Kvinna till Kvinna
( 2002 , Suède )

...for its successes in addressing ethnic hatred by helping war-torn women to be the major agents of peace-building and reconciliation.

The underlying idea in establishing Kvinna till Kvinna was precisely to ask women: how do you want to live your lives, what do you need in order to be a part of building your and your families' futures?


The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation has a broad agenda within the areas of women’s rights and peace. The Foundation strengthens the organisation of women in conflict regions by collaborating with women’s organisations and supporting their work to promote women’s rights and peace. The goal is for women’s power and influence to increase. Kvinna till Kvinna literally means ÓWoman to WomanÓ. Their partner organisations organise meeting points for women in environments where it is difficult for them to connect. They influence policy and generate dialogue across border conflicts. They work to promote women’s health, to provide information and education about women’s human rights, and to prevent human trafficking and violence against women. The role of Kvinna till Kvinna is to provide financial sup_port and to mediate contacts between organisations. Today, Kvinna till Kvinna supports more than 100 women’s organisations in five regions afflicted by conflict: Central and Western Africa, the Middle East, the South Cau_casus and the Western Balkans.

Contact

Kvinna till Kvinna
Slakthusplan 3
121 62 Johanneshov
SWEDEN

www.kvinnatillkvinna.se

Biography

The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation was founded in 1993 in response to the war in the Balkans and the atrocities committed on women there.

Yet from the start The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation saw women not only as victims of these circumstances but as important forces for change in society and an important part of the community, which needs to be rebuilt in the aftermath of war and conflict.

So The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation was established to give support to and work with women’s organisations in such situations. Its formal aims are:

  • To carry out projects in areas affected by war and armed conflict which promote women’s self-reliance and self-esteem, and women’s psycho-social and/or physical health, or which contribute to promoting women’s participation in the development of a democratic civilian society.
  • To promote studies and research concerning the effects of war and armed conflict on women.
  • To publicise facts and information concerning the effects of war, and to rouse public opinion in favour of the peaceful solution of conflicts using non-military methods.

Most of the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation’s work so far has been carried out …

The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation was founded in 1993 in response to the war in the Balkans and the atrocities committed on women there.

Yet from the start The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation saw women not only as victims of these circumstances but as important forces for change in society and an important part of the community, which needs to be rebuilt in the aftermath of war and conflict.

So The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation was established to give support to and work with women’s organisations in such situations. Its formal aims are:

  • To carry out projects in areas affected by war and armed conflict which promote women’s self-reliance and self-esteem, and women’s psycho-social and/or physical health, or which contribute to promoting women’s participation in the development of a democratic civilian society.
  • To promote studies and research concerning the effects of war and armed conflict on women.
  • To publicise facts and information concerning the effects of war, and to rouse public opinion in favour of the peaceful solution of conflicts using non-military methods.

Most of the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation’s work so far has been carried out in the Balkans. The work entails promoting dialogue, training for empowerment and employment, health care, addressing domestic violence, legal advice, and many other issues (such as sex-trafficking), which arise in conflict and post-conflict situations.

A study published in 2000 drew attention to the lack of gender sensitivity in the Dayton Peace Accords, and the barrier this represented to reconstruction.

This report was part of the official Swedish presentation at the Beijing+5 Conference on Women in New York in 2000 and made the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation internationally known.

It is also thought to have influenced the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000), which urges “Member States to ensure increased representation of women at all decision-making levels in national, regional and international institutions and mechanisms for the prevention, management, and resolution of conflict.”

Other the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation reports have focused on the gender aspects of the UNMIK administration in Kosovo and on overcoming the obstacles in the healing process for women in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation now has eight field offices in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Croatia, Serbia, Albania, Israel/Palestine and Georgia with a total staff of about eleven women.

An additional eleven staff members (also women) work in the Stockholm office. The Serbia office was opened in 2001. Also in 2001, the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation started supporting women’s groups in Israel and Palestine after some years of contact building in this area.

The offices in Albania and Georgia were opened in 2002. In their 2001 review, the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation write that their partner organisations are now “important parties in the work of building up new and democratic societies.”

The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation has 70-80 projects with about 60 organisations in the Balkans and knows several hundred women’s organisations there, involving many thousands of people.

They offer various activities and awareness raising for women’s issues.

This can range from reproductive health information to political questions. The ability and willingness of these organisations to cooperate across ethnic divides is a precondition for the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation’s support. The support is mostly economical and for capacity building. The cooperation is phased out when a group has become sufficiently mature and has found other funding sources, or when a group is not needed any longer because the public service has been able to take over its tasks.

An important part of the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation’s work is to build networks among the women’s groups, e.g. by organising common seminars. The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation is now in a situation where it can make contacts between, for example, Bosnian and Croatian groups, which the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation started cooperating with in the mid-90’s, and new groups in Kosovo or Albania that now face the same problems the others had some years ago. In Macedonia, the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation has been instrumental in stimulating the formation of many new women’s groups.

In 2001, 30m of the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation’s SEK 32m budget came from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)