RAW in WAR (Reach All Women in War)

RAW in WAR (Reach All Women in War)

At a glance


  • Campaigning
  • Human rights
  • Refugees / migrants
  • Women

Other details

Geographical remit: 


RAW in WAR(Reach All Women in WAR)is an international human rights NGO supporting women human rights defenders and women and girl victims and survivors of war and conflict around the world. RAW in WARaims to:

  • Support women human rights defenders, working in countries in war and conflict, and help end abuse and persecution against them.
  • Work directly with women who are active in their communities in order to strengthen and enable their work on behalf of women and girl victims and survivors of conflict.
  • Carry out its work in areas of conflict, including “forgotten conflict”, where there is limited or no support from the major humanitarian agencies and organizations.

Mariana Katzarova founded RAW in WARin 2006, after working as a jour­nalist and human rights advocate in the war zones of Bosnia, Kosovo and Chechnya, including 10 years as the Russia Researcher for Amnesty Inter­national. Most recently, during 2014-2016, Ms Katzarova led the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in the armed conflict in Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Eastern Ukraine.  


RAW in WARworks on: 

  • The Anna Politkovskaya Award: 7 October marks the anniversary of the murder in 2006 of Anna Politkovskaya, the campaigning Russian journalist and outspoken government critic. To honour Anna and other women like her, RAW in WARannually presents this award to a woman human rights defender from a conflict zone who, like Anna, stands up for the victims of this conflict, often at great personal risk. To date, the award has been given to the following 15 recipients: Natalia Estemirova (Chechnya/Russia, 2007), Malalai Joya (Afghanistan, 2008), Leila Alikarami on behalf of the One Million Signatures Campaign for Equality (Iran, 2009), Dr. Halima Bashir (Darfur/Sudan, 2010), Razan Zaitouneh (Syria, 2011), Marie Colvin (US, 2012), Malala Yousefzai (Pakistan, 2013), Vian Dakhil (Iraq, 2014), Khaloud Waleed (Syria, 2015), Valentina Cherevatenko (Special award, Russia, 2016) and Jineth Bedoya Lima (Colombia, 2016), Gulalai Ismail (Pakistan, 2017) and Gauri Lankesh (India, 2017), and Svetlana Alexievich (Belarus, 2018) and Binelakshmi Nepram (Manipur/India, 2018).


  • Refusing To Be Silenced – This is a platform through which human rights abuses against women and girls can be discussed and has included previous Anna Politkovskaya Award winners. Through this platform, RAW in WAR supports international women of courage who stand for human rights and justice in war and conflict zones around the world.  Our aim is to share their experiences and voices with a wider audience and enable a discussion, which we hope will inspire others to take action in their own communities. We are hoping to expand this forum in the future to make positive policy change. 

Since 2014 an annual event has been held every March as part of the Women of the World (WOW) Festival of London’s Southbank Centre.It brought the only Yazidi MPin Iraq’s Parliament, Vian Dakhil, the 2013 Award winner and a Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, to wider public attention, highlighting the plight of the Yazidi women and girls abducted and turned into sex slaves by ISIS. Our platform supported the campaign of Obiageli Ezekwesili (Nigeria), founder of the ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ movement to rescue the 300 girls of Chibok abducted by Boko Haram in Nigeria. ‘Refusing To Be Silenced’ raised awareness about the efforts of Angelina Atyam (Uganda) who has tirelessly campaigned to rescue girls abducted in Uganda by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Her campaign followed the abduction of her own 14-year-old-daughter Charlotte, who was turned into a sex slave to rebel commanders.Dr Halima Bashir from Darfur/Sudanused the platform to campaign on behalf of the women and girl survivors of sexual violence in the conflict in Darfur who, like Halima herself, were gang-raped by the army and the militia. 

  • Support the work of women human rights defenders from war and conflict, including the winners of the Anna Politkovskaya Award. For example, RAW in WARsuccessfully implemented the first project of its kind in Chechnyato develop and support the availability of trauma therapy to Chechen women and girls who were victims of violence during the conflict, building the capacity of women's NGOs in the North Caucasus. Most recently, in May 2017, RAW in WAR supported the efforts of our 2016 Award winner, Colombian journalist Jineth Bedoya Lima. RAW’s Founder and Chair, Mariana Katzarova, visited Colombia and took part in Jineth’s campaign “No Es Hora De Callar” (“Now is not the time to remain silent!”) – extending support to women survivors of sexual violence in the conflict and delivering a keynote address in the Central University in Bogota on the challenges to media and academia in helping to end gender-based violence.  


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