Archive for the ‘Org spotlight’ Category

Org Spotlight: Mending the Sacred Hoop

Monday, February 8th, 2016

“The Mending the Sacred Hoop logo represents the healing of our communities based on the teachings of the Medicine Wheel. Each section of the Medicine Wheel represents one of the four cardinal directions with a corresponding color. The outer rim represents the Sacred Hoop as being broken yet with the ribbon symbolizing our work we are in the process of mending it. The turtle represents Earth, North American/Turtle Island, wisdom, longevity and woman. With women being at the center of our work, our families, and communities we place the turtle in the center of the Sacred Hoop.” –Our Logo

Mending the Sacred Hoop is a Native-owned and operated nonprofit organization that seeks to end violence against Native American women and children throughout the state of Minnesota. Mending the Sacred Hoop also works with Tribes and Native communities throughout the country to address violence against Native women on a national level. The organization was founded in Duluth, MN, home to large American Indian/Alaskan Native communities, in the 1980’s. It has grown from a collection of organizing efforts addressing Native women’s issues.

Native women face the highest rates of victimization of any population in the United States by perpetrators of all races. Mending the Sacred Hoop was created to combat this injustice through advocacy and organizing. The organization works to “reclaim indigenous teachings on culture and values to create social change” within Native communities locally and nationally.

Mending the Sacred Hoop began as a program within the Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs (DAIP) with the original goal of changing the way Native women’s issues are addressed systemically.  In the decades since its founding, it has expanded and separated from DAIP to become its own nonprofit. The organization provides a range of services and programs to prevent violence within Native communities. They provide technical assistance and training to support effective community responses to crimes against women and children.  Additionally, they have established male perpetrator re-education classes, host community gatherings to integrate the voices of community members, and oversee an intervention project in a local county. Furthermore, Mending the Sacred Hoop has participated in local, state, and national advocacy. One of the organization’s largest successes was a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to create the Sacred Hoop S.T.O.P. Violence Against Indian Women Technical Assistance Project. 

Org Spotlight: The Visionaria Network

Monday, February 1st, 2016

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The Visionaria Network is an organization that supports the empowerment of women and girls through developing and implementing training programs and curricula. These trainings and curricula are designed to enable adolescent girl leaders and female entrepreneurs. Women and girls have immense power in creating sustainable development. However, they often face substantial educational, social, and cultural obstactales. The Visionaria Network seeks to reduce these barriers in order to support and leverage women’s strength.

Through Human-Centered Design, the Visionaria Network’s programs are developed with local contexts in mind. This is accomplished through partnership with a variety of local organizations.

The network recently created the Empowered Entrepreneur Training Handbook in partnership with The John’s Hopkins University for the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, a United Nations Foundation initiative. This handbook is designed to support organizations in the household energy sector through engagement of women entrepreneurs.

The Visionaria Network also runs Visionaria Peru, a Rotary Global Grant Project to empower Peruvian adolescent girls.

Org Spotlight: CADEMCA

Monday, January 25th, 2016

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CADEMCA – Centro de Apoyo al Desarrollo de la Mujer Campesina (Development Support Center for Rural Women)

CADEMCA is a non-governmental organization located in El Alto, Bolivia that supports the wellbeing and development of rural women who have recently migrated from the countryside to El Alto. CADEMCA deals with many issue areas affecting rural woman including health, education, agriculture, the environment, infrastructure, socioeconomics, and housing. The organization provides training and guidance within these issue areas, including guidance on the formation of coalitions and producer organizations.


Org Spotlight: Philippine Commission on Women

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

philippine-commission-on-womenThe Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) is the primary policy-making and coordinating body on women and gender equality concerns. As the oversight body on women’s concerns, the PCW acts as a catalyst for gender mainstreaming, authority on women’s concerns, and lead advocate of women’s empowerment, gender equity, and gender equality in the country.

The PCW was formerly known as the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW) until August 14, 2009. This was the date that NCRFW was renamed as PCW and its mandate was expanded by the enactment of Republic Act 9710, otherwise known as the Magna Carta of Women (MCW).

The NCRFW was established on January 7, 1975 through Presidential Decree, as an advisory body to the President and the Cabinet on policies and programs for the advancement of women. It was mandated “to review, evaluate, and recommend measures, including priorities to ensure the full integration of women for economic, social and cultural development at national, regional and international levels, and to ensure further equality between women and men.”

During the first decade of its operations, the NCRFW thrust were on the following major programs:

  • Organizing women into a nationwide movement called “Balikatan sa Kaunlaran” (shoulder-to-shoulder in development). This organization is now registered as an independent women’s organization;
  • Conducting policy studies and lobbying for the issuance of executive and legislative measures concerning women;
  • Establishing a clearinghouse and information center on women; and
  • Monitoring the implementation of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

From 2001, the NCRFW that became PCW in 2009 supported the administration’s poverty alleviation agenda by sustaining the gains of the past in making the bureaucracy work for women under the thrust of advancing and protecting human rights, promoting women’s economic empowerment and promoting gender-responsive governance.

On July 8, 2010, the PCW launched the MCW Implementing Rules and Regulations to its partners and stakeholders. It is currently revising its structure and staffing pattern to effectively and efficiently undertake and accomplish its mandate.

Org Spotlight: International Indigenous Women’s Forum/Foro Internacional de Mujeres Indígenas (FIMI)

Monday, January 11th, 2016

IIWF/FIMI is a network of indigenous women activists, leaders, and human rights promoters from Asia, Africa, and Latin America. FIMI’s goal is to bring together indigenous women leaders to coordinate agendas, build unity, advance leadership and advocacy, raise indigenous women’s voices in the international arena, and to promote overall women’s human rights. FIMI envisions a world where all women can exercise all of their human rights while fully participating in the decision making processes that affect their lives, free from discrimination.

FIMI was officially founded following the First Forum of Indigenous Women in New York in 2005 during the session for the Commission on the Status of Women. This forum was a critical moment for indigenous women because a specific resolution on indigenous women was approved for the first time in history of the CSW. In the past 15 years, FIMI has grown from a small network to a powerful collective.

FIMI has five core programming areas: participation and political advocacy, research, education and training, indigenous women’s watch against violence, and the indigenous women’s fund, a philanthropic arm of the organization.

Org Spotlight: 18twenty8

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

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18twenty8 is a South African young women’s organization focused on empowering girls from marginalized communities to pursue higher education. The organization is unique in that it is 100% led by young women, many of whom come from similar backgrounds as girls that are assisted by 18twenty8’s services. The organization encourages young women to view higher education as a desirable and necessary tool for empowerment. The five primary objectives are:

  • Facilitate life-skills workshops at high schools in marginalized communities
  • Provide mentorship for women in tertiary-level schooling
  • Provide financial assistance for education
  • Produce successive generations of mentors and educated women professionals
  • Reduce youth unemployment through youth-led community workshops

18twenty8’s youth-led workshops address issues including the environment, health, professional development, and self-empowerment.

18twenty8 has been in existence for six years and is the recipient of numerous awards including the Inyathelo Philanthropy Award.

Org Spotlight: Blue Veins

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

Blue Veins is a Pakistani non-governmental women’s organization advocating for women’s empowerment in the areas of  health, education, safety, and social development.  The organization was founded in 1999 by a group of women living in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a rural region where many poor women lack access to information and resources necessary to better their lives. Based in the values of naturalism, reason, and compassion, Blue Veins’ mission is to improve the quality of life of women and children through “a people-centered framework for empowerment, sustainable health, and social development to build up a culture of cooperation and partnership and to respond to the immediate needs of those who are vulnerable.” Furthermore, Blue Veins seeks to empower women to raise their voices through building women’s networks and supporting women’s leadership.

Blue Veins works towards a society where women experience full and equal participation in political, civil, economic, and social and cultural life, free from all forms of discrimination on the basis of gender. The organization’s advocacy crosses many sectors of Pakistani life and culture including media, schools, religious institutions, and local politics. In addition to working with women, Blue Veins engages men and boys in preventing violence against women.

Blue Veins works through four initiatives to achieve its mission:

  • New Voices, New Leaders (building women’s leadership capacity)
  • Expanding discourses in the fields of sexuality, gender, and women’s human rights
  • Capacity building
  • Public education and advocacy

Though Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is an extremely challenging environment for women’s human rights defenders, Blue Veins’ has worked tirelessly to improve the status of women and has helped to set the preconditions for full women’s empowerment.

Org Spotlight: ECPAT

Sunday, December 20th, 2015


ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography & Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes) is a global network of organizations working to ensure that all children are safe from commercial sexual exploitation. ECPAT works to facilitate collaboration between member organizations to foster a diverse social movement for children’s rights sourcing from a wide variety of contexts and perspectives. Member organizations work on a local level to implement a variety of children’s rights projects, while the Secretariat provides wider technical support, research, and information. Furthermore, ECPAC engages in regional and international advocacy to advance the network’s objectives.

ECPAT works in four main arenas: ending child prostitution, ending trafficking of children for sexual purposes, ending child pornography, and ending child sex tourism.

Child sexual exploitation is an urgent international issue. Over 1.8 million children are being sexually exploited via trafficking, prostitution, and pornography, and it is estimated that 20% of sexual trafficking victims worldwide are children. ECPAT is working urgently to eradicate child sexual exploitation, as well as to minimize social tolerance of child sexual abuse that is largely a result of its proliferation on the internet.

ECPAT’s network consists of 90 member groups in 82 countries on all continents. The international secretariat is based in Bangkok, Thailand, and the international board has 8 regional representatives from all continents.

Supporters of ECPAT’s work are invited to stay informed via resource reports, to report abuse of sexual exploitation, or to become a member.

Org Spotlight: The Association of War Affected Women (AWAW)

Monday, December 14th, 2015

The Association of War Affected Women is a Sri Lankan women’s organization established in 2000 with the aim of fostering sustainable peace on the island. The organization was established to create a safe space for women affected by conflict, especially mothers and wives of those who are missing, killed, or disabled due to the war. AWAW believes that achieving sustainable peace must be an inclusive process that integrates the voices of women. The organization’s stated goal is “to achieve peace through socio-economic development enlisting the active participation of war affected women,” as safeguarding democratic principles and advancing women’s rights and security are integral to the peacebuilding process.

The organization is composed of over 2000 women from across Sri Lanka. Most women are the family members of those who are missing, killed, or disabled, though some have been directly affected by displacement or injury.

AWAW’s projects include training local law enforcement officials, health officials, and other representatives on implementation of UNSCR 1325, promoting women’s political participation, and enhancing women’s women’s political participation engaging youth. AWAW held a two day workshop for politicians and trade union leaders called “Gender responsive policy design and implementation”, the first of its kind in Sri Lanka. They have also held Sri Lanka’s first training for youth, a three day program called “Sri Lankan’s Mobilized to Achieve Reconciliation and Transformation (SMART)”.

AWAW has a sister organization in New York City call Friends of the Association of War Affected Women (FAWAW), a nonprofit dedicated to supporting grassroots organizations working towards women’s peace and security via grant making, resource sharing, and education.

Org Spotlight: Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition

Monday, December 7th, 2015

The Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition (WHRDIC) is a network that supports and protects people and organizations that are advocating for women’s human rights around the world. The coalition supports the work of all activists working for women’s human rights and sexual rights, regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of the advocate. The human rights sector and the general public do not fully recognize the gendered dynamics present in the field, and the specific gendered risks present for women’s human rights defenders. These advocates face challenges and vulnerabilities such as violations and harassment by male colleagues, surveillance, and arbitrary detentions. Female defenders face additional, wider gendered vulnerabilities such as sexual abuse and harassment, domestic violence, and gender-based attacks on reputation. These are perpetrated by a number of individuals and institutions ranging from husbands to male colleagues to police to state actors.