March 26, 2019By Cheryl Blowers, Fund Staff Being a mother anywhere is challenging. But for unmarried mothers in Tunisia, social stigma can make it nearly impossible. While Tunisia is known for its moderance—it was one of the first in the Middle East / North African region to give women the right to vote—social attitudes around […]
March 8, 2019By Cheryl Blowers, Fund Staff In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating six trailblazing women whose extraordinary human rights work is transforming communities across the globe. From changing laws on gender-based violence and LGBTI discrimination, to helping single mothers become self-reliant and overcome social exclusion, they are building a better world. The […]
February 27, 2019By Sally O’Neil, Fund Consultant On December 17, 2018, after spending nearly two years in prison, 20-year-old Imelda Cortez was acquitted and freed by a judge in El Salvador. A survivor of years of sexual abuse at the hands of her stepfather, Imelda had been charged with attempted murder after giving birth to […]
September 21, 2018 By Carolyn Ziv, Fund staff On a hot and sunny day last July, Jaimini, Sailesh, and their young daughter arrived at the local Nari Adalat—or ‘women’s court’—in their home town of Vadodara, India. The couple was seeking help working through marital issues involving Sailesh’s family, who were harassing Jaimini for not meeting […]
Mambo Zawadi and Julienne Lusenge of Fund grantee SOFEPADI. Photo courtesy of SOFEPADI. June 11, 2018 By Chloe Gilot, Program Intern Victoria* was 17 years old when Mambo Zawadi arrived at her school in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). As the Executive Director of Female Solidarity for Integrated Peace and Development (SOFEPADI), Zawadi spoke […]
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.