Empowering Rural Women: Ending violence, discrimination and stigma against women in rural communities Project Proposal: Educational and participatory program for women’s empowerment in rural areas through fighting all forms of gender-based discrimination and violence.
Project purpose This project aims to address gender-based discrimination, and raise awareness about all types of violence against women, including social and cultural stigma that come with certain challenges particularly faced by rural women, within their communities. In order to achieve its main goal of empowering women in their rural communities, this project relies on educational, participatory and sustainable tools that ensure the replication of the project in rural environments worldwide.
Project Outline • Section I: Program factors/Perceived Global and Theoretical Problems • Introduction • Justification • Section II: Project description • Key components • Methodoloy • Timeline and budget • Evaluation tools • Section III: Factors Affecting Project Selection and Further Development • Partners • Program assessment/sustainability • Bibliography
Context • The United Nations Decade for Women (1975-1985) marked a major switch in development policies/strategies: away from ‘gender-neutral’ policies and projects, towards more attention and emphasis on women as a ‘vulnerable’ group (Karl, 1995). • CEDAW: 18 December 1979, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. (It entered into force as an international treaty on 3 September 1981 + over 30 years of work by the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women)
September 1995: the 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing (17,000 participants and 30,000 activists) The main goals: gender equality and the empowerment of all women (UN Women, 2017). The Beijing Platform for Action • The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the post-2015 agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): focus on sustainability, human rights/equality, and gender-specific goals.
“As we look ahead to creating a more sustainable, inclusive and peaceful world, I applaud the visionary leadership of those who crafted the Platform for Action and urge a new generation of gender equality advocates to join me in advancing this cause. When we empower women and girls, we will realize a better future for all” BAN Ki-Moon, Secretary-General United Nations.
Global challenges & the status of rural women • “One in three women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence — mostly by an intimate partner. Whether at home, on the streets or during war, violence against women is a global pandemic that takes place in public and private spaces. Together we can and must end this pandemic’” (UN Women, 2015). • The Inter-Agency Task Force on Rural Women: led by FAO, IFAD and WFP + members: ITC-ILO, SPFII, UNCTAD, UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNIDO, UN Women and WHO. • Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger Rural Women's Poor Access to Infrastructure in Rural Areas Limits their Opportunities to Reduce Poverty and Hunger As an Important Source of Livelihoods for the Poorest, Agriculture is a Means to Eradicate Extreme Poverty, Especially for Rural Women Improving Rural Women's Access to Productive Resources is Central to Addressing Hunger • Goal 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education Poverty and Inequality are Barriers to Universal Education
Goal 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women Rural Girls are Doubly Disadvantaged in Global Secondary School Attendance Rural Women are Less Likely to Work for Wages than Rural Men Many Rural Women Experience Domestic Violence Yet Few Seek Services • Goal 4: Reduce Child Mortality Child Mortality Rates in Rural Areas Remain Higher Than in Urban Areas Women's Education is a Key Determinant in their Children's Survival
Methodology/Genderanalysis in development • The Harvard Framework “Because of its emphasis on the allocation of resources and activities, it lends itself particularly well to organizational analysis … the framework becomes a powerful tool for identifying inequitable allocations of roles and responsibilities. However, it can also be applied to policies, projects, programmes, sectors, and sub-sectors” (Leach, 2003). “The Harvard Framework can be modified to facilitate the gender analysis of structures and practices within educational organizations” (Karl, 1995).
Methodology • The Women’sEmpowerment Framework (WEF) “Women, as the group most adversely affected by the existing development strategies, will have to be in the forefront of the definition of a new self-reliant and people-centered development… This does not mean that the partial improvement of women’s lives within the framework of the existing status quo is impossible. Each gain of the ordinary peasant and working-class women represents a step leading towards freedom and social equality” (Kihoro, 1992).
Vision/goals of the project • Intersectionality: Womenis a vulnerable group, if youconsiderotherfactorssuch as ethnicity, class, etcthere are disparitiesamongthesesub-groups. • Rural women have been more marginalized and excludedthanurbanwomen • Rural womenremainisolated • Capacity building of women and communitymembers, in order to promotegenderequality and equity, througheducational, participatory and sustainabletools.
Project description • This pilot projectwillbeled in a small village in North West Tunisiacalled « El Guebel » (a rural area in the governorate of Siliana) • Sincesustainabilityis one of the core values in our vision, weaim to have the same structure of the program befollowedagain in different rural areas insideTunisia, and elsewhere. • Our main focus willbe on ACCESS and how womencan have access to educationaltoolssuch as awarenesscampaigns, informative meetings/circles, and participatorytechnicaltoolssuch as capacity building, training, and creating dialogue among men, women and childrenwithin the community.
Project cycle: 1st phase: • Provide mobile units (vehicles/vans) thatwouldspend a week in each village/rural community • Activists, experts, voluntarymedical staff (doctors, nurses, etc) are to provideaccess to services and data about discrimination againstwomen, violence againstwomen, stigma faced by women, and women and children’shealth care (reproductive health, contraception, etc) • Themesaroundthese main topics (discrimination, violence, and stigma) willbeaddressed/discussed by women and men • All threethemesmust becovered, and the activities/workshops willbechosen/ledaccordingly
2nd phase: • Training women and men (Training for Gender Equality Community of Practice by the UN Women: “a knowledge-sharing platform (available in English, French and Spanish) for trainers and experts on training for gender equality It features good practices and innovative tools, promotes information-sharing and inspires discussion on key issues related to training for gender equality.”
3rd phase: Implementingwhat has been learned and passing on knowledge to the rest of the community
Timeline & requirements • 1st phase: 3 months: a week in a village to speakwithlocals and get a sense of their urgent needs/concerns (in collaboration withour local NGO partners) Everyweekwill have a differenttheme. Data collection phase: using the Harvard Framework Mobile units: as many as possible, each unit wouldcostaround $5000 2nd phase: 3 months: Training men and womenwho are willing to be leaders in their local communities + ending stigma againstwomen (because of economic/health/cultural barriers) Using the UN Women training guidelines to promotegenderequity/equalitywithin a healthyenvironment Requirementsfrom local NGOs: providing experts/volunteerswilling to offer lectures, raiseawareness, lead campaignsetc Requirementfrom local participants whowouldlike to train: finish the required training in Phase 2
Expected impact/results • Participatoryknowledge sharing • Educated and awarewomenwhowill continue to shareknowledge and train future generations • Empowered rural women are capable of sustainingthemselves and theirfamilies, and the agricultural/farmingsector • Breaking social constraints and stigma againstempoweringwomen+ promotingindividualdecision-making (making reproductive choices, etc)