communities, among them were journalists, lawyers, psychotherapists, educators, youth workers and others.read more
“At ICAN and through the Better Peace Initiative, we’ve looked at gender responsiveness in peace treaties. There is already a lot of information on the why, so we are focusing on the how,” ICAN’s Better Peace Initiative’s Program Director, Helena Gronberg said.
A 2-day expert level group meeting was held in New York, and discussed issues ranging from protecting and recognizing women peacebuilders as a sector, to funding and strategy for inclusive implementation of peace agreements.
The forum focused on Women, Peace and Security as one of its four themes, culminating with a set of ten recommendations on WPS.read more