SAWT Regional Fellowship

Background and Rationale

The SAWT Regional Fellowship Program brings together women advocates of gender-inclusive peace and security policies in four countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region: Libya, Yemen, Syria, Palestine, and Iraq. It provides learning and networking opportunities and supports leading roles that women activists and advocates are playing in the region, thus, growing the tables for dialogue to be more inclusive of women and women’s rights. Moreover, it provides platforms for activists and leaders from different sectors to share their experiences and contribute to collective mobilizing for more inclusive peace and security agenda.

The fellowship program falls under the SAWT overall project, which 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 American University of Beirut (AUB)  with 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.

Reinforcing international frameworks on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) and widening their reach beyond formal peace negotiations, SAWT facilitates the effective participation of emerging MENA women leaders and grassroots activists in political spheres. It builds their capacity and ensures their voices are heard through national, regional, and international platforms for knowledge sharing, evidence-based advocacy, and policymaking. It will contribute to the inclusion of gender perspectives in peacebuilding, governance, and post-conflict reconstruction and address structural and institutional barriers that prevent women from meaningfully participating in peacebuilding. Thus, enabling an inclusive women-owned homegrown approach and vision for what a feminist peace looks like.


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

Target groups

30 women from Libya, Yemen, Syria, Palestine, and Iraq


  1. Online modules
    The fellowship entails four online modules.
  2. Summer school
    The summer school will be held at the American University of Beirut.

Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship

American University of Beirut


PO Box 11-0236

Riad El Solh, ​1107 2020
Beirut, Lebanon

Tel: +961-1-350000 EXT. 4469


The Debs Center, 3 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, 8th floor
New York, NY 10017-2303, USA

Tel: 1-212-583-7600