Preventing and responding to gender-based violence during the war and in post-war settings

In 2022, WAVE in partnership with the OSCE Gender Issues Programme/WIN Project started a new project to address capacity building and exchange of promising practices between women’s specialist services on how to meaningfully support survivors of violence and civil society organisations in conflict and post-conflict areas. The WAVE members involved in the project are the Sexual Assault Crisis Center (Yerevan, Armenia), Women Fund Sukhumi (Kutaisi, Georgia), Foundation United Women Banja Luka (Banja Luka, Bosnia & Herzegovina), and Centre “Women’s Perspectives” (Lviv, Ukraine).

In 2022, a toolkit was developed not only to present the harm and challenges posed by conflicts but also to document promising first-hand practices with concrete examples from the four WAVE members including their initiatives and recommendations as women’s organisations who experience and have experienced war. The toolkit was launched in November 2022 in Tbilisi, Georgia, during a conference addressing civil society activists, representatives of governments, and international organisations from the South Caucasus, South-Eastern and Eastern Europe.

Following the toolkit and the great interest received from national and international stakeholders, in 2023, the project partners developed a training manual to reach more women’s organisations and other actors involved in supporting survivors of GBV. Through this training programme, the participants can learn about new strategies, share their experiences, and improve collaboration with other stakeholders, for instance through advocacy activities. This training manual addresses facilitators who intend to deliver interactive training on conflict-related gender-based violence and the existing best practices/strategies employed by women’s organisations. It consists of two parts: the first part contains guidance on how to successfully facilitate the training, e.g., through feminist pedagogy principles and trauma-informed training delivery. The core part contains four training modules and related instructions for facilitators. Each module includes learning objectives, facilitator notes, module overview, and a detailed plan for the training session.