I am a citizen, not of Athens or Greece but of the world. Socrates



After concluding humanitarian aid programmes in the Caucasus and Central Asia, Pida Ripley extended WomenAid activities in the region concentrating on civil society development, initiating human rights, women’s empowerment, child rights, environmental, health and end violence against women campaigns and projects. 

Creating a ‘Network Platform’ concept Pida successfully persuaded hundreds of organisations, government departments and UN agencies to collaborate in three countries on increasing human rights, health and environmental awareness and developing the knowledge base of civil society and government departments throughout the Caucasus region. The success of these actions in partnership with government ministries led to changes in national policies and legislation - fulfilling a core WomenAid mission to be a catalyst for policy change.

‘Only by working together can men and women end violence against women’. 

Pida Ripley, launching her unique initiative of a ‘twin-track’ multimedia campaign
combining CAUCASUS 16 DAYS and the White Ribbon Ambassadors, 2001.


2000: Georgia: ‘Be Safe! Be Smart!’ - Multimedia Anti-Trafficking Campaign

Designed and implemented the first Georgian country wide multimedia programme of the growing threat of trafficking of human beings to vulnerable citizens in the former Soviet states. Creating a network of over eighty relevant Georgian organisations, media and government ministries, the first stages of a new national policy emerged and consequently  legislative changes were implemented.

Partners: IOM, WAI, WAI-Caucasus, media, Public Defender, Ministry of Education, government departments.

“We are very much impressed with the activities of WomenAid International undertaken in many areas of the world regarding gender violence and other urgent issues. We are sure that the close collaborative relationship of the Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation as the government agency and WomenAid International as the NGO partner will be strengthened as we work to combat trafficking in persons, especially in women and children.”

Otar Keinashvili, First Deputy Minister of Refugees & Accommodation, Georgia 

2000: Introducing Georgia to the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence

During 2000, establishing WomenAid International-Caucasus, Pida began promoting the Rutgers University 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence campaign by introducing it to Georgia and established the first national coordination committee of the ‘16 Days’ in the world.  A wide range of activities and events were organized by the members of this committee. The outstanding success of the first Georgian 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence was the elaboration and signing by over 70 representatives from Georgian government, UN agencies, international and local non-governmental organizations of a Joint Declaration Against Gender Violence. The UN legal department in New York granted approval for UN agencies to sign the Declaration.

2001-2005: CAUCASUS 16 DAYS of Activism Against Gender Violence. 

The First Lady of Georgia, Sandra Roloefs,
visiting WomenAid Tbilisi Office


To support the ‘broadening and deepening’ of regional civil society activities in the region she established CAUCASUS 16 DAYS National Coordination Committees in Azerbaijan and Armenia as well as in Georgia, thus substantially developing regional collaboration and cooperation.  

Launched as a five year programme, ‘CAUCASUS 16 DAYS’ promoted human rights and awareness of all forms of violence against women, including people trafficking.

Devising a ‘network platform’ organisational concept as a key ‘engagement and consensus building’ strategy to develop 'network capital' she successfully gained the support of over 600 national and inter-regional voluntary partners in Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan in the campaign. 

Hundreds of ‘End Violence Against Women’ events were organised by INGOs, NGOs, and government departments, actively promoted by multimedia partners and high profile celebrities throughout the Caucasus region - Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia -all agreeing on one campaign theme and similar documents across all countries. 

Partners: Canadian government, WAI, Soros Fdn, WAI-Caucasus, media, government ministries, UN country offices.

C16D Regional conference 

CAUCASUS 16 DAYS regional conference Tbilisi


CAUCASUS 16 DAYS supporters | Military support for Caucasus White Ribbon Campaign

WomenAid International-Caucasus is a well-known organisation, which during a number of years developed both formal and informal coalitions to work on critical issues, such as health, gender equity, child rights, anti-trafficking, environmental health, etc. Especially popular campaign 16 Days against Gender Violence attracted for participation not only women but also men and allowed to raise awareness of general population about this issue, assist victims of violence and drew attention of governmental actors to existing facts of violence, as well as possible ways of prevention.

J Kharashvili, UNV/UNDP Monitoring & Evaluation Officer.  2003  

First Lady of Georgia, Sandra Roelofs at an International Women’s Day seminar in WomenAid International’s Tbilisi office. 

“The events carried out by your organization change significantly the life of IDP population relieving their psychosocial difficulties. Especially important for them is the information provided through your programmes on HIV/Aids, stopping violence against women and children and preventing the global spread of trafficking.  

Availing myself of this opportunity to express respect for your work and understanding, I thank you on behalf of IDP population and myself.”

D Khorava, First Minister of Labour, Health & Social Affairs of Abkhaz Autonomous Republic 2005 

2001-2005: Caucasus White Ribbon Ambassadors Campaign

Pida introduced and promoted the ‘White Ribbon Campaign’ - an initiative by Canadian men, throughout the Caucasus region by engaging the interest and voluntary participation of many famous male celebrities in the region, including:

Rezo Gabriadze      |     Kote Kubaneishvili     |     Dato Evganidze
Kakhi Kavsadze     |     Duta Skhirtladze     |     Gia Bugadze

Caucasus 16 Days & Caucasus White Ribbon Ambassadors - Campaign Leaflet

European Karate Champion - 
Fizuli Musayev (Azerbaijan)

White Ribbon Ambassadors include World and European karate champion, Fizuli Musayev (Azerbaijan), World champion freestyle wrestler, Aram Magaryan (Armenia), World and European heavyweight champion boxer, Giorgi Kandelaki and the entire Georgian Rugby Team, Lelo, then European champion. 

Logo designed
by Pida Ripley

In a unique initiative Pida created and drew two separate five-year campaigns in the Caucasus, CAUCASUS 16 DAYS and Caucasus White Ribbon Ambassadors together in a high profile 'twin-track" strategy.

This created multiple opportunities for men and women to work together inter-regionally on ending violence against women.

This successful format attracted much interest and support and is now replicated elsewhere by the UN and other organisations.

Partners: WomenAid International (WAI), WAI-Caucasus,
Canadian Government, private donors.

WHO World Report on Violence and Health                             

The World Health Organization launched the first World Report on Violence and Health on October 3rd, 2002. Many governments organized national launches or policy discussions about the Report and resolutions endorsing the Report and calling for its implementation were passed in a number of fora, such as the World Health Assembly, the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights, and the African Union. 

The World Report on Violence and Health was the first comprehensive review of the problem of violence on a global scale – what it is, whom it affects and what can be done about it. Three years in the making, the report benefited from the participation of over 160 experts from around the world, receiving both peer-review from scientists and contributions and comments from representatives of all the world’s regions.

2002: WOMENAID organised the WHO presentations in three countries

In 2002, within the framework of CAUCASUS 16 DAYS,  Pida Ripley organised and chaired the official WHO Country Presentations of this important Global Report on Violence in three countries, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Bringing stakeholders together to review existing national policies led to some key policy changes in government policies and strategies -fulfilling the WomenAid mission to act as a catalyst for change

Ptnrs: WHO, MoH Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, WomenAid International-Caucasus (WAI-C).

“On December 18th I attended the Georgian Country Presentation of the World Health Organization (WHO) first World Report on Violence & Health. I was very much impressed by the presentation of the WomenAid-Caucasus activities and the report.”

K. Kunchulia, Office of Democracy & Governance, USAID, Tbilisi. 20.12.2002

ARMENIA: Country Presentation of WHO the First World Report ‘Violence & Health’16th December
16th December 2002. Congress Hotel, Yerevan. Chairman: Pida Ripley. Report presentation: Dr Hrair Aslanyan, WHO Liaison Office, Armenia & Pida Ripley. Dr Hayk Darbinyan, Minister of Health; Karine Hakobyan, Minister Social Security; Amal Melavim UNDP/Armenia.
Partners: WHO, WAI, WAI-Caucasus, UN agencies, Armenian government ministries and NGOs.

GEORGIA: Country Presentation of WHO First World Report on Violence & Health
18th December 2002. Sheraton Metechi Hotel, Tbilisi.
Chairman: Pida Ripley. Report presentation: WHO Liaison Office, Georgia & Pida Ripley.
Partners: WHO, WomenAid International, WAI-Caucasus, Georgian government ministries and NGOs.

AZERBAIJAN: Country Presentation of WHO First World Report on Violence & Health
20th December 2002. Chairman: Pida Ripley. Report presentation: WHO Liaison Office, Azerbaijan & Pida Ripley.
Partners: WHO, WomenAid International, WAI-Caucasus, Azerbaijan government ministries and NGOs.

2000-2005: Caucasus Zone Green Multimedia Campaign

Partners: WAI, UNEP, WAI-Caucasus, media, relevant government ministries and UN country offices.
WomenAid International (WAI) has a long history of environmental action and awareness campaigning - its ‘​Mothers of the Earth’​ environmental awareness campaign promoting the environmental work of women led to WomenAid International/Green Belt Movement being awarded recognition in the ​1987 UNEP Global 500 Awards​. http://www.global500.org/index.php/thelaureates/online-directory/item/71....

To introduce greater environmental awareness, engage civil society and ‘seed’ voluntary community action in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, in 2001 Pida created the highly successful, 5-year ‘Caucasus Zone Green’​ - an annual month-long multimedia campaign held in June.

It was the first such people’s ‘Call to Action’ in the Caucasus region,  promoting activities such as tree planting, green days, recycling and clean-up campaigns, street rallies, bicycle parades, green concerts, poetry, essay and poster competitions in schools as well as seminars, round table meetings and symposia. The campaign provided an opportunity for organisations and individuals to express their concerns and showcase their activities. 

For full information on all the Caucasus Zone Green Multimedia Campaign view Environment & Health

never too young to campaign

Caucasus Zone Green promotional postcards

2005: CCMF - CAUCASUS Contemporary Music & Film Festival ‘Tbilisi Live!’ 

"I write to express the willingness of the Ministry of Culture, Monument Preservation and Sports to support your latest initiative – the Caucasus Contemporary Music Festival.   The launch and development of this major cultural event, dedicated to civil society development, peace-building within the region and the global promotion of the South Caucasus places a central spotlight on Georgia’s own commitment to encourage greater cooperation within the region.“

A month long series of events ‘Tbilisi Live!’ marked the conclusion of the 5-year programmes of annual CAUCASUS 16 DAYS and the Caucasus White Ribbon Ambassadors, multimedia end violence against women campaign organised by WomenAid International and its local partner, WomenAid International-Caucasus.  

Over 100 artistes generously volunteered to support the Caucasus Contemporary Music & Film Festival. Performers included Yo-Yo-Ma Silk Road composer, Vache Sharafyan, and musicians Gevorg Dabaghyan with Levon Arakelyan. Chamber Trio ‘Tiflis’, Tbilisi Big Band, and many famous jazz, folk and rock musicians and singers.

For full information on all the Caucasus Contemporary Music & Film Festival (CCMF) - Tbilisi Live! concerts view CCMF Concerts.