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Women as Drivers of Peace and Stability

From 2017 to 2018, UNFPA realized a project with the working title “Women as drivers of peace and stability,” which aimed at strengthening the capacity of female religious leaders and their engagement in the prevention of violent extremism (PVE) in their communities. Over the course of the project, 86 female religious leaders from 16 communities across Kyrgyzstan participated in two rounds of Women Leadership Schools and in subsequent local initiatives on the prevention of radicalization.

The project was implemented jointly with other UN agencies – UNDP, UNICEF and UNODC – and with the support of the UN Peacebuilding Fund. The Foundation for Tolerance International (FTI) was UNFPA’s implementing partner for this project and had five local coordinators working in close connection with the women religious leaders and their initiative groups.

This publication conveys the stories of some of the women religious leaders who participated in the project and share how it helped them to change, what new things they learned and what impact it had on their lives. Two stories containing more in-depth reflection on the impact of the project on women are accompanied by a number of brief reflections on key learning points of women from various perspectives.

More information on the challenges faced by the project staff during the work with women religious leaders and response measures can be found in the related report “Engaging Women Religious Leaders in PVE Work in Kyrgyzstan: Reflections and Good Practices.”