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

ActionAid Ireland has a Women’s Rights Programme which is funded by Irish Aid and implemented in three countries, Ethiopia, Kenya and Nepal, The programme uses an innovative approach to positively change the mindsets, attitudes and subsequently the behaviours of people to ensure women & girls live their lives free of discrimination and violence.

We also work with women’s groups to strengthen the leadership and voices of women, so that they are able to set the agenda and lead change at the community, regional and national level.

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Ending FGM in Ireland

This project aimed at preventing female genital mutilation (FGM) through empowerment and awareness-raising activities using an ActionAid methodology that has been successful in Africa. The approach, Reflective Action, draws on learning from the south to north. We are working in direct provision centres around Ireland, targeting women and men who are predominately from FGM practicing countries.

The practice of FGM is usually targeted at schoolgirls, with FGM ceremonies planned in their parent’s home countries to coincide with holiday breaks but it can also happen right here in Ireland. In the current situation, intermittent opening/closing of school and travel restrictions; ActionAid Ireland believes, with the lack of opportunity to travel to home countries and confinement to family homes, there is a serious danger the practice will continue and indeed increase here in Ireland. As ActionAid Ireland cannot currently deliver our FGM work face-to-face due to coronavirus restrictions, we are delivering this project online.

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Women’s Leadership in Emergencies

Women’s rights are central to ActionAid’s response in times of emergencies. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding 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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Photo of Florence , Executive Director of the ActionAid-supported Tusitukirewamu Women’s Network in Kampala. Florence believes that violence against women and girls must end with her. Photo taken by: Esther Mbabazi/ActionAid

Feminist Leadership

Our transformative vision of a just world free from poverty, oppression and patriarchy requires transformative feminist leaders: leaders who enable others to lead, building power with them instead of over them.  To develop this approach, we have adopted a set of feminist leadership principles.

We are embracing feminist principles not only because they are consistent with what we do, but also because we know that they are vital to the success of our mission.

We embody these feminist principles through our behaviour in all aspects of our work and our workplace culture, while acknowledging that this is a journey of continual improvement. Read more here. 

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