International Women’s Development Agency – Australia

Organisation name International Women’s Development Agency
Address Level 1, 250 Queen St Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia / PO Box 64, Flinders Lane VIC 8009
Website www.iwda.org.au
Social media Twitter: @iwda

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Contact person / email Sharon Smee, Research and Policy Advisor / ssmee@iwda.org.au
Related activities on women, peace and security IWDA is a member of the Australian Civil Society Coalition on Women, Peace and Security and also a representative on the Steering Committee of the Coalition. The Coalition exists to support and enhance the implementation and scope of the Australian National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security 2012-2018 in all dimensions. Membership of the Coalition is open to any civil society organisation and individuals advocating for women’s rights and empowerment in issues related to women peace and security.

IWDA also engages directly with our supporters on issues related to women, peace and security to raise awareness and generate interest in key events and policy developments.

IWDA’s Program Strategy seeks to achieve six outcomes across three strategic themes: Women’s civil and political participation; Women’s economic empowerment and sustainable livelihoods; and Women’s safety and security. One of these outcomes is increased participation of women in promoting and negotiating peace and resolving and preventing conflict.

Below are some examples of IWDA’s program work on this issue:

  • IWDA has been supporting Fijian women’s organisations in their engagement with Fiji’s transition to democracy and their advocacy for women peace and security through UNSCR 1325 including ongoing support for FemLINK Pacific consultation and annual reporting for the 1325 network, active resourcing and participation of partners in Pacific Islands Forum Reference Group on Women Peace and Security, supporting our partners’ role as advisers to the Pacific Small Arms Action Group and supporting Femlink staff who have been designated the Regional Liaison Officers/Gender Focal points for GPPAC in the Pacific (FemLINK Pacific is the Regional Secretariat).
  • For nearly 30 years, Banteay Srei has partnered with IWDA to provide emergency accommodation, training and assistance for women survivors of violence in Cambodia’s Siem Reap and Battambang provinces. With IWDA’s support, Banteay Srei staff also worked with Gender Peace Network members and Community Facilitators from 23 villages, to ensure that women with disabilities’ voices and needs are included in future development plans to address gender-based violence.
  • IWDA has been working with the Women’s League of Burma (WLB) on a mobilizing for peace and democracy project since 2010. This project’s approach is centered on WLB’s 13 member organisations who represent diverse women’s organizations from Myanmar which were established by women activists in exile. This project aims to enable WLB focal points and collaborators to use UNSCR1325 and CEDAW frameworks to report and respond to violence and threats against them; develop communication strategies which amplify a situational analysis of the peace process and situation for women in Myanmar, research findings and advocacy messages to the global community, and to strengthen the collaboration between women’s rights organisations working for an end to conflict and violence against women and girls in Myanmar. Over the next three years, IWDA will be supporting WLB to increase regional engagement on CEDAW and UNSCR 1325 processes.
  • IWDA also works with our partner the Palaung Women’s Organisation in the Palaung area of Burma, where violence is prolific. PWO promotes awareness of the impact of conflict on women and men, and provides support to women who have experienced gender-based violence or trafficking. Last year, they traced eight women who had disappeared in China and reunited them with their families. They also organised workshops to raise awareness on human rights, gender equality, gender-based violence and democratic governance, attend by 4,510 people within Burma and along the border. Thirty women received crisis support and emergency accommodation through PWO.
  • In Papua New Guinea, IWDA has been working with Women’s Human Rights Defenders who respond to violence against women in their communities with trauma counselling and self-care strategies. In 2015, IWDA supported an intensive Peace Building Training in Jiwaka. Our partner, Voice for Change (VfC) was also invited to witness and be part of the ceremony in the final peace ceremony between the Kondika sub tribe. In the lead-up to this ceremony, VFC facilitated more than 6 meetings with the Kondika tribesmen. Last year, human rights training was also delivered to 303 women’s human rights defenders in North, Central and South Bougainville. In Papua New Guinea, IWDA partner Eastern Highlands Family Voice organised forums on preventing family and sexual violence attended by 2,716 women and 1,121 men.
  • IWDA has been working with our partner, Women’s Rights Action Movement (WRAM) in the Solomon Islands since it was formed in 2012. WRAM’s work has had a particular focus on the Solomon Island’s government response to CEDAW, and in particular, on using policy and legislative reforms to progress women’s participation. This has included significant achievements such as working in collaboration with other women’s organisations to produce the first NGO CEDAW Shadow report on the Status of Women in Solomon Islands. This collaborative effort provides the foundation for women’s meaningful engagement in other processes, including security and justice sector reform and implementation of the National Action Plan on 1325. WRAM, together with other stakeholders has also contributed to the lobbying and development of the Family Protection Act in Solomon Islands.

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