A Look Back at Our Biggest Successes of 2015

   •    December 15, 2015


This Year
We are honored to collaborate with courageous women in places like Syria, Afghanistan, Myanmar, and South Sudan, who are striving to bring peace to their societies. Thank you to all of our supporters—new and old—who enable us to push relentlessly for a more inclusive and peaceful world. You’ve helped us reach new heights in 2015. Here are five highlights.


Photo: SyriaFreedom

Photo: SyriaFreedom

1. Women Defied ISIS in Syria

The presence of ISIS along the Turkish border, along with the refugee crisis, has made it difficult for women to attend our workshops in southern Turkey. Despite these challenges, we trained 74 Syrian women in 2015, who in turn committed to mobilizing a “peace circle” of at least 10 other women in their home communities. These peace circles have secretly reopened schools in ISIS-controlled areas, negotiated local ceasefires, successfully lobbied to remove names from the regime’s list of wanted activists, and much more.



2. Women’s Representation Jumped from 4 to 207 in Sudan

In response to pressure from the Taskforce for the Engagement of Women in Sudan, the government of Sudan significantly increased the number of women in the national dialogue process – to 207 out of 700 (there were only four originally). The Taskforce, a group we support and helped create, is comprised of 12 leaders from diverse backgrounds and sectors. For the last year they have advocated to policymakers for the inclusion of women in their country’s national dialogue process, building relations with prominent personalities across political divides.


Photo: NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan

Photo: NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan

3. $10-25 Million Earmarked for Women in the Police in Afghanistan

After targeted advocacy by our partner organization, Inclusive Security Action, the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act was signed into law by President Obama. The bill allows the Department of Defense to spend between $10 and $25 million to support the recruitment, integration, retention, and training of women in the Afghan National Security Forces. It also requires the Secretary of Defense to develop and report on a plan concerning the security of Afghan women.



4. National Policies Strengthened in Dozens of Countries

We collaborated with dozens of countries in strengthening national action plans, including Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Indonesia, Jordan, Nigeria, Serbia, and the US. Working in Serbia, for instance, in partnership with the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe, we assisted government officials and leading civil society leaders to assess challenges the country had with its first plan and design an even higher impact second edition.



5. 1,000 People Became Obsessed with Inclusive Security

In association with the US State Department, we hosted Collaborative Approaches to Global Security, a multimedia event that fostered new ideas on how to make peace inclusive. Over 500 people attended at the Newseum in DC and another 500 tuned in online. Echoing calls from women around the world, General Dan “Fig” Leaf encouraged the crowd to become “obsessed” with the idea that women should be included in all facets of decision-making.

2015 by the Numbers

  • We held 24 workshops reaching 443 individuals
  • 79 policymakers reported taking 111 actions to increase women’s inclusion
  • Our Why Women? report, showcasing the latest evidence on the effect of women’s participation in preventing, resolving, and rebuilding after conflict, was viewed more than 1,000 times in its first month alone
  • Over 10,000 people watched our video celebrating “20 Years Toward Inclusion

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