Promoting Women's Rights
To achieve a broad range of development goals, from reducing violence to building local economies, one common thread must link our strategies: the empowerment of women. Yet in many countries, women are denied even their most basic rights. To strengthen women’s equality, Crossroads International’s partnerships support women who have experienced violence and rape, as well as helping impoverished women to establish income-generating activities to support their families. As women develop skills and confidence they are increasingly raising their voices to demand equal rights. Crossroads is also supporting a number of projects to increase women’s participation in governance. Through partnership exchanges and regional gatherings Crossroads is increasing connections and collaboration among women activists and organizations regionally and internationally.
Gender and the Ballot Box: Women Demand a Seat at the Table
GF2D-CRIFF and Abantu for Development are two of Crossroads' newest partners, and both are working to increase the role of women in governance and decision-making. Representatives from both organizations were recently in Canada meeting with women’s rights groups and examining the potential for collaboration.
Ghana’s Legal Eagles
The women dressed in wedding gowns and bloody bandages were stopping traffic at one of Accra’s busiest intersections. Curious motorists slowed down to read the signs hanging from around their neck — “I did not ask for this when I got married” and “This could be your mother or sister”.
Women’s Rights in Swaziland: If you don’t think women are for beating, meet under this tree
Crossroads has been working actively with the Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse (SWAGAA) and the Transition House Association of Nova Scotia (THANS) to stop violence against women in Swaziland. When Halifax’s Margie McDonald embarked on a three-month placement with the SWAGAA she could hardly have imagined the result would mobilize hundreds of Swazi men to end violence against women.
Making Women’s Voices Heard in Ghana
A key Ghanaian civil society strategy to increase women’s rights is to create opportunities for women to take greater leadership in decision making all at levels including government.
Ghana’s Women Have Their Day in Court
In Ghana, one in three women experience physical abuse during their lifetime. Through the dedicated work of Women in Law and Development-Ghana (WiLDAF-Ghana), a Crossroads International partner, and other women’s groups across Ghana, abused women now have legal recourse: a law specifically criminalizing domestic violence was enacted in May 2007.
Community Economic Development in Bolivia
For ANED and Foncresol, microfinance is more than a tool to reduce poverty. It is a powerful agent for social change. In addition to managing and disbursing small loans (US$50 to $300) for farms and small businesses, both organizations work with communities to establish communal banks.
Community Economic Development: Micro-credit for Women in Bolivia
For women struggling to escape the cycle of poverty, even a small investment can be enough for start-up materials for all kinds of small businesses. That is why Crossroads has partnered with the Asociaicion Nacional Ecumenica de Desarollo (ANED), a Bolivian financial organization working to alleviate poverty.
Stopping Gender-Based Violence in Swaziland
There is no specific law in Swaziland that criminalizes domestic violence. Gender-based violence is widespread and victims have few legal options. As well, Swazi women are socially and economically dependent on men and may not be able to leave an abusive household.
Helping Zimbabwe’s Girls Reach Their Full Potential
The people of Zimbabwe are caught up in a dire political, economic and social crisis. In this context, women and girls are especially vulnerable. Rape and violence against women and girls are widespread. Crossroads International is working with the award winning Girl Child Network (GCN) to bolster the rights of women and girls in Zimbabwe.
Fighting Gender-based Violence in Zimbabwe
The social and economic crisis in Zimbabwe puts women and girls at even greater risk of violence. However, the recent passing of the Domestic Violence Act is a significant advance. The Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe’s played a key role in the campaign to pass the legislation.
Feminism hits the air waves in Senegal
Through its daily broadcasts, ALTERCOM promotes the rights of women, encouraging women to participate in development and featuring stories to raise consciousness of social justice and gender equality.
Breaking The Cycle Of Domestic Violence In Senegal
APROFES raises awareness of women’s rights including access to healthcare, education and poverty. APROFES also works to stop violence against women and provides counselling and support to victims of gender-based violence.
Working Together to Improve the Status of Women in Senegal
Over the last two decades, the women’s movement in Senegal has put the rights of women at the centre of public discourse. While women are making inroads, cultural norms and limited access to education continue to undermine the status of women. Gender-based violence remains widespread.