To date the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI) has funded eleven grants in Europe and Eurasia for the total amount of $686,112. The grants are targeted to local organizations and fund projects that seek to increase the effectiveness of efforts to combat gender-based violence (GBV), women’s knowledge of and application of their civic, legal, political, and economic rights, and their access to justice, rule of law, and social and economic services. These small grants are based on the foundation that political and economic stability cannot be achieved without the full and effective participation of the women and girls and local organizations that make up the backbone of society.
Providing comprehensive response to GBV, projects seek to increase protection of survivors, prosecution of perpetrators, and prevention of future crimes.
Project to Prevent Violence Against Women in the Southern Federal Region, Russian Federation (Small Grants Initiative)
This project works with civil society (NGOs) and public servants in the south of Russia to address and to reduce gender based violence with the goal of increasing public awareness of the issues surrounding GBV. Through educational seminars for psychologists, teachers, and legal representatives from NGOs and state run social services, the program strengthens and develops the organizational and national network against GBV.
Demystifying Gender Based Violence for Future Journalists: From Self Awareness to Gender Sensitive Reporters, Turkey (Secretary’s Fund: Avon Award)
One of the most important social actors in preventing gender based violence in Turkey is the media; however, its crucial role is often overlooked or not acknowledged. Negative and stereotyped images of women in the media, and the ways in which the media reports on gender based violence (as a lesser crime or a violation of Turkish cultural values) contributes to the acceptance of gender-based violence as a norm. This project fills this gap by training 40 journalism faculty students from five Turkish universities on gender awareness and gender based violence over the course of six months. The students collectively prepare a TV program on gender based violence and the importance of media in prevention efforts for national broadcast at the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT). Furthermore, they serve as trainers in their respective universities by utilizing the Training Manual and DVDs prepared during the training course to educate 600 fellow students.
Increasing women’s understanding and application of their legal rights
Women in Advocacy: Local Government Monitoring Project, Georgia (Small Grants Initiative)
This project is a local government monitoring program which focuses on training internally displaced women to be actively involved in monitoring of local government activities. With the assistance of advocacy and communications training, women are empowered to become participants in monitoring the aid and influencing the decisions regarding the development of their communities. Women are introduced to people working at local government structures, particularly female government workers who are typically underrepresented in city councils. By demonstrating the interest that women have in local issues, city councils will be more accountable to women voters.
Increasing women’s access to training, mentorship, credit and finance, and skills building with the goal of increasing their economic independence, their participation in eco-friendly and agriculturally-successful practices, and the creation of women-owned enterprises
Women Disproportionally Affected by Economic Crisis, Russian Federation (Small Grants Initiative)
The goal of this project is to encourage women's social and economic activity, to inform women of their civic and economic rights, to provide entrepreneurship training and business/legal consultation for women entrepreneurs, and to provide job coaching through a new Resource Center for Women. It also promotes gender equity and business opportunities through organized informational campaigns.
Producing Solar Cookers by Women’s Collectives, Turkey (Small Grants Initiative)
The goal of this project is to increase the awareness and improve daily practices of rural women related to climate change issues. This objective is complemented with an economic empowerment component involving the production and sale of solar cookers in Istanbul and three other cities: Mardin (Southeast region), Bandirma (Aegean region) and Hatay (Southern Region). The project establishes a solar cooker production and sale enterprise run by a grassroots women’s organization, and trains the management team, the sales team, and the production team. An additional 3,200 female beneficiaries use the cooker, provide leadership of community climate change groups, and become more knowledgeable of local climate change issues.
Increasing women’s political participation
Promoting Women’s Initiative in Akhalkalaki, Georgia (Small Grants Initiative)
This project seeks to support the integration of minority women within the Georgian community. It provides mixed groups of Armenian, Russian and Georgian women living in Akhalkalaki and nearby villages with education on women's rights and leadership, arts and crafts, Georgian and English language, and computer skills. The project brings together women of diverse ethnic backgrounds and creates a core networking group of women. Within the project activities, women have the ability not only to cooperate effectively with each other but also to organize enterprises of their own.
Democracy and Political Empowerment: Space of Change, Ukraine (Small Grants Initiative)
This project aims to empower young female leaders to create positive change and democratic reforms in Ukraine by supporting successful young leaders and rewarding their achievements in local communities. Young leaders benefit from training programs that enable them to further develop their leadership skills, as well as allow them to build networks, exchange ideas and develop joint initiatives. The program teaches them how to stimulate public interest in their activities and how to empower other women, creating a community of women leaders who have the skills and experience to empower other women and provide peer-to peer support.
Increasing women’s and girls’ access to education
Raising Young Women, Turkey (Small Grants Initiative)
This project targets 2,550 young women between the ages of 15 and 30 in the Diyarbakir and Istanbul provinces of Turkey who have never received formal instruction or are primary school drop outs. It provides functional literacy and numeracy training, raises awareness of women’s health and rights, encourages completion of primary school qualifications, provides guidance on careers, and encourages their participation in social activities via peer networks and working with volunteer instructors.
Synergy to Empower Girls Against Violence, Turkey (Secretary’s Fund: Avon Award)
This project adopts a GBV prevention perspective with a focus on primary prevention, aiming at changing attitudes, challenging stereotypes, and empowering women so they can overcome their subordinate position in society. Using the existing structure of the formal education system, after-school life-skills development programs are created to empower adolescent girls living in secondary school dormitories. Through this outlet, the program addresses both the lack of a GBV prevention perspective at schools and the lack of a programmatic approach towards secondary school dormitories which is a crucial determinant of the resident children’s well-being. In addition, the project implements gender-sensitivity seminars for 180 secondary school teachers and school administrators.
Photo Exhibition: “Children as Children”, Ukraine (Small Grants Initiative)
This photo exhibition is dedicated to combating discrimination towards children with disabilities and promoting their full inclusion in Ukrainian society. Women working with disabled children were trained and subsequently developed a public relations campaign that would travel Ukraine. Children both with and without disabilities are highlighted in the photographs, sending the message that children are children regardless of their disabilities. In addition, six rules of behavior developed in the framework of the photo exhibition encourage acceptance of the disabled population - particularly children - among Ukrainians.
Programs to Improve Leadership Capacity in Developing Countries, Ukraine (Small Grants Initiative)
This project intends to improve the earning power of women in the Pryazovskiy region of Ukraine through entrepreneurial training and development. It develops career initiative among young girls and promotes the value of entrepreneurship and owning businesses through career planning and training courses. Programs support women’s artisan groups through education in product design, marketing, and related needs that allow them to be more competitive at the markets.