At first glance, the Behen Dooj festival in Rajasthan, India might look like some sort of women-only dance party. But a closer look reveals that behind the dancing, singing, and celebration lies some serious feminist activism—and seriously fierce activists. Last October, over 500 single women gathered in Rajasthan for the third annual Behen Dooj bash. The women created the festival as a safe space where they can express themselves freely and share their experiences—something they can’t do publicly because of the stigma associated with living by themselves.
When Sandra Wobusobozi visits rural communities in northwestern Uganda, she often goes alone—armed only with educational brochures and a beat-up motorbike. As a staff member of the Lake Albert Children Women Advocacy Development Organization (LACWADO), Sandra jets between remote areas, training and collaborating with community members to tackle issues ranging from domestic violence, to child marriage, to corporate land grabs. Despite her young age, Sandra’s presence in the communities LACWADO serves is vital to the group’s success.
Nevertheless, She Persists: How Burundian Activist Pamella Mubeza Overcomes Taboos to Improve Women’s Sexual Health
With its conservative gender norms, struggling economy, and limited social programs, Burundi is a difficult place to be a young, single mother. When an unmarried woman or girl becomes pregnant, she is often shunned by her family, cast out of her community, and told not to return to school. Cut off from social support systems, she faces daily challenges meeting her basic needs and those of her child. That’s the bad news. The good news is, thanks to people like Pamella Mubeza, the situation is changing. A pioneering local leader and women’s rights activist, Pamella has dedicated her life to shifting Burundi's cultural norms around sexual and reproductive health and single motherhood.
At the Fund, we know that true equality for women and girls means strong, locally-rooted women’s rights activism that disrupts power structures and cultural norms—some of which are centuries old—that relegate women to second-class status. In every region in which we work, we support talented women and men who are committed to changing this status […]
From the Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast to the Niger Delta Avengers in the South, life in Nigeria can be insecure and politically unstable. John Kabia, the Fund's Program Officer for West Africa, witnessed this firsthand in February 2017, when he visited our grantees and advisors in the field.
As victims and their families in Guatemala have sought truth and justice for crimes committed during the country’s 30-year civil war, Fund grantee Equipo de Estudios Comunitarios y de Acción Psicosocial (ECAP) has played a key supporting role. Founded in 1997, ECAP provides crucial psychosocial support to witnesses, victims, experts, and even judges involved in the transitional justice trials. ECAP’s role has been vital in trials like the Sepur Zarco case, which marked the first time sexual slavery during war was prosecuted in the country in which it was committed.
Courage. Resilience. Determination. Tenacity. Grit. Whatever you choose to call it, the qualities that compelled Wai Wai Nu to take the tragic denial of her rights – and subsequent imprisonment during what should have been her university years – and turn that experience into a force for good is nothing short of extraordinary. In […]
Every day, we are inspired by the human rights activists who demand dignity for the most vulnerable members of their communities. Jan Sahas, based in India, is one such organization. In the face of abuse and intimidation, Jan Sahas champions opportunity for women and girls known as Dalits, or “untouchables.” Because of their low placement in […]
“Sasa!” That’s the rallying cry from men and women in Uganda’s capital city reaching out to their communities to prevent domestic violence against women. Literally translated, “sasa” means “now” – and that’s when Tina Musuya and her organization, Centre for Domestic Violence Prevention (CEDOVIP), believe gender-based abuse must stop. More than half of women in […]