We offer support to women so that they understand their rights, raise their voices and gain the life-changing skills they need to lead more stable and self-sufficient lives. Find out more about the issues women face and how we are working together to create sustainable change for themselves, their families and their communities.
Violence against women and girls is one of the biggest global challenges to enabling women and girls to the full and equal enjoyment of their rights and to live their lives with dignity and free from fear.
To effectively end violence, including sexual violence in conflict, we have to challenge the harmful and discriminatory unwritten rules in societies that tolerate or permit abuses of women and girls.
At Women for Women International, we work with the most socially excluded women in countries affected by conflict across the world. Most of the women we work with are affected by gender based violence (including sexual) and many are survivors themselves. We believe that to effectively end violence, including sexual violence in conflict, we have to challenge the harmful and discriminatory unwritten rules in societies that tolerate or permit abuses of women and girls.
We work directly with marginalised women to build their capacity to participate in their communities and with governments to support effective delivery of women’s rights protections.
Conflict magnifies the inequalities women face and makes them more vulnerable to abuse as it destroys many of the protections that women rely on. Multiple international laws exist that are intended to protect women’s rights and the Women, Peace and Security Framework is the key mechanism to prioritise and protect women’s rights in times of conflict. The framework recognises not only that the impact of conflict is different for women, but also that women are powerful agents of change.
The drivers and consequences of poverty are gendered: women are more vulnerable and denied opportunities. Prioritising women’s rights is key to delivering the Global Goals – the international development framework that promises to deliver for those left furthest behind.
Women have free and equal rights to live their lives with dignity – free from fear and free from want. These rights are specifically enshrined in international human rights law, such as the Beijing Platform for Action and the UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women. Governments have national laws and policies in place designed to promote women’s rights and protect them from abuse. Yet women continue to be discriminated against in all areas of their lives, including access to economic opportunities. This is a violation of women’s rights, as are the manifestations and consequences of poverty.
If we want to help women to break through the stereotypes that limit their opportunities, we must work with men to challenge discrimination and become allies in the fight for gender equality.
Through our men’s engagement programme, we have worked with more than 14,000 men across six countries to support women’s rights. We have seen how engaging with men can build men’s capacity to understand the negative consequences of inequality for both women and the entire community. We have also seen men take responsibility for change and enable women to participate in the discussions and make decisions that affect their lives.
Despite women’s crucial role in agriculture, rural development and ensuring families are fed, they are consistently discriminated against in accessing, owning and making decisions around land.
Globally, women represent almost half of agricultural workers, but only a fifth of land owners (Source: UNDP). A recent study commissioned by Women for Women International showed that improving women’s access to land is fundamental for women’s rights and Eastern DRC’s broader development and needs to be integrated into addressing the conflict, so much of which connects land, power and identity.