The IDP Women Association “Consent” is a non-governmental organization, working in Georgia since April 1995. The organization was created originally by the IDP women from Abkhazia, volunteering for their community after the war.
The mission of IDPWA
Association is working to contribute to creation of peaceful, democratic and pluralistic society, with the equal rights and equal political, social and economic status for IDP and conflict affected women and members of their families, with specific emphases on empowerment of women and the youth through education, improved human security and social inclusion.
“Consent” believes that empowered conflict affected women will achieve dignified place in society, participate in decision making and in prevention of conflict revival, and equally benefit from existing in Georgia opportunities in economical, societal and public spheres.
To implement its mission, “Consent” works at all levels of society: advocates for the rights of conflict affected women and girls and IDPs; provides services (juridical consultations, medical and psychological assistance, vocational training, social assistance); informal education and skills training for vulnerable groups in areas with the high density of IDPs and in zones close to conflict division lines (ABL)/occupied territories. Association has regional branches working directly with the conflict affected population in Samgrelo, Imereti and Shida Kartli; integration centers in Ergneti, Nikozi, Gardabani; rehabilitation center in Gori, social inclusion centers in Gori and Kazreti, which provides advice, direct services and professional education to conflict affected population, elderly, migrants, as well as to former prisoners and probationers.
Since 1996, the IDPWA actively is involved in peace building and confidence building activities: organizing peace camps and youth dialogue for peace among youth from the South Caucasus (more than 500 youth benefited from these camps during 12 years); supporting women’s peace dialogue; contributing to cross boundary’s projects, facilitating exchanges and joint learning for women and youth from the region.
Since 1999, the IDPWA facilitated regional women’s network “Working together in Caucasus”, actively participated in regional activities under CRINGO network (2004 – 2007); worked on the promotion of IDP and conflict affected people’s rights with EU and CoE. The IDPWA is co-author of several training manuals (e.g. Peace and Gender Education manual, created by 5 South Caucasian NGOs in 2006, more than 2000 teenagers in three countries trained; “Use of CEDAW and UN SC Resolutions “Women, Peace and Security” for promotion of Gender Equality, 2012; “Localization of the UNSCR “Women, Peace and Security”, 2017).
IDPWA is in constructive dialogue with the Government of Georgia and local authorities. Since 2006, actively was involved in preparation of State Strategy towards IDPs and then – it’s implementation. “Consent” participates regularly in several Working and Temporary Expert groups with the Ministry of IDPs from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees”, participated in creation of National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security. Association has branches in the regions affected by the conflict or having huge minority groups – Shida kartli, Kvemo Kartli, Samegrelo, Imereti. In these regions, representatives of branch offices actively cooperate with local authorities and are included in Consultative/Gender Equality Councils with the Municipalities. IDPWA works on inclusion priorities of conflict affected population in local budgets. The organization works on dissemination of correct information in conflict affected area, using the information-communication platform, which allows to population of conflict affected villages to get access to new programs, opportunities and legal news, as well as to disseminate information from these villages to outside world.
For improvement of economic situation of conflict affected population, the Association provides business education and small grants to beneficiaries, supports informal education classes for IDP youth and women, teaching them life skills.
“Consent’ during number of years works on elimination of domestic violence and violence against women through informal education, meetings and conversations with women and men, boys and girls, support of women and also elderly – victims of domestic violence through economic opportunities, health and psychologist consultations, juridical and social assistance. Especially important is work with the youth which is being implementing through debates in schools, forum theatre performances and training-seminars on the topics of early marriages, domestic violence, bulling in schools, youth migration, jobs hunting.
Association conducts regular advocacy events, public consultations, public hearings in the regions, affected by the conflict. Association continues cooperation in the regional scale and conducts consultations for the Ukraine organizations working with the IDPs and in peace building; continues work with the young volunteers, creates and uses new forms of inclusion of population, such as forum theatre, participatory assessments, Sunday schools. The organization has mobile medical team which serves population in remote villages in Shida and Kvemo Kartli (more than 3000 patients during last couple of years), providing consultation and assistance for young mothers, children, elderly, people with chronic diseases. Mobile group work is supported by Bread for the World and Foundation for Civil Solidarity (Lublin).
“Consent” plays an important role in organizing and supporting regional cooperation with NGOs from the South Caucasus, Ukraine, Russia, Central Asia and Baltic countries; is a member of Planning Committee for Women’s Regional Platform for Peace Dialogue. Currently, within of project of Global Network of Women Peace builders and with the financial support from ADA, IDPWA participates in regional promotion of strategies of implementation of the UNSC Resolution 1325.
“Consent” also actively cooperates with OFII program on reintegration and resocialization of Georgian citizens – returnees from France, providing them with business opportunities, social assistance and professional education.
The main donors and partners of IDPWA currently are:
Bread for the World (Germany); European Union; Austrian Development Cooperation. Artbaiter Samariter Bund; HILFSWERK Austria International; Danish Refugee Council/BPRM; UN Women; Global Network of Women-Peacebuilders, French Ministry of Internal Affairs/ OFII and others.
Several the most recent projects: “Together for Our Rights” (Bread for the World); ”Step by Step towards a Better Future” (HILFSWERK/EU), “Local, National and Regional Strategies to improve the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine” (GMWP/ADA); “Dignified Old Age” (EU), “Building Bridges for Youth” (CARE/Bezos Family Foundation); “Women, Peace and Security: a Chance for Ukraine and Georgia’s Protracted Conflicts” (MFA of Germany/Polis180) and others. Association also serves migrants returnees to Georgia from France under the contract with the Government of France (EU).