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Zaida Catalán Scholarship for YoungPeacebuilders in Afghanistan and DRC 2024

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Opportunity Details

Are you a newly hired peacebuilder in your early years of service? Have you worked in the fields of women’s rights, peace, and security in Afghanistan or the Democratic Republic of the Congo? If so, you’re invited to apply for the 1325 Scholarship for the year 2024.

In accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace, and security, the FBA has been awarding an annual scholarship since 2020. The goal of this scholarship is to honor Zaida Catalán’s memory and further the cause of women, peace, and security. She was a fervent supporter of gender equality and peacebuilding. The purpose of the scholarship is to support people who are dedicated to the cause of women’s involvement in conflict resolution. Over the course of a year, it provides young changemakers in some of FBA’s partner nations with the chance to expand their knowledge and expertise regarding the women, peace, and security agenda.

Zaida Catalán worked as a gender consultant for the FBA on several international peace missions from 2011 until 2016. She tragically died in 2017 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo while participating in a UN mission. The 1325 Scholarship, established by the Swedish Government and administered by the FBA, provides more young advocates for peace with the chance to learn about and tackle issues related to women’s participation in conflict resolution, in the spirit of Zaida Catalán.

Selected scholarship recipients will have the opportunity to enhance their understanding and contribute to peace and security efforts through placements within local civil society organizations. The FBA also provides capacity-building activities throughout the scholarship duration.

Scholarship recipients will receive a stipend to ensure a decent standard of living. Moreover, the FBA will cover certain expenses for the host organization to ensure that the scholarship recipients have a fulfilling and safe learning experience.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • be  early-career young peacebuilders  who demonstrate a strong commitment to advancing the agenda on women, peace, and security, as well as promoting gender equality.
  • have at least two years of relevant experience working within civil society contexts in the DRC or Afghanistan – the two countries where Zaida Catalán was on secondment from FBA.
  • Additionally, candidates should express a clear intention to continue their efforts on these issues within their local communities beyond the scholarship period.
  • Legal permit of residency and/or current settlement in the context and national connection / link to Afghanistan. (Citizenship is not a requirement, but applicants should have the intention to continue to operate as an agent for change to promote women, peace and security in the actual context after the end of the scholarship.)

Eligibility for those applicants based in  Afghanistan

Education, skills and experience

  • University degree in social science, e.g. media studies, international relations, law, public policy, gender studies, and development studies or related areas;
  • At least one-year of professional work experience at the national and/or international level in project and program coordination, human rights research, policy advocacy, gender equality or other relevant programmes; experience with UNSCR1325 is an asset, as is experience working with civil society organizations or national/international organizations;
  • A good understanding of human rights, international human rights law and international humanitarian law;
  • A good understanding of the Afghanistan context, especially on issues relevant to UNSR1325

Comeptence and values

  • Proven analytical and critical thinking skills;
  • Fluency in written and spoken English. Fluency in Urdu language will be an asset;
  • A cooperative attitude and ability to do independent work as well as the ability to work within a team;
  • The ability to join the team for ‘field work’ in various locations;
  • Reporting and research skills


  • Working knowledge of spoken and written English is required. Some knowledge of Urdu language will be appreciated but not necessary.;


The scholarship lasts for the period indicated above. As this is a national assignment, the scholarship recipient will be responsible for arranging his/her own housing and other living essentials and travel to and from duty station, but will be provided with allowances compensating for his/her expenses

The allowance package consists of the following:

  • Living Allowance provided to sustain a basic, adequate and safe lifestyle;
  • Settling-in-Grant to meet initial expenses upon arrival at the duty station and preparation ahead of the given period;
  • Family-visiting Grant that is paid on case-by-case basis depending on location

Placement Opportunities for 2024

The recipient in the DRC will be assigned to work with the civil society organization Kvinna till Kvinna in Bukavu.

Due to security concerns in Afghanistan, the FBA has partnered with the human rights organization and think tank Bytes for All (B4A) in Islamabad, Pakistan, to host this year’s Afghan scholarship recipient.

For 2024, activities in Palestine have been paused due to changes in the agency’s funding directives from the Government. Consequently, applications for placements are currently only being accepted for the DRC and Pakistan.


How to apply? 
Are you ready to take the next step in your career as a peacebuilder and make a difference in the spirit of Zaida Catalán? Then it’s time to prepare your application and apply now.

Apply in DRC | Apply for Scholarship in Afghanistan/Pakistan

FBA will screen and verify applications and then review and rate approved applicants. They assess applicants based on formal and functional competence, as well as personal suitability. Shortlisted candidates will have an interview with a joint panel.

For more details about 2024 Zaida Catalán Scholarship please visit the FBA website.   For any queries not found in the website, you can contact 1325scholarship@fba.se.

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