Previously Soriyat For Development, Women Now for Development was established in June 2012 in Paris. Women Now is the largest women’s organisation working to empower Syrian women inside Syria and its neighbouring countries, with over 10,000 people benefiting from their services in 2014. It works within Syria and cooperates with local partners, grassroots organisations, civil society activists, international NGOs, and other partners to enhance women's social, economic and cultural participation in their communities. Its team is made up of 87 women and four men. The majority work inside Syria, and the others are based in Lebanon, Turkey and France.
Image Credit: Women Now for Development.
- To engender the development of a society governed by democracy, freedom, and justice – a society where women have a meaningful role in everyday Syrian life.
- To support and empower women and children, to protect them from the consequences of war, and to allow them to participate in the social movement for peace, human rights, and gender equality.
- To enable Syrian women to become an active member of society, both economically and socially, and to become a key partner in the political decision-making at the local and international leve.
Description of activities
Areas of engagement:
- Fighting illiteracy, especially among women and young people.
- Economic empowerment of women through training and providing support to create income generating activities.
- Education through classes in technology, communications, and foreign languages.
- Supporting women’s access to society and building civic engagement.
- Children’s education and protection.
These projects consider the role of the women in economic life, especially those who have lost their family funder. They also help to stabilise income for the women in the targeted area to help keep their economic life stable (e.g. manufacturing dairy products in Maidal Anjar, Lebanon; via agricultural initiative project in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon; a cow breeding project in Jabal el Zawyah, Idleb, Syria; small shops in Saraqeb in Saraqeb, Idleb, Syria)
Women Now Centre:
Women Now's main project has six centres in Lebanon and Syria, with 700 beneficiaries per month. Activities includes:
- Economic department (offering life-skills course including knitting and sewing, hair dressing, cooking).
- Educational and cultural department (offering educational courses in English and French, a literacy program, ICDL and workshops on women’s development and empowerment, a library, and a cinema hall offers).
- Psychological support department (which has a specialised and devoted team providing psychosocial support for traumatised women and children).
- Political and social department (which provides lectures and workshops on a variety of subjects such as peace-building, women’s legal and political rights, women’s political participation, parenting, conflict resolution, and civic engagement).
In 2012 and 2013 Women Now set up seventeen micro-projects for widowed women in northern Syria, with more than 150 beneficiaries. It also supported four educational initiatives, with more than 1000 beneficiaries, as well as supporting the growth of civil society and humanitarian projects, with more than 1000 beneficiaries.
In 2014 it launched the Women Now Center For Women’s Empowerment (with four centers in Syria and Lebanon, serving 600 beneficiaries per month).
Sources of funding/partners
Women's Now is affiliated with Collectif du Développement et du Secours Syrien.
In 2014 Women's Now partnered with the Hurass Network for Child Protection, implementing the child protection chart in Women Now Centers