Women in Black is a global network of feminist women peacemakers adamantly opposed to all forms of war, violence, militarism and injustice. WiB is active in at least 18 countries worldwide and facilitates an open forum of support, communication and solidarity linking all locations. At least 10,000 members are estimated, though exact numbers are impossible to gauge. Vigils “against any manifestation of violence, militarism or war” are WiB’s primary actions. During a vigil, women dress in black and stand silently in a public space at regular intervals and hand out educational materials to passersby. Black is worn not as an expression of mourning, but as a “powerful refusal of the logic of war.” In addition to vigils, WiB conducts other direct nonviolent acts of civil disobedience such as sit-ins to block military vehicles and refusing to obey orders that legitimize/promote violence and oppression. Women in Black received the Millennium Peace Prize for Women by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and International Alert in 2001.
Archive for the ‘Org spotlight’ Category
The Native Women’s Association of Canada works to increase the well-being of First Nations and Métis women in First Nation, Métis and Canadian society. NWAC, an aggregate of thirteen Native women’s organizations in the country, is one of Canada’s five officially recognized National Aboriginal Organizations (NAO’s). In Canada, Native women still face discrimination and violence in many forms and from many sources. NWAC seeks to eliminate this injustice. In the vision that all women deserve a forum for their voices to be heard and recognized, NWAC works to empower Native women politically, culturally, socially and economically.
NWAC engages in activism, analysis and advocacy to advance Native women’s rights in Canada with a particular emphasis on the violence faced by indigenous women. Towards this goal, the Native Women’s Association of Canada works in six sectors; 1) Environment; 2) Violence Prevention and Safety; 3) Health; 4) International Affairs and Human Rights; 5) Labour Market Development; and 6) Youth.
The Indonesian Women’s Association for Justice & Legal Aid Institute is an NGO that provides legal assistance to women who are campaigning for justice and legal rights in Indonesia. Established in 1995, LBH-APIK has advocated for equity of legal treatment for women and men through a combination of legal aid, research and advocacy. The NGO utilizes two avenues to achieve its goals. Primary is free legal aid for women who are “socially, economically and culturally marginal.” This includes coverage of legal costs ranging from court, consultation and lawyers. Second is campaign and advocacy work with the overarching goal of equitable legal treatment in Indonesia.
The Women’s UN Report Program & Network (WUNRN) is a non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting human rights and empowering women and girls all over the world. WUNRN is tasked with implementing the conclusions and recommendations of the “United Nations Study on Freedom of Religion of Belief and the Status of Women from the Viewpoint of Religion and Traditions” (E/CN.4/2002/73/Add.2), a study that represents a comprehensive UN approach to combat intolerance and discrimination against women based on their religion or traditions. WUNRN, together with The Tandem Project, established a coalition in 2003 to build on the Juridical and Factual Aspects of this study by conducting research, and developing plans of action and practical projects. In addition, the WUNRN website is a worldwide information center and forum. It acts as a catalyst to encourage women’s NGOs, other organizations and programs to exchange information on this topic.
The Foundation for Women (FFW) is a non-profit organization based in Bangkok, Thailand. Founded in 1984, FFW works to protect and promote the rights of women and girls. FFW works for the rights of all women and girls, but particular focus is given to vulnerable populations, such as rural women, women workers, and survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence. Their work involves both advocacy, campaigning for laws and policies that will enhance the legal rights and economic empowerment of women and girls, and direct service, including emergency, legal, and social services for survivors of gender-based violence.
FFW’s work is led by the following principles:
- The social position of women will be changed through the combined efforts of women and men but women will play decisive role in this transformation
- Their work will attend to those women who are most disadvantaged and be based on equal participation and mutual learning
- They will cooperate with governmental and non-governmental groups nationally and internationally to achieve the best results
Founded in 1986, The Aurat Foundation of Islamabad, Pakistan is a non-profit civil society organization working for women’s empowerment and citizens’ rights. Aurat collaborates with a large network of regional and national citizen’s groups, civil society groups, citizen action committees, individual activists and more. This collaboration facilitates information sharing, capacity building and large-scale activism in support of women’s equality and good governance in Pakistan. Aurat is comprised of three key programs powered by information, capacity building and advocacy:
- The Information Program for Grassroots Organization and Action by Women
- The Program for Strengthening Citizens’ for Advocacy and Action for Women
- The Program for Affirmative Legislation and Policies for Women
The Aurat Foundation has proven a powerful force in the advancement of gender equality and good governance in Pakistan and continues to expand its networks and influence throughout the country.
Aware Girls is a young women-led advocacy organization that promotes women’s empowerment, gender equality and peace throughout Pakistan. Aware Girls views all young women as empowered and capable change-makers who can act as powerful agents of social change in the country. The organization is fully powered and staffed by young women and membership is open to all girls between the ages of 12 and 29. Action initiatives include organization/capacity building of young women’s groups, awareness campaigns, peer education, dialogues among stakeholders on women’s rights issues, research, networking and partnerships. Aware Girls maintains many partnerships with national and international organizations, providing strong bridges of cooperation and support. All of Aware Girls’ projects fall under the umbrellas of health, leadership, research and micro-entrepreneurship.
GangaShakti, founded by Vidya Sri, is a non-profit organization located in the United States. This powerful organization is committed to advocating against forced marriages in the United States. Forced marriage, or “a marriage with an absence of consent from one or both parties, [involving] coercion, violence, and/or fraud to cause the marriage,” is an issue that affects a wide variety of communities in the United States across multiple religious, cultural and socio-economic fault lines. Through engagement with service providers, community members, scholars and students, GangaShakti seeks to empower and educate the public about the issue. They engage in comprehensive research on forced marriage in the United States and present workshops to a variety of groups and organizations. Additionally GangaShakti provides access to resources such as group support and for those affected by forced marriages.
The Afghan Women’s Network (AWN) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization, located in Kabul, Herat, Jalalabad. Founded in 1995, the organization arose from the UN’s Fourth World Conference on Women. At this conference, the idea of establishing a network to promote unity and cooperation among Afghan women was born. Today, AWN serves as a network for over 65 member organizations. In addition to its role as a network, AWN also undertakes its own advocacy, around issues such as gender-based violence, youth empowerment and girl’s education.
The Women’s Environment and Development Organization is committed to promoting and protecting human rights, gender equality, and the integrity of the environment. WEDO envisions a world where national policies, programs and practices prioritize and integrate women’s rights, social, economic and environmental justice, and sustainable development. The organization stresses the linkages between these causes. Research, outreach, building capacity and training, and fostering/facilitating networks and campaigns are some of WEDO’s strategies for accomplishing its three primary goals. These goals are:
- Women’s leadership: Women are empowered as decision-makers and leaders, especially in environmental and sustainable development arenas.
- Global Governance: Global governance is transparent, accountable and effective.
- Sustainable development: Sustainable development policies, plans and practices are gender responsive.
While WEDO works primarily on a global level with international organizations, it also supports regional and national stakeholders that are committed to gender equality. The core of WEDO’s advocacy is strong partnerships with global organizations. This includes women’s organizations, environmental organizations, development and human rights organizations, governments, and NGO’s including the United Nations.