For many of the 30 women groups that participate in Women on the Frontline the safest and most effective way of achieving change is through lobby and advocacy, (social) media outreach and campaigns. Women on the Frontline supports these activities by offering training and by advocating within the international community for continuous and enhanced support to civil society organisations in the MENA region. As a co-creator in advocacy, Women on the Frontline opens regional and international doors, increases political pressure and liaises with relevant international stakeholders.

All 30 women groups also participate in the Linking & Learning component of the Women on the Frontline programme. Through meetings and research, Linking & Learning connects the groups and allows them to share experiences and knowledge, exchange good practices and ideas, and build strategic alliances. Regional meetings offer a place to analyse regional developments, the challenges these developments pose and what strategies to use to overcome them.

We kicked off the meeting series in Tunis in November 2014, where we analysed the status of women’s rights in the region and came up with alternative approaches towards the full and equal participation of women in politics and society.

In April 2015, the city of Istanbul formed the scene of a training on sustainable activism and personal well-being, and discussions on human security and violent extremism.

In September 2015, we returned to Istanbul to discuss how we can capitalise on the growing sense of community amongst the women groups. These discussions resulted in a shared commitment to work together and join forces to combat violence against women, counter extremism, encourage a culture of tolerance and moderation, and increase female political participation.

Watch the video below this text about the regional meeting about sustainable activism in Istanbul, april 2015.