The Hague, 9 March 2013:
With its ‘Women on the Frontline’ fund, the . . .[restrict]Netherlands will seek to help women in the Middle East and North Africa organise themselves better. This was announced on Thursday, March 7, by the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen, ahead of International Women’s Day.
“Investing in women will boost security, not only in the Netherlands but also worldwide,” said the Minister. “Together with development organisation Hivos and PwC, over the next three years we’ll be investing €5.8 million so that women can have a say and make their mark in politics, government and society.”
The most well-known example of the role women play in the aftermath of conflict, including civil war, is that of Leymah Gwobee, who with her women’s movement got peace talks under way in Liberia. In Sudan and South Sudan, too, women sat at the negotiating table during the peace process. “We must ensure this happens as soon as possible after a conflict or war,” said Ms Ploumen.
The new fund will help promote such action in countries like Syria, Bahrain, Yemen, Iraq, Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. The often fledgling women’s organisations that led the way in the demonstrations can use the money to gain training in lobbying and lawmaking. PwC is involved in teaching the often young women about organisation and financial management, making it easier for them to seek help from other donors, with the fund serving as an enabler.
This initiative of the Dutch government was welcomed by Herman Klijnsma, chairman of the Dutch Libyan Cooperation Council (DLCC). “I hope Libyan women’s organisations will seize the opportunity to benefit from the fund and if they would need any help in this the DLCC would be happy to assist in any way it can, but I’m sure the Dutch Embassy in Tripoli will be stand-bye for any assistance as well”, Klijnsma commented. [/restrict]