Strengthening civil society:

Strengthening civil society's scope for action

Civil society engagement plays an important role in feminist peace work. Worldwide, civil society organisations, including numerous women's and human rights organisations, are increasingly confronted with repression. Their socio-political action is thus severely restricted. We support projects from our global network that counteract the shrinking of civil society's scope for action.

In many of our project countries, the space for civil society activity and political engagement is becoming increasingly narrow. Authoritarian governments and militarised societies erect legal and bureaucratic obstacles, hinder civil society actors in exercising their fundamental rights and in forming networks, or criminalise them. Civil society actors are often threatened and exposed to violence.  Women's rights, human and civil rights are becoming heavily restricted. These "shrinking spaces" for civil society action also threaten both women's participation in peace processes and their voices within political decision-making processes.

We determine the thematic focus of our projects together with project partners from our network. Content and format are adapted to local needs. The political and social voices of women and civil society organisations and their participation in peacebuilding form a common thread. These projects have a more limited timeframe and involve a smaller financial commitment than projects in the area of participation in peace processes or in our country programmes.