Org Spotlight 6/20/16: Sonke Gender Justice Network

The Sonke Gender Justice Network of South Africa works to promote gender equality, prevent gender-based violence, and reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS on the African continent and internationally. The NGO utilizes a human rights framework and works with a range of partners including individuals, women’s rights organizations, government departments, trade unions, social movements, and faith organizations. Sonke Gender Justice Network views gender equality as central to the development of just and democratic societies. The NGO works to build the capacity of government, civil society, and citizens, and to hold those in power accountable.

The Sonke Gender Justice Network was founded in 2006 and is based in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Bushbuckridge, South Africa. The NGO works in all nine provinces of South Africa and in nearly 20 countries in Africa. The organization’s presence on the continent is expanding, and Sonke partners with a variety of international bodies including the United Nations.

Sonke’s utilizes a “spectrum of change” model that draws on a broad range of strategies to achieve change, including:

  • Community education and mobilisation
  • Policy development and advocacy
  • Networking and coalition work on a national and international level
  • Partnering with government to promote policy development and implementation
  • Capacity building and training with partner organizations
  • Individual skills building
  • Research, monitoring and evaluation

Sonke’s works within three broad issue areas: children’s rights and positive parenting; sexual and reproductive health and rights; and the social and structural drivers of violence.

Org Spotlight 6/13/16: Justice for My Sister

The Justice for my Sister Collective is a gender-inclusive, feminist, pro-immigrant rights organization that promotes healthy relationships and anti-violence through the arts. The organization works in marginalized communities and fosters safe spaces “to initiate collective healing and develop local leaders to combat gender-based violence.” There are chapters in Los Angeles, California and Guatemala City, Guatemala. The Collective was founded in 2011 by survivors of sexual assault and domestic abuse as a grassroots campaign to prevent gender-based violence using the arts.

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Org Spotlight 6/6/16: Russian LGBT Network

The Russian LGBT Network, founded in 2006, is Russia’s only inter-regional LGBT non-governmental organization. The network’s mission  is to promote human rights and respect for human dignity, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. LGBT people in Russia face substantial legal and social challenges and are afforded few rights and protections. The Russian LGBT Network seeks to increase the visibility and to improve the status of LGBT individuals in state and society.

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Org Spotlight 5/30/16: Vietnam Women’s Union

The Vietnam Women’s Union, founded in 1930, is a Vietnamese organization working for women’s rights and gender equity. In VWU’s close to a century of operation, its membership has grown to over 13 million women, making  the organization one of the country’s most powerful forces advocating for women. VWU’s members belong to 10,472 local women’s unions in towns and communes throughout Vietnam.

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Org spotlight 5/9/16: NPY Women’s Council

Capture.PNGThe Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council Aboriginal Corporation (NPYWC) is an organization that assists and advocates for the the Australian indigenous Anangu and Yarnangu people living in a 350,000 sq km tri-state region of central Australia. This region, containing portions of the Northern Territory, South Australia, and Western Australia, includes 26 remote Aboriginal communities and smaller homelands. The organization’s primary purpose is to serve aboriginal clients facing a variety of challenges including domestic violence, substance abuse, low educational attainment, terminal illness, and old age.

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Org spotlight 4/25: All Women’s Action Society

The All Women’s Action Society of Malaysia (AWAM) is an independent feminist organization working to improve the lives of women across Malaysia. AWAM focuses on ending gender based violence upholding equity and rights for all women. The organization was formed in 1985 in response to lack of legal support for survivors of abuse and archaic rape laws that discouraged survivors from taking action. Furthermore, the Malaysian constitution did not at this time include any labor protections against workplace discrimination and harassment. Within this context, a coalition of women’s rights groups formed the Joint Action Group Against Violence Against Women. For the first time, violence against women was treated as a matter of public concern. AWAM was one of the organizations born from the Joint Action Group.

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Org Spotlight 4/18: Maquila Solidarity Network

The Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN) of Canada is a labor and women’s rights advocacy organization that supports the efforts of grassroots groups working to improve conditions in maquiladora factories and other global supply chains. MSN primarily supports workers and labor rights organizations in Mexico and Central America. They also work with international organizations working to improve labor rights issues on a global scale. MSN works in five arenas: living wage, women’s rights, freedom of association, corporate accountability and government policy, and Bangladesh fire and building safety.

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