For the first time representatives of every ethnic and religious group are sitting around the same table ─

It is amazing what we can accomplish together.

─ Elena Kalnitskaya, Project Kesher Leader, Makeevka, Ukraine

Multi-ethnic Coalitions

Our women's groups in the CIS build coalitions with people of other faiths and nationalities, other organizations, and government agencies to promote women's health and economic power and work to prevent domestic violence and to keep women from being trafficked.

The very existence – extremely rare in the region – of these interethnic coalitions builds tolerance in the communities where they exist.

In Bryansk, Russia, Project Kesher convened a roundtable of 38 organizations who successfully petitioned the government to reinstate the funding of the public health doctor assigned to work with women and girls, a position that had been cut from the budget despite the high teen pregnancy rate.

 

Media coverage of women’s issues in this region often fosters negative stereotypes about women and girls and stimulates dangerous behavior by men toward women. In Volgograd, Project Kesher formed a women’s council with representatives from 28 organizations whose first resolution was to ask the local media to change their reporting practices about women and to disseminate accurate information on women' s health issues.. For example, they have demanded that the media stop referring to post-partum depression as “bad mother’s disease.”

In Georgia, a region particularly vulnerable to human trafficking, Project Kesher convened a nationwide anti-trafficking meeting and has overseen ongoing cooperation among the participating organizations.