Women’s Rights

Across the world, women and girls’ rights are affected the most by poverty. From the moment they are born, girls face inequalities and injustice in almost every aspect of their lives.

We make sure girls go to and stay in school. We work with communities to end gender-based violence. And we train women in the skills they need to earn a living.

Our Women’s Rights Programme funded by Irish Aid

Irish Aid funds ActionAid Ireland’s Women’s Rights programme in Malawi, Kenya, Vietnam and Nepal. The programme, which started in 2012, focuses on ending violence against women and ensuring that women and girls can break the cycle of poverty.

What does the Women’s Rights programme involve?

  • Educating women and girls on their rights and encouraging them to report cases of violence
  • Providing basic literacy training and confidence building exercises
  • Setting up savings co-operatives
  • Encouraging men to support women’s rights
  • Training doctors, police and judges to document and manage cases of violence against women
  • Training women to follow-up on cases of violence to ensure justice
  • Training women to lobby governments for harsher punishment for perpetrators of violence against women

Read the independent evaluation of this programme here!

You can read some of the highlights from our Women’s Rights Programme 2012-16 here.

AFTER Project

In Ireland ActionAid worked with migrant women and girls and their communities to support them to reject FGM/C, through the AFTER project (Against FGM/C Through Empowerment and Rejection). The AFTER Project ran from 2016 to February 2018 with support from the Rights, Equality & Citizenship programme of the European Union.

FGM/C is the partial or full cutting of a girl’s clitoris and labia, for non-medical reasons. It is a violation of women’s human rights to life, dignity and health.

As part of the AFTER project we adapted methodologies we have used in other countries. In Kenya, for example,  our programme supported by Irish Aid which used these approaches has reduced FGM/C by 27% since 2012.

The AFTER Project was implemented across five European countries (Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Sweden) by six partners.

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Safe Cities Campaign

Urban poverty and inequality is increasing sexual violence, harassment and fear in cities.

Safe Cities is a campaign which involves 20 ActionAid country organisations. The goal of the campaign is to reduce women’s experience and fear of sexual violence in urban spaces. To do this, the violence must be recognised and acted upon by decision-makers.

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Lucy Fondo is a barefoot lawyer in The Kibera Community Development Agenda (KCODA) which Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke supports very actively in the work against corruption. She specializes in two things: to convince the residents of Kibera to say no to corruption, and in tracking public money allotted to schools and toilets in Kibera - ensuring that it is being used properly and not ending up the wrong place.

REFLECT Approach

Around the world ActionAid uses the REFLECT circle method. This method empowers women and gives them basic training, including literacy. It was developed by ActionAid in the 1990s and is now used by thousands of organisations in over 70 countries around the globe. Watch our uplifting video that shows the approach in action.

Women in Emergencies

Women’s rights are central to ActionAid’s response in times of emergencies. Women who are pregnant or breast feeding have different nutrition requirements. Women are vulnerable to sexual assaults following major disasters. Sanitary towels are a necessity for women who have lost their homes. We don’t only work with women, but women’s needs are central to planning our response.

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Nepal Earthquake 2015: Action Aid Nepal Women's Rights coordinator Malati Maskey amidst the devastation in Khokhana

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