IDP Women Association “Consent” works towards the achievement of a democratic and peaceful society with equal opportunities for IDPs, with a particular emphasis on women. It was established in 1996 by women from the IDP community. It supports the improvement of economic conditions, health and education of IDPs and other minority groups with the special emphasis on women and youth. The HQ is located in Tbilisi; organisation has three branches in Samegrelo, Imereti and Shida Kartli, two integration centers - in Nikozi and Gardabani; and two day centers for elderly - in KAzreti and Gori.
Over the course of its existence, the IDP Women's Association 'Consent' has supported IDP and conflict-affected communities by helping women to increase their social, economic and civil status and providing opportunities for IDP youth and children.
The wide range of Consent's activities includes training seminars, handicraft courses, adult education, small business support, creation of advocacy groups, and work with local and central authorities in the framework of different projects to empower women and provide them with necessary skills to survive and develop in post-conflict conditions. The Association works with local municipalities, to increase their knowledge about peace issues and women specific needs and priorities in areas, adjacent to conflict division lines. Specific needs of different groups, such as teenagers, single mothers, elderly, are responded by specific programs (“For your and our rights” (EU), assisting others – assist yourself (UN Women), Dignified Old Age (EU) and others).
Special care is provided for children and youth to give them better opportunities and help them escape the vicious cycle of internal displacement. Consent assists women in organising summer schools, vocational trainings, as well celebrations and special events to enhance the employability of IDPs and to improve relationships between people from different communities now living in the same settlements.
The organisation has been equally active in peacebuilding processes. In 1996, the Association launched the Peace Camps project. Peace camps enabled hundreds of Georgian IDPs, Abkhaz, Ossetian, Armenian and Azerbaijani children to spend time together. Twelve camps were organised in the period from 1996 to 2004. In 2001, the Association's activists participated in the first dialogue of Abkhaz and Georgian women's organisations.
Since 2010, the Association in partnership with CARE Int. in Caucasus and 4 other NGOs from 5 regions of Georgia (including 2 breakaway regions) started implementing the project “Strengthening Women’s Participation in Peacebuilding in the South Caucasus” (Supported by European Union and ADA). The project brought together 90 peace activists from 20 communities of South Caucasus, and during 3,5 years these activists shared experiences and knowledge in advocating for peace.
During the 2008 Georgia-Russia War, the Association was actively involved in providing humanitarian assistance to the conflict-affected population. Since then, it has been working with the displaced population, as well as residents of villages adjacent to Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia.
The Association has also been actively involved in regional peace initiatives, through Helsinki Citizens Assembly and Women’s Caucasian network – “Working together- Networking women in Caucasus”. In 2006, together with several NGOs from Armenia and Azerbaijan, “Consent’ developed a training module “Peace and Gender Education Manual” in 3 languages – Georgian, Armenian and Azerbaijani.
Later, together with colleagues from Armenia and Azerbaijan and with the financial support from Hilfswerk Austria International, IDPWA organized massive multiplication of this module for youngsters from three South Caucasian republic. In result of joint work, about 2000 young activists received training and worked together in organizing of multicultural peace camp.
“Consent”, since 2012, is a member of Coordination Group on the implementation of the UN SC Resolution 1325, which is regularly doing monitoring of the implementation of National Action Plan on 1325. This gives the opportunity for organization to advocate the issues related with increasing human security of population, affected by the conflict and living in villages alongside the ABL, as well as support implementation of rights of IDPs. The Association actively participates in monitoring of NAP activities, and contributes to development of new Action Plan for 2018-2020.
In 2014 – 2015, the Chair person participated in High Level Advisory Group for Global Study on the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325, created based on the UN SC Resolution 2122
Organisation is a member of National Platform of EaP Civil Society Forum and facilitates subgroup on conflict transformation within the 4th Working Group.
Since 2016, organization participates in Planning Committee of Women’s Regional Platform for Peace, which unites peace activists from 12 countries in Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia. The Platform aims on strengthening capacity of women to contribute in conflict prevention/peaceful conflict resolution, cooperation and exchange of experience and knowledge.
In international arena the IDPWA Consent facilitates women’s dialogue from South Caucasian republics, helping to overcome conflict divides. The Association actively works with OSCE in promotion of rights of women and girls affected by the conflicts.
During many years, the mobile medical group helps to rehabilitate women, children and elderly affected by the conflicts.
The Association works on economic empowerment of women affected by the conflicts, and provision of new skills for them in remote and conflict affected areas.
Currently, Consent is working together with Global Network of Women Peacebuilders on localization of NAP on UNSCR 1325 in the regions of Georgia (project supported by the ADA); on promotion of civil activism of women and girls, sustainable integration of IDP in new places after resettlement and prevention of migration risks (supported by Bread for the World). Work continues on support of dignified life for single and left alone elderly ((supported by EU); together with the partner NGOs - organizing and connection of peace clubs for the youth across the South Caucasus (CARE International – Besoz Foundation); sustainable rehabilitation and resocialization of former prisoners and probationers (Hilfswerk Austria International/European Union). Consent supports victims of domestic and gender based violence; organizes forum theatres to bring ideas of tolerance and non-violence; conducts debates, and other activities in schools and communities. Consent works in close cooperation with NGOs in Georgia, South Caucasus and Ukraine.
The Association has received several international awards, such as “Voices of Courage” (2004) and Special Award of UNHCR High Commissioner (2001).