Women’s Empowerment

Cultivating Civic Engagement

DWO gives women the tools they need to become effective leaders in the civic life of their communities.

Bridging Cultural Divides

DWO works with women from diverse ethnic backgrounds to foster inter-communal solidarity.

Preparing for Public Crises

DWO trains women to take on active roles in preparing for natural disasters and crises.

Women’s Leadership

DWO empowers women to be involved in the civic decision-making process and helps prepare them to take on public leadership roles. In 2009, DWO created the Women’s Leadership School to train women on how to advocate for their communities at the local level. 120 women have participated in the School, learning about topics such as gender equality, electoral processes, and running for local and central government offices.

The graduates of the Women’s Leadership School have established 16 action groups and developed 36 petitions which were submitted to the local government for review. 25 out of the 36 petitions were successfully implemented. The petitions addressed community issues such as renovating kindergarten buildings, access to clean water, allocating public space for a hospital, and rebuilding roads and bridges.

Graduates of the School have gone on to become members of their local government. In 2011, Akhaltsikhe became the only city in Georgia to have 11 women on the Sakrebulo (city council,) 3 of whom were graduates of the school. Six graduates have since become members of the Georgian Parliament.

Peace Building

Samtskhe-Javakheti is the most ethnically non-homogenous region of Georgia. According to the 2014 census, approximately 49 percent of the region’s population is ethnic Armenian, 48 percent are ethnic Georgians and the remainder is comprised of Russians, Ossetians, Greeks, and Ukrainians. The ethnic diversity of the region creates challenges for peaceful coexistence because of language barriers, religious differences, and self-identification of the non-Georgian population with areas outside of Georgia.

DWO brings together local women of all ethnicities to identify community issues of importance and work together to create government petitions and grassroots initiatives. We facilitate dialogues between members of these ethnic groups that promote healthy cooperation at the local level as well as an understanding of how to resolve conflict that arises within these integrated communities.

Emergency Preparedness

In 2018, DWO partnered with the US Army Civil Military Support Element on emergency preparedness planning. In 2019, DWO launched a pilot project to train diverse groups of women in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region on emergency preparedness. The project is part of an overall effort to promote women’s leadership and active participation in grassroots emergency preparedness so that the general public is better prepared to address natural disasters (such as mudslides and earthquakes) and other crises.