WomenStrong International partners with community-based organizations that are empowering urban women and girls by advancing progress in our priority areas: Girls’ Education and Empowerment, Women’s Health, Violence Against Women and Girls, and Economic Security and Opportunity.
Our partners work to pilot, replicate, and disseminate promising solutions grounded in their knowledge of what women, girls, and their communities need in order to thrive. They share what they are learning in our WomenStrong International Learning Lab, where they develop, test, sharpen, and amplify their solutions more broadly.
Girls' Education and Empowerment
MalawiGirls' Education and Empowerment
Girls Empowerment Network (GENET) improves the status and wellbeing of vulnerable, marginalized, and at-risk adolescent girls in Malawi. GENET empowers adolescent girls and young people to advocate for gender equality and justice, access to sexual reproductive health rights, education, and economic opportunities to national, regional and international networks. WomenStrong International’s support enables GENET to train and empower primary and secondary school teachers to implement gender-inclusive teaching methods in five schools located in the slums of Blantyre, Malawi’s economic capital. The project equips teachers in girl-centered approaches, tackles social norms and negative gender stereotypes, and supports mentoring to help improve students’ academic performance and nurture a love for learning among girls. The teachers will share their learning in afterschool “SheDreams” Girls’ Clubs, where over 3,500 young girls can learn new skills in a safe and supportive environment.
UgandaGirls' Education and Empowerment
Girl Up Initiative Uganda was established in December 2012 to respond to the unmet need to advance educational and economic opportunities for young women and adolescent girls in slum areas in Kampala, Uganda’s capital. The organization has built a vibrant movement of girls through transformative leadership, sexual and reproductive health education, and skills development. With support from WomenStrong, Girl Up Initiative Uganda is launching a project to reach in-school adolescent boys with critical knowledge and information that can challenge deeply held beliefs and attitudes about girls and women and improve their knowledge around such key areas as sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender-based violence. The project also includes “gender dialogues” that bring boys and girls together in safe spaces to discuss and understand their respective challenges, with the aim of creating respectful, girl-friendly environments.
AfghanistanGirls' Education and Empowerment
Sahar’s mission is to create educational opportunities in Afghanistan that empower and inspire children and their families to build peaceful, thriving communities. The organization partners with the Afghan Ministry of Education and Afghan-based organizations to implement programs to prevent early marriage, build schools, train teachers, improve digital literacy, and support a young women’s fellowship program in Balkh Province. Building on its successful Early Marriage Prevention Program, the grant from WomenStrong International enables Sahar to engage local men and boys as part of its efforts to change individual and community perceptions of early marriage. Working with fathers and elders, Sahar will lead workshops and specific interventions that address domestic violence, mental health and trauma, and conflict resolution. Tools, resources, and effective techniques will be shared with the men, so that they can continue the work of challenging harmful gender stereotypes and engage other community members who are critical to changing attitudes about girls’ rights and opportunities.
ZimbabweGirls' Education and Empowerment
The Girls’ Legacy builds the capacity of young Zimbabwean women and girls through leadership development and mentoring to enable them to live empowered lives and become role models and change agents in their own communities. The organization invests in young women’s education and leadership through a network of Girls’ Clubs, run by the girls themselves in different communities. WomenStrong’s grant is supporting a project for over 200 vulnerable young girls and women in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, who have been unable to complete school, are struggling with their education, and/or who have become mothers at an early age. Through a series of workshops focused on the program’s two key components, high-value skills training and personal leadership training, young girls are equipped with skills of high commercial value, such as carpentry and plumbing, positioning them to find work and to contribute to their communities. Parallel to these workshops, the girls also gain knowledge through lifeskills training in various topics, including financial literacy, community engagement, and self-awareness.
PeruGirls' Education and Empowerment
Visionaria Network partners with local education ministries, businesses, and sustainable development leaders to design training and leadership opportunities for students and entrepreneurs. Visionaria’s flagship program in Cusco, Peru, “Visionaria for Schools,” is a comprehensive training that supports teachers in understanding and facilitating gender equity and norms, leadership, and empowerment for students. With support from WomenStrong, Visionaria is piloting a training for secondary school teachers in Cusco to ensure that learning outcomes can be achieved by all students, regardless of gender. Following the pilot, they will be adding gender equality teaching tips to Visionaria’s regular curriculum for the “civic and personal development” course area; and producing and disseminating “Teaching Strategies for Gender Equality,” using multi-media to reinforce effective gender-sensitive teaching strategies for educators across Peru.
GuatemalaGirls' Education and Empowerment
Women’s Justice Initiative prevents violence against women and girls in indigenous communities through programs that both increase women’s awareness of their rights and allow women and girls to protect those rights through access to mobile legal outreach. The grant from WomenStrong International allows Women’s Justice Initiative to address early marriage in the peri-urban areas of Patzun, where girls are often married before they turn 18. The project aims to change attitudes toward early marriage through a strategy that targets adolescent girls aged 10-17 with education and lifeskills, while including a parallel training program for adolescent boys. The project also includes training and advocacy at the municipal level, to change cultural norms about the age of marriage, to create safe spaces for vulnerable girls, and to involve key actors such as parents and community leaders in the process.
Violence Against Women and Girls
USAViolence Against Women and Girls
Black Women’s Blueprint (USA) works with women and girls, including those identifying as transgender, to protect their civil and human rights. As part of the WomenStrong Learning Lab, Black Women’s Blueprint will advance its “Black Women Rise with Men Ending Violence Against Women” project in New York City and Atlanta. The project seeks to engage men in the anti-violence leadership pipeline through training, education, and leadership development; center holistic healing and reconciliation through the engagement of Black communities; and de-silo the anti-violence field in order to demonstrate a model for engaging in violence prevention strategies across gender.
MexicoViolence Against Women and Girls
Centro Mujeres in Baja California Sur, Mexico, empowers women, youth, and migrant communities to advocate for their human rights, including reproductive rights. Their advocacy, awareness-raising, and community engagement efforts promote positive social change and improve the quality of life for people living in vulnerable conditions. With WomenStrong’s support, Centro Mujeres will work for the eradication of sexual violence and forced sex of girls and teens through its school-based community action project, Prevención Somos Todos.
CambodiaViolence Against Women and Girls
Gender and Development Cambodia addresses gender-based violence by promoting mutual respect between men and women, enabling policymakers and institutions to address gender inequality, and strengthening support for gender equality at the national and local level. WomenStrong’s grant enables the organization to connect urban and rural young women, so they can exercise their rights to reduce violence and discrimination. They will support young women working in trades such as garment manufacturing and in sex work in Phnom Penh and in the Oral District of Kompong Speu Province, with valuable coaching and mentoring, and training on topics including gender transformational leadership, sexual and reproductive health, and laws and policies.
USAViolence Against Women and Girls
Men Stopping Violence (USA) engages men and communities to take action to end violence against women. Through training and community education, Men Stopping Violence has reached over 500,000 individuals in its decades of powerful work. With WomenStrong's support, Men Stopping Violence seeks to disrupt the “traditional family function” of violence by transforming the family unit into a force for gender equality and safety for women and girls. The new “Because We Are Family” community engagement program includes sessions exploring the construct of gender roles and rethinking the vital role of the family in stopping violence against women and girls.
RwandaViolence Against Women and Girls
Rwanda Women’s Network, dedicated to empowering Rwandan women, works with over 52 grassroots associations, cooperatives, and spaces that reach more than 4,000 people. WomenStrong’s grant supports the Network’s effort to shift attitudes, behaviors, and norms that contribute to intimate partner violence among couples in the Bugesera District. The project includes multiple strategies, including training on a curriculum to reach couples, capacity-building, and community-level conversations focused on strategies for reducing gender-based violence.
KenyaViolence Against Women and Girls
The Action Foundation of Kenya builds inclusive and resilient communities where children and young people with disabilities can thrive. One of the organization’s core programs employs a mentor-mentee model to empower young women with disabilities to build agency, leadership, and advocacy skills among girls who also live with a disability. WomenStrong International’s support will allow the organization to build the self-advocacy skills of 240 women and girls as well as work with men and boys to change perceptions that perpetuate gender-based violence. The project also includes collaborating with local leaders, law enforcement officers, chiefs, and religious leaders, to become community change agents.
Copper Rose Zambia helps adolescents reach their full potential by working with them in four thematic areas: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, including Menstrual Health Management; Economic Opportunity; Leadership and Mentorship; and Mother and Child Health. Copper Rose’s WomenStrong grant will allow Copper Rose to reach over 7,000 young people in Lusaka with reproductive health information and services through university-based pregnancy prevention activities that include men, the training of community-based health distributors, youth awareness-raising events, and linkages to “Youth Friendly Spaces” within health centers.
The mission of the Firecracker Foundation is to honor the bravery of children who have survived sexual trauma by building a community invested in the healing of their whole being. The organization provides many programs, including comprehensive mental health services; trauma-sensitive yoga; perinatal advocacy programming; and community outreach to create safe spaces to support children, families, and advocates. WomenStrong International will support the Perinatal Advocacy Program to create a safe and nurturing environment for approximately 32 pregnant or parenting teens and young adults by providing them with doula support, both in-person and virtually, during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum, in addition to peer networking.
Mali Health develops community-led solutions to improve maternal and child health in communities affected by poverty. They deploy community health workers, who improve maternal health by reaching out to mothers and their children, and support women's groups to lead their own health financing strategies that enable members to access health information, loans, and other financial resources. With their grant from WomenStrong, Mali Health will connect over 5,200 women in 220 savings groups to family planning information and services within the peri-urban communities in Bamako, where they work.
Mujeres Aliadas uses community education, dignified and qualified healthcare, and formal midwifery training to strengthen sexual and reproductive health and rights for women and adolescents in and around Michoacán, Mexico. With WomenStrong support, Mujeres Aliadas will train professional midwives, midwifery students, and other healthcare professionals to educate patients about advocating for their healthcare rights and conduct community-based workshops about healthcare rights and women’s rights, with a goal of reaching over 1,000 people.
Projet Jeune Leader, a youth-led organization, provides adolescents with school-based comprehensive sexuality education and access to sexual and reproductive health resources. WomenStrong’s support will allow Projet Jeune Leader’s professional young educators to teach a 27-unit, year-long, rights-based, and gender-transformative comprehensive sexuality education curriculum in 13 urban and peri-urban public middle schools, and replicate their program from 20 to 45 partner schools in Madagascar. Projet Jeune Leader’s educators, who work full-time in their assigned schools, will also organize after-school programming, provide one-on-one counselling services, deliver medical referrals, run recreational spaces, and lead workshops for parents throughout the school year.
Roots of Health (Philippines) addresses the lack of sexual and reproductive health knowledge among young people in Palawan through education, service delivery, and systems-strengthening. Focusing on the Palawan capital, WomenStrong’s grant will enable Roots of Health to utilize data to better empower and support women and young people to realize their sexual and reproductive health rights in the midst and aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis. The grant will ensure access to reproductive health services, mobilize women at the community level to ensure that public health education messages on risk and prevention strategies for COVID-19, reproductive health and general health are reaching all women and young people, and will strengthen the leadership and meaningful participation of women in decision-making processes in addressing the COVID-19 outbreak.