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Grassroot women mobilise together for democracy

In the framework of a new transnational cooperation starting in September 2019, the Women’s Foundations in Armenia, Georgia, Germany, and Ukraine are continuing their collective efforts in opposing ongoing antidemocratic tendencies. In many places, it is no longer possible to ignore silently the current political and socio-political developments. Women’s organisations regularly share alarming information about threats against and hindrance to the work of civil society groups, and particularly against women's and LGBTIQ* activists. Antifeminist and antidemocratic actions are initiated and disseminated through government actions, parties, groups, individuals, and via the internet.

The first step in the project – and to become capable – is to gather information about antidemocratic tendencies and antifeminist campaigns: Partners in all four countries – Armenia, Germany, Georgia and Ukraine – will collect data and stories about the forces that threaten the work of civil society organisations. This may include very concrete examples and experiences of groups and individuals who describe what it means to be threatened, scared, and facing reduced subsidies or closing spaces. We want to find out what the threats look like and who the actors are, how they organise themselves, and what sort of networks they build and use. The research is conducted in each country by two local women's organizations.

We will discuss the research results and existing analyses together in spring 2020 at a meeting and media workshop in Armenia. There, with the support of media experts, we are going to learn and develop methods that can provide a visible, strong and effective feminist response to the threats and intimidation attempts. The project concludes with a transnational campaign on International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, 29 November 2020, which demonstrates the importance and strength of civil society / women's organizations for a functioning and lively democracy.
The project is supported by the Federal Foreign Office in Germany.