Supporting Arab Women at the Table (SAWT) Fellowship Program 2022-2023

Deadline: December 19, 2022

Application form: available here

Fellowship Program Overview

The fully-funded SAWT Fellowship Program is part of the regional SAWT project aimed at supporting Arab women’s participation and representation in peace and security policies.

The SAWT project is funded by the European Union (EU) with the Arab Reform Initiative (ARI) as the lead partner and implemented through a consortium of partners consisting of the Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship at the American University in Beirut and which carries a regional scope, Together We Build It in Libya, the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies in Yemen, ARI in Syria, the Culture and Free Thought Association in Palestine, and the Iraqi Al-Amal Association in Iraq.

It aims at quantitatively and qualitatively increasing women’s meaningful inclusion in peace processes in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region – improving their ability to influence outcomes and establish post-conflict gender-egalitarian frameworks. It focuses on the emergence of a new generation of women activists with enhanced capacity, skills, and confidence. It will create new venues and mechanisms for cross-regional, intergenerational, cross-sectorial exchange and coalition-building for shared learning and collective action planning. It will also generate key forums for South-to-North exchanges that provide unique opportunities for knowledge production and sharing, advocacy, and policy influencing.

The fellowship program aims at increasing the meaningful participation of women in peace and security policy-making across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It will support the leading roles that women activists and advocates are playing for more gender-inclusive peace and security policies. Moreover, it will provide platforms for activists and organizers from different sectors to share experiences and contribute to collective mobilizing for a more inclusive peace and security agenda in Libya, Yemen, Palestine, and Iraq.


States continue to fall short of negotiating an inclusive vision for peace and security. Existing platforms tackling peace and security have increased since the Beijing declaration in 1995 and the United Nations Security Council 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) that address the impact of war on women and the importance of women’s full and equal participation in conflict resolution, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict resolution. Resolution 1325 “required political transitions to be inclusive, gender-sensitive and transformative”. There is power in collective organizing and collective voice. The latter is needed more than ever in Libya, Yemen, Syria, Palestine, and Iraq, where protracted conflicts continue to side-line women and women’s rights.

At the same time, women across the MENA region in civil society, academia, business, law, and journalism are challenging oppressive structures and working on an inclusive version of peace and security platforms and agendas. It is their individual stories, voices, and priorities that need to shape peace and security platforms and agendas. It is not just about women deserving a seat at the table, it is also about changing what gets discussed at the table and recognizing that women have also started tables of their own. They need to be positioned as leaders who can influence peace and security through their personal narratives and experiences. They will also form part of multi-sector national and transnational coalitions of other women’s groups and allies and be connected among each other, as well as with institutions and actors in the European Union (EU) and internationally to advance inclusive policies for peace and security.


Our aim is to facilitate inclusive women-owned indigenous, diverse, intersectional approach to what inclusive peace and security look like. While the first cohort included mostly high-level women’s rights advocates acquainted with institutional peace-building processes, we are specifically targeting youth grassroots intersectional organizers in the second and third cohorts. We recognize that they are already challenging the state’s hegemony through their activism and mobilization outside traditional institutional decision-making circles and are shifting away from more conservative civil society organisations. The SAWT fellowship is an opportunity for learning, networking, and growing the tables for dialogue to be more inclusive of women’s and women’s rights.

Fellowship Objectives

  • Equip women with the tools and organizational and leadership skills needed to advance an inclusive peace and security agenda.
  • Establish a network of advocates from different areas of expertise who can lobby for more inclusive peace and security platforms.
  • Create tables for dialogue and circles of influence that cut across generations, geographical boundaries, and disciplines focused on an inclusive peace and security agenda.
  • Challenge existing peace and security platforms that exclude women’s voices and that are not representative of the lived experiences of women.
  • Position women as organizers and leaders who can influence peace and security through their personal narratives and experiences.
  • Mobilize multi-sector national and transnational coalitions of women’s groups and allies to promote an inclusive vision for peace and security.
  • Connect women from the region with institutions and actors in the EU and internationally to advance inclusive policies for peace and security.

Fellowship Design

The modules are designed as a journey of learning, networking, and taking collective actions. They are aimed at influencing existing tables and dialogues on peace and security, as well as creating new tables and dialogue opportunities for more inclusive peace and security. The following section includes the schedule for the two cohorts that will be enrolled in the 2023 fellowship program.

Modules & Schedule

  1. Organizing in times of conflict and emergency: March (2 days)
  2. Envisioning feminist peace and security policies: March – April (2 days)
  3. Building alliances and organizing across borders: May (2 days)
  4. Summer Fellowship (in person at the American University of Beirut): End of June (5 days)
  5. Coalitions for regional and international influence: September 20th, 2023 (1 day)

Language of Instruction

The language of the modules and the summer fellowship will be in Arabic.

What is expected from SAWT fellows?

Selected fellows will have to commit to the nine-month program and sign a contract upon agreeing to join it. The entities leading the fellowship will adhere to standards of confidentiality and only publish content, stories, or images with the approval of the individual fellows participating and organizers. The goal is to create a safe and reflective space for learning and connecting with others.

At the end of the program, fellows are expected to:

  • Gain a fresh outlook on key concepts of feminist peace and security.
  • Form working groups as tables or circles of influence in their own countries.
  • Strategize on how to challenge the state’s narratives and agenda of peace and security.
  • Strategize how collectively to work towards more intersectional feminist policies.
  • Commit to joining a coalition and network of advocates for intersectional feminist peace and security.

*** This program is fully-funded and covers all expenses.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Women from Libya, Yemen, Syria, Palestine, and Iraq with experience working on or organizing, and leading efforts for intersectional feminist peace, and security policies.
  • Between 18 and 35 years of age.
  • Experience working on, organizing, or leading efforts for intersectional feminist peace and security policies.
  • Activists in civil society, community-based associations, media, academia, legal advocacy, business/private sectors.


December 19, 2022

Selection Process & Timeline

  • Shortlisted applicants will be contacted by January. Qualified applicants might be added to the long list and be contacted.
  • Online interviews will be conducted over the month of January.
  • Selected applicants will be contacted by February 10.

For questions or inquiries, please contact Vanessa Zammar (

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