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7 Women Activists Changing the World

“We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.” – Malala Yousafzai

Around the world, women are mobilizing for their rights to equal pay, access to education, reproductive health care, and life free from violence. Here are seven feminist groups and activists supported by the Fund who are reshaping our world for the better.

1) Indigenous women lawyers securing a landmark victory for women assault survivors in Guatemala

Thirty-six Maya Achi women struggled for four decades to hold anyone accountable for sexual assaults experienced during the country’s civil war. In January 2022, they succeeded, when five former paramilitaries were convicted for their crimes. At their side were a team of Indigenous women providing legal aid and psychosocial support in their pursuit of justice.

 

5 women stand behind a camera and tripod

2) A women-owned photo agency in Sierra Leone challenging stereotypes and bias

Founded by four young women with a passion for photography, Girls Behind the Lens provides girls and young women with training and an outlet for elevating their perspectives. As some of the only women photographers in Sierra Leone, the group is breaking barriers while providing young women with employment opportunities.

 

3) A survivor of domestic violence in Uganda working to end violence against women

Annette is a survivor turned activist. She works to dismantle the patriarchal norms in Uganda that lead many women to accept or even expect violence in relationships. Her story and her work have made her a respected role model for her community.

 

Sunita faces the camera with her fist raised

4) The woman leading her sisters in a mass movement in India

Sunita has been elected head of her local village council three times, and helps lead a women’s section of a membership-based organization advocating for Adivasi tribal communities’ rights. But growing up, she never pictured herself leading a march or as a leader.

 

5) The feminist networks in El Salvador creating a hotline for women experiencing abuse during the pandemic

When the world went into lockdown, domestic abuse skyrocketed. In El Salvador, three feminist groups collaborated to set up a free hotline providing emergency psychosocial support and legal counseling.

 

6) The domestic workers securing labor rights in Mexico

Until 2019, an estimated 2 million domestic workers in Mexico, the majority of whom are women, worked without any legal protections. This finally changed thanks to this group of domestic workers whose advocacy led to the government passing legislation granting the workers basic labor rights like work hour limits and paid leave.

 

7) The women standing up for their rights and their community’s survival in Myanmar

The Karen minority have resisted oppression and violence at the hands of Myanmar’s military for decades. The Karen Women’s Organization works to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their people, while also promoting women’s rights and leadership within their community.

 

Want to hear more stories of women standing up for their rights and communities?

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