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Programs

Advancing Girls' Education
(Afghanistan)

Accelerating girls’ access to a quality education and creating future leaders for Afghanistan.

PROGRAM PICTURES

PROGRAM VIDEOS

The project

“Women who have undertaken an educational path are more likely to send their children to school… They can work and contribute to the family income, sharing with their husband the burden of sustaining, economically, the family and improving the quality of their life …” – Zarmina Malalai, Senior Officer in Education, Womanity Foundation, Afghanistan

Groundbreaking New Programs:

Womanity will leverage its experience and success with School in a Box  to pioneer two new vocational programs designed to increase the economic opportunities of girls post graduation in Afghanistan.

Girls Can Code | Afghanistan

At the end of April Womanity launched a yearlong Web Development Course in two of the largest girls’ public high schools in Kabul, Afghanistan. This groundbreaking program, Girls Can Code |Afghanistan, is designed for 11th and 12th grade girls and includes over 300 hours of instruction in HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PhP. It is an ambitious curriculum and is additive to the core curriculum for the school year.

“This is my dream that one day I will work for a company because my father is a IT manager … but right now during this month I am learning very good and new information and all of these topic is very interesting for me. I will try to learn more than my father and this is my hope that … I can became a good manager in a company . This training is very good for the girls because I know some of the parents don’t like for their daughters go a city course because we have lots of security problem and this is the good chance for the girls that they can learn coding training in the school.”              Spin Kalai Coding Student

“My daughter is one of the members of the coding class. I am proud that my daughter can learn coding training during her school period because most of the people have economic problems so parents cannot pay the money to send their daughter for more knowledge out of the school  This is a good chance for our daughters to learn more new technology information that I know will have a very good effect in their future lives.”                        Parent of coding student

Financial and Resource Management

Womanity will launch a new course leveraging Aflatoun’s proven financial literacy program. This program teaches girls to use resources wisely, become financially responsible adults and understand their role in improving communities. This program will reach over 1,600 adolescent girls in grades 7-12 in eight of Womanity’s fifteen target schools across Afghanistan.

Providing girls with improved education through School in a Box and new vocational programs such as Girls Can Code and Financial and Resource Management will improve the educational, professional and economic opportunities for young Afghan women.

The Challenge

Following the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001, under which girls in Afghanistan were excluded from education, a record number of girls have enrolled in schools for the first time. However, after more than 10 years, the Afghan education system continues to experience significant challenges, especially with regards to girls’ education. Schools suffer from systemic lack of resources, inadequate infrastructure, a chronic lack of qualified teachers and a weak monitoring system. Furthermore, they continue to be the target of attacks from insurgents and generally suffer from political and social instability. This adds up to cultural norms, such as early marriage, that prevent girls from going to school and prevents the continuation to the end of secondary education.

Under-resourced schools and cultural norms combined have a strong impact on girls’ attendance and dropout rates. For example, the lack of appropriate washing or sanitary facilities in many schools, significantly reduces attendance rates of menstruating girls; and the under-resourced sport facilities combined with the lack of compound walls prevents schools implementing physical education as girls will not play outside where they may be seen by bypassers. Finally, the lack of qualified female teachers not only represents the absence of strong role models but also creates a cycle of under-achievement with fewer girls striving for academic excellence. Meanwhile, without investment into digital technologies, connectivity and vocational training, and with few opportunities to join university, school graduates are less equipped to compete for jobs in the modern workplace and to contribute to their country’s prosperity.

An Innovative Solution – The School in a Box Model

The Womanity Foundation has developed a holistic 5-part model to tackle the core systemic challenges of girls’ education in Afghanistan:

  • Improving teaching skills and competences for school teachers and management staff;
  • Educating students in hygiene behaviour and preparing teachers in first-aid and post-disaster interventions;
  • Offering tuition classes for university entrance exams, and vocational training opportunities to girls in 12th grade;
  • Engaging the wider school community in the importance of educating girls through the establishment of Parent Teacher Associations and Student Councils;
  • Improving school facilities, including playgrounds, water and sanitation facilities, libraries, computer and science labs.

Schools are enrolled for a three-year intense support program before becoming alumni of the project, and receiving adhoc support as required.

The Impact

  • In 2015,  33,000 girls (and boys) in 15 girls’ schools have been supported in their education up to grade 12 (approx. 18 years of age).
  • 459 hours of teacher training were conducted for 215 attendees with pre- and post- training results illustrate that teachers were better equipped to teach their subject, after the training. This was in addition to training classes on teaching methodologies, first aid and disaster preparedness.
  • Nine hygiene groups comprising 258 members were formed in the higher-populated schools, and 21 latrines renovated to encourage a long-term program of good hygiene that keeps girls healthy and in school.
  • 122 school council members including 116 students and 34 teachers were trained to help address the day-to-day needs of the schools. Student Councils present a unique opportunity for girls to learn how to exercise leadership and to develop negotiation skills, while being invested in the good of the school.
  • Womanity organized tutoring classes to prepare 1,186 students for the entrance exam to university in eight schools. Each school was offered four training modules (in biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics) involving 720 hours of training.
  • Investment into infrastructure such as science and computer labs; libraries; hygiene, sanitation, and sport facilities; and the supply of clean water, were an important addition to the target schools.
  • Evaluations indicate that girls are learning and achieving more academically and the drop-out rate has considerably reduced across the target schools.

Crowdfunding campaign

From the beginning of October to mid-December 2016, Womantiy is crowdfunding to help teach girls in Afghanistan how to code, giving them tools to transform their futures. We need your help to raise USD 18,700 in order to fund this program for academic years 2016-2017.

Every dollar donated will go to fund the “Girls Can Code” program as Womanity pledges to ensure 100% of contributions go directly to the program work. With as little as $5 you can empower 2 girls, so even the smallest donation can make a great impact.

To fund this programme and learn more about the campaign visit: www.generosity.com/education-fundraising/empower-afghan-girls-by-teaching-them-to-code?platform=hootsuite&#8221

 

 

Read our latest report on Advancing Girl’s Education 2015 and the external evaluation on the program.

The Womanity Foundation has recently launched a campaign with Chime for Change (a Gucci program) and Global Giving Campaign to provide 250 much needed trained teachers to help girls in Afghanistan to become educated, to aspire and to prosper well beyond the classroom. Please donate and share, and support educational change makers in Afghanistan. 

To fund this work visit our Donate page or contact Ryna Sherazi at ryna@womanity.org.

Valued Partners

The Ministry of Education of Afghanistan (2011- on-going), Roshan Telecommunications (2012-2013), Samuel Hall (2012-on-going), Afghanistan Libre (2011-2014), UBS Optimus Foundation (2011-2015), Vitol (2014), and many other operational partners.

Programs

Radio Nisaa
(Palestinian Territories)

Impactful, dynamic radio programming to empower, inform, and inspire women and men.

PROGRAM PICTURES

PROGRAM VIDEOS

The project

“Radio Nisaa is all about inspiration and empowerment. Inspiration is very important in our society. Over the airwaves we can share our experience and knowledge, and support women to realize themselves.” – Maysoun Odeh Gangat, Director Radio Nisaa FM

The Challenge

Women in the Palestinian Territories face significant barriers when it comes to participating in public life. Male perspectives dominate the mainstream Palestinian media, tending to portray women as victims and reinforcing negative stereotypes. Women hold only a handful of decision-making positions in the national media industry, with few public platforms catering to their information needs or reflecting their real interests. Women are less able to voice their concerns and are less likely to become involved with shaping society.

The Approach

The Womanity Foundation, in partnership with Radio Nisaa Broadcasting Company, established Radio Nisaa FM, the first commercial women’s radio station and website in the Middle East, in late 2009. The station aims to change the stereotypical image of women in the Palestinian media. With three daily primetime programmes, it broadcasts news, interactive talk shows, music, and investigative reports on a range of current issues. Programs showcase contributions to everyday life made by Palestinian women, and connect and promote dialogue among women there and abroad.

Under the direction of Maysoun Odeh Gangat, the station is managed by women and shows are produced and presented by female media professionals. A network of local female reporters document women’s opinions and experiences across the country. Men’s opinions are also aired to engage them in discussions about women’s rights.

Through its social media presence, call-in opportunities, and vox pops, Radio Nisaa encourages women to contribute to the station’s content, become producers themselves, and to have a greater voice.

The Impact

  • Radio Nisaa is growing at a fast pace, reaching hundreds and thousands of women. It accounts for 15% of the radio listening public in the Palestinian Territories. In 2013 the estimated audience’s share was 9% and in 2010, 2%.¹ 
  •  Corporate sponsors consider Radio Nisaa among their top 5 choices for radio advertising in the West Bank.
  •  Radio Nisaa has built a substantial social media presence with over 47,000 followers on Facebook.
  •  Through grants from partners such as the UNESCO International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), Radio Nisaa trained women reporters from remote areas in media skills.
  • Ashoka, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, and the Synergos Arab Social Innovators awarded station director, Maysoun Odeh Gangat, their prestigious fellowships. These represent a unique opportunity to undertake training, benefit from peer mentoring, and access a range of professional networks to benefit Radio Nisaa.

Nisaa Network

Starting from mid-2015, Womanity, with the advice of Radio Nisaa, aims to expand its audience outreach beyond Palestine by creating an online multi-media platform and virtual hub and by capacitating at least 10 like-minded media outlets in the Arab region by 2018 to adopt Nisaa’s model and cooperate in program production.

Radio Nisaa FM Valued Partners

Synergos, Ashoka, Schwab Foundation, Ministry of Women Affairs, the Palestinian Business Women Forum and many other sponsors and local and international organisations.

To fund this work visit our Donate page or contact Ryna Sherazi at ryna@womanity.org.

***

(1) The estimation of Radio Nisaa’s audience share is based on data provided by external surveys. In 2010, the survey was conducted by Near East Consulting and in 2014 and 2015, by Arab World for Research & Development (AWRAD).

Programs

(Palestine)

The First Multimedia Platform for Arab Women in the World

PROGRAM PICTURES

The project

The Challenge

In 1995, the Beijing Conference on the Status of Women identified Media as strategic allies to push forward the agenda of gender equality.

Social studies show that media (fictional and non fictional programs) contribute to shape the individual vision and perception of the world and of social roles and norms. Therefore, they have a direct impact on shaping gender roles and power relationships in society; on selecting issues to be discussed in the public arena; and on identifying the voices and the opinions to be heard.

In other words, if women do not have a voice in media, they are more likely to be silent or be silenced in the society as well.

For these reasons, the Conference set the following strategic objectives: to increase the participation and access of women to expression and decision-making in and through the media (including in new technologies) and to promote a balanced and non-stereotyped portrayal of women in the media.

After 20 years, although progresses have been made, these objectives are far to be achieved.

Research shows that women make up only 27% of top management jobs in media (1); only 24% of persons in the news are women; and just 4% of news stories challenge gender stereotypes (2).

In Arabic-speaking countries, women experience similar challenges and problems. Many of them are more likely to be limited to domestic environments than men and media are often their only window to the public sphere.

This gives to media the incredible opportunity to be the game changer in the narrative of the reality and in the portrayal of the role of women in society.

 

The Approach

After the successful example of Radio Nisaa in the Palestinian Territories, Womanity, in partnership with the radio station, has embraced the strategic objectives of the Beijing Conference and has set to encourage a culture of equal opportunities and equal voice in media for women and men that could gradually expand in the whole Arabic speaking world.

The project, Nisaa Network, intends to revolutionize the media industry and nurtures networks of partners across the region that can join forces and carry forward the objectives of the program.

Nisaa Network operates at different levels:

– Setting the example

Nisaa Network is a regional interactive multimedia platform in Arabic and English featuring empowering and gender-inclusive media contents, productions and publications. In the production of its content, Nisaa Network engages media organizations; women’s and civil society organizations; researchers and research centers; sector leaders; opinion-makers; influencers and individuals.

– Fostering a culture of cooperation among media outlets

Nisaa Network will build a professional community of like-minded media outlets (at least 10-12 over the period 2016-2019) with whom to co-produce and syndicate media contents, as well as foster egalitarian, empowering professional policies and practices, e.g. including professional code, gender lens approach, inclusive and empowering content production, team building and talent development, hybrid funding models, etc.

– Influencing a culture of gender equality in the media industry

Nisaa Network and its partners will host conferences, workshops and events to raise awareness on gender equality in media among practitioners and media operators and share with them the experience of the network as well as tools, policies and practices developed within it.

 

The Impact

By 2016-2019, Nisaa Network creates an informative and interactive multimedia platform and a virtual hub with an audience reach of min. 1 million.

By 2019, Nisaa Network coordinates a network of min. 10-12 like-minded media outlets who produce at least one program in cooperation every year and adopt policies and procedures, jointly developed, on gender equality in media (both in the management structure and in the content production).

Nisaa Network organizes one annual regional conference on the role of women in media (and in the society) addressing the media industry in the region with the objective to influence a culture of equal opportunities, equal voices and fair representation for women and men in media.

 

Valued Partners

Bank El Ethiad (www.bankaletihad.com)

Radio Nisaa (www.radionisaa.ps)

Radio Farah Al Nas-Jordan (www.farahalnas.jo), Radio Mosaïque-Tunisia (www.mosaiquefm.net), Radio Bannat wa Bas-Egypt (http://banatwbass.com) , Radio Rozana-Syria (www.rozana.fm ) – (Media partners for 2016)

 

***

(1) Global Report on the Status of Women in the News Media, 2010

(2)Global Media Monitoring Project, 2015

Programs

Fiction for Women's Empowerment
(Middle East and North Africa)

Harnessing fiction as a platform for women’s empowerment.

 

PROGRAM PICTURES

PROGRAM VIDEOS

The project

The Challenge

While countries in the Arabic-speaking world differ in prosperity, population, and resources, they share strong similarities in cultural terms, and in governance and social structures. Many countries in the region find women in economically dependent positions within the family, with no or little decision-making power, and exposed to some form of violence.

Arab women’s participation in the labor market is only 26.7%, compared to a worldwide rate of 52.5%; women’s literacy rate is 59.4% compared to a worldwide rate of 72.7%; and overall unequal opportunities for girls and women result in a loss of resources and productivity for entire communities.

Issues that affect women, such as their role in society, their rights and responsibilities, and the problems they face in private and in public, are taboo and rarely discussed. Consequently, there are few public platforms for an open dialogue to address them and discuss ways for women to maintain their cultural identities while pursuing their aspirations and realizing their full potential.

Consequently, many Arab women are becoming more actively involved in the public, professional and political spheres, and are role models for their peers. However, these experiences are limited and women continue to remain too often bound by societal customs, with little space to challenge them directly.

The Approach

As demonstrated with Radio Nisaa FM in the Palestinian Territories in 2009, Womanity believes that the media offers a unique way to overcome women’s isolation, to enter family homes and put women’s and societal issues on the table, stimulating debate and providing information and knowledge.

In particular, ‘edutainment’ strategies, especially in the form of fiction series, can enact stories that closely relate to real life, where characters experience the same concerns and pressures of the listeners, leading the audience through a learning process towards positive behavioural changes.

With this in mind, Womanity and its programme partners produced an exclusive Arabic radio fiction, Worth 100 Men (Be 100 Ragl in Arabic). The series follows the story of Noha, an intrepid young radio journalist, who confronts gender discrimination in the workforce, in family, and the social sphere. Noha challenges prejudice and oppression, and becomes a role model for the whole community. The series covers divorce, domestic violence, sexual harassment, women’s access to education and professional careers, the status of single women in traditional society, and healthy romantic relationships.

The first edition was aired between March and October 2014 throughout the Arab world.

In 2015 Womanity and its project partner Lapis Communication undertook to produce the second edition of Be 100 Ragl designed as an animation series in ten episodes. The second season is an animated video story destined for online broadcasting and will be released online from June to August 2016. In season II, Noha is played by leading Jordanian actress Saba Mubarak , and the show theme tune ‘’B100 ragel’’ is performed by the Saudi based Iranian singer Alaa Wardi.

The Impact

  • Be 100 Ragl I

– Radio Nisaa in the Palestinian Territories, Radio Yemen Times in Yemen, and Radio Aswat in Morocco broadcast talk shows discussing the main topics of Worth 100 Men.

– To date, the fiction series has been heard by millions of listeners across nine Arab countries, and engaged over 140,000 social media users, who continued the dialogue long after the show was off-air.

– Womanity, in partnership with SMPL Media, organized ten public events and debates in Egypt and Jordan, attended by over 480 participants.

– Local women’s organizations have held community-based group discussions with the support and training of the program partner Oxfam Novib . Group discussions have significantly contributed to shift participants’ opinion towards more favourable positions in support of gender equality.

– Worth 100 Men was showcased at a side event of the Convention on the Status of Women, organized by Oxfam Novib, and in two BBC programs.

  • Be 100 Ragl II

The series will be released online across the Arab region in Ramadan 2016. As for the first edition, the broadcasting of the second season of the fiction series will run in parallel with a combination of online spaces on social media and offline conversations, the Be 100 Ragl Tour, as following :

– Open online spaces on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to further gather audience and expert comments, animate the debate, and offer possibilities for connections across the community and throughout the program duration;

– Real-life round-tables, meet-ups and debates involving public screenings organized in appropriate spaces in cooperation with civil society and women’s groups, schools, universities, NGO’s, young changemakers and innovators

Read our final report of Be 100 Ragl I

Be 100 Ragl I Valued Partners

Design and production: Global Production (1st edition), Lapis Communications (2nd Edition)

BroadcastingRadio Nisaa (Palestinian Territories), Radio Yemen Times (Yemen), Radio SouriaLi (Syria), Panorama FM (Saudi Arabia and Bahrain),Radio Aswat (Morocco), Radio Almahaba (Iraq), MEGA FM (Cairo, Egypt), Alexhits (Egypt, online), Sound of Sakia (Egypt); Radio Farat Al Nas(Jordan)

Listening groups and public events: Oxfam Novib, Soul City and their field based partners and El Sawy – Culture Wheels (in Cairo), SMPL Media

Social Media: SMPL Media, Lapis Communications (2nd Edition)

Monitoring and evaluation, community mobilization: Oxfam Novib, Soul City and their field based partners.

Funding partner:  Private donor and Womanity Foundation

Media Links

BBC World Impact (17 July 2014); A Woman’s Hour – BBC Radio 4 (23 July 2014); BBC Arabic ;YOUM7 (21 September 2014); Worth 100 Men ( Be 100 Ragl) I – The Communication Initiative (12 MARCH 2014); Can a radio series change attitudes and norms on violence against women? Oxfam (18 May 2016); Antonella Notari Vischer, the director of Womanity, was interviewed by Radio SouriaLi when Be 100 Ragl I was launched

To fund this work visit our Donate page or contact Ryna Sherazi at ryna@womanity.org.

Programs

Fiction for Women's Empowerment
(Middle East and North Africa)

Harnessing fiction as a platform for women’s empowerment.

 

PROGRAM PICTURES

PROGRAM VIDEOS

The project

The Challenge

While countries in the Arabic-speaking world differ in prosperity, population, and resources, they share strong similarities in cultural terms, and in governance and social structures. Many countries in the region find women in economically dependent positions within the family, with no or little decision-making power, and exposed to some form of violence.

Arab women’s participation in the labor market is only 26.7%, compared to a worldwide rate of 52.5%; women’s literacy rate is 59.4% compared to a worldwide rate of 72.7%; and overall unequal opportunities for girls and women result in a loss of resources and productivity for entire communities.

Issues that affect women, such as their role in society, their rights and responsibilities, and the problems they face in private and in public, are taboo and rarely discussed. Consequently, there are few public platforms for an open dialogue to address them and discuss ways for women to maintain their cultural identities while pursuing their aspirations and realizing their full potential.

Consequently, many Arab women are becoming more actively involved in the public, professional and political spheres, and are role models for their peers. However, these experiences are limited and women continue to remain too often bound by societal customs, with little space to challenge them directly.

The Approach

As demonstrated with Radio Nisaa FM in the Palestinian Territories in 2009, Womanity believes that the media offers a unique way to overcome women’s isolation, to enter family homes and put women’s and societal issues on the table, stimulating debate and providing information and knowledge.

In particular, ‘edutainment’ strategies, especially in the form of fiction series, can enact stories that closely relate to real life, where characters experience the same concerns and pressures of the listeners, leading the audience through a learning process towards positive behavioural changes.

With this in mind, Womanity and its programme partners produced an exclusive Arabic radio fiction, Worth 100 Men (Be 100 Ragl in Arabic). The series follows the story of Noha, an intrepid young radio journalist, who confronts gender discrimination in the workforce, in family, and the social sphere. Noha challenges prejudice and oppression, and becomes a role model for the whole community. The series covers divorce, domestic violence, sexual harassment, women’s access to education and professional careers, the status of single women in traditional society, and healthy romantic relationships.

The first edition was aired between March and October 2014 throughout the Arab world.

In 2015 Womanity and its project partner Lapis Communication undertook to produce the second edition of Be 100 Ragl designed as an animation series in ten episodes. The second season is an animated video story destined for online broadcasting and will be released online from June to August 2016. In season II, Noha is played by leading Jordanian actress Saba Mubarak , and the show theme tune ‘’B100 ragel’’ is performed by the Saudi based Iranian singer Alaa Wardi.

The Impact

  • Be 100 Ragl I

– Radio Nisaa in the Palestinian Territories, Radio Yemen Times in Yemen, and Radio Aswat in Morocco broadcast talk shows discussing the main topics of Worth 100 Men.

– To date, the fiction series has been heard by millions of listeners across nine Arab countries, and engaged over 140,000 social media users, who continued the dialogue long after the show was off-air.

– Womanity, in partnership with SMPL Media, organized ten public events and debates in Egypt and Jordan, attended by over 480 participants.

– Local women’s organizations have held community-based group discussions with the support and training of the program partner Oxfam Novib . Group discussions have significantly contributed to shift participants’ opinion towards more favourable positions in support of gender equality.

– Worth 100 Men was showcased at a side event of the Convention on the Status of Women, organized by Oxfam Novib, and in two BBC programs.

  • Be 100 Ragl II

The series will be released online across the Arab region in Ramadan 2016. As for the first edition, the broadcasting of the second season of the fiction series will run in parallel with a combination of online spaces on social media and offline conversations, the Be 100 Ragl Tour, as following :

– Open online spaces on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to further gather audience and expert comments, animate the debate, and offer possibilities for connections across the community and throughout the program duration;

– Real-life round-tables, meet-ups and debates involving public screenings organized in appropriate spaces in cooperation with civil society and women’s groups, schools, universities, NGO’s, young changemakers and innovators

Read our final report of Be 100 Ragl I

Be 100 Ragl I Valued Partners

Design and production: Global Production (1st edition), Lapis Communications (2nd Edition)

BroadcastingRadio Nisaa (Palestinian Territories), Radio Yemen Times (Yemen), Radio SouriaLi (Syria), Panorama FM (Saudi Arabia and Bahrain),Radio Aswat (Morocco), Radio Almahaba (Iraq), MEGA FM (Cairo, Egypt), Alexhits (Egypt, online), Sound of Sakia (Egypt); Radio Farat Al Nas(Jordan)

Listening groups and public events: Oxfam Novib, Soul City and their field based partners and El Sawy – Culture Wheels (in Cairo), SMPL Media

Social Media: SMPL Media, Lapis Communications (2nd Edition)

Monitoring and evaluation, community mobilization: Oxfam Novib, Soul City and their field based partners.

Funding partner:  Private donor and Womanity Foundation

Media Links

BBC World Impact (17 July 2014); A Woman’s Hour – BBC Radio 4 (23 July 2014); BBC Arabic ;YOUM7 (21 September 2014); Worth 100 Men ( Be 100 Ragl) I – The Communication Initiative (12 MARCH 2014); Can a radio series change attitudes and norms on violence against women? Oxfam (18 May 2016); Antonella Notari Vischer, the director of Womanity, was interviewed by Radio SouriaLi when Be 100 Ragl I was launched

To fund this work visit our Donate page or contact Ryna Sherazi at ryna@womanity.org.

Programs

Fiction for Women's Empowerment
(Middle East and North Africa)

Harnessing fiction as a platform for women’s empowerment.

 

PROGRAM PICTURES

PROGRAM VIDEOS

The project

The Challenge

While countries in the Arabic-speaking world differ in prosperity, population, and resources, they share strong similarities in cultural terms, and in governance and social structures. Many countries in the region find women in economically dependent positions within the family, with no or little decision-making power, and exposed to some form of violence.

Arab women’s participation in the labor market is only 26.7%, compared to a worldwide rate of 52.5%; women’s literacy rate is 59.4% compared to a worldwide rate of 72.7%; and overall unequal opportunities for girls and women result in a loss of resources and productivity for entire communities.

Issues that affect women, such as their role in society, their rights and responsibilities, and the problems they face in private and in public, are taboo and rarely discussed. Consequently, there are few public platforms for an open dialogue to address them and discuss ways for women to maintain their cultural identities while pursuing their aspirations and realizing their full potential.

Consequently, many Arab women are becoming more actively involved in the public, professional and political spheres, and are role models for their peers. However, these experiences are limited and women continue to remain too often bound by societal customs, with little space to challenge them directly.

The Approach

As demonstrated with Radio Nisaa FM in the Palestinian Territories in 2009, Womanity believes that the media offers a unique way to overcome women’s isolation, to enter family homes and put women’s and societal issues on the table, stimulating debate and providing information and knowledge.

In particular, ‘edutainment’ strategies, especially in the form of fiction series, can enact stories that closely relate to real life, where characters experience the same concerns and pressures of the listeners, leading the audience through a learning process towards positive behavioural changes.

With this in mind, Womanity and its programme partners produced an exclusive Arabic radio fiction, Worth 100 Men (Be 100 Ragl in Arabic). The series follows the story of Noha, an intrepid young radio journalist, who confronts gender discrimination in the workforce, in family, and the social sphere. Noha challenges prejudice and oppression, and becomes a role model for the whole community. The series covers divorce, domestic violence, sexual harassment, women’s access to education and professional careers, the status of single women in traditional society, and healthy romantic relationships.

The first edition was aired between March and October 2014 throughout the Arab world.

In 2015 Womanity and its project partner Lapis Communication undertook to produce the second edition of Be 100 Ragl designed as an animation series in ten episodes. The second season is an animated video story destined for online broadcasting and will be released online from June to August 2016. In season II, Noha is played by leading Jordanian actress Saba Mubarak , and the show theme tune ‘’B100 ragel’’ is performed by the Saudi based Iranian singer Alaa Wardi.

The Impact

  • Be 100 Ragl I

– Radio Nisaa in the Palestinian Territories, Radio Yemen Times in Yemen, and Radio Aswat in Morocco broadcast talk shows discussing the main topics of Worth 100 Men.

– To date, the fiction series has been heard by millions of listeners across nine Arab countries, and engaged over 140,000 social media users, who continued the dialogue long after the show was off-air.

– Womanity, in partnership with SMPL Media, organized ten public events and debates in Egypt and Jordan, attended by over 480 participants.

– Local women’s organizations have held community-based group discussions with the support and training of the program partner Oxfam Novib . Group discussions have significantly contributed to shift participants’ opinion towards more favourable positions in support of gender equality.

– Worth 100 Men was showcased at a side event of the Convention on the Status of Women, organized by Oxfam Novib, and in two BBC programs.

  • Be 100 Ragl II

The series will be released online across the Arab region in Ramadan 2016. As for the first edition, the broadcasting of the second season of the fiction series will run in parallel with a combination of online spaces on social media and offline conversations, the Be 100 Ragl Tour, as following :

– Open online spaces on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to further gather audience and expert comments, animate the debate, and offer possibilities for connections across the community and throughout the program duration;

– Real-life round-tables, meet-ups and debates involving public screenings organized in appropriate spaces in cooperation with civil society and women’s groups, schools, universities, NGO’s, young changemakers and innovators

Read our final report of Be 100 Ragl I

Be 100 Ragl I Valued Partners

Design and production: Global Production (1st edition), Lapis Communications (2nd Edition)

BroadcastingRadio Nisaa (Palestinian Territories), Radio Yemen Times (Yemen), Radio SouriaLi (Syria), Panorama FM (Saudi Arabia and Bahrain),Radio Aswat (Morocco), Radio Almahaba (Iraq), MEGA FM (Cairo, Egypt), Alexhits (Egypt, online), Sound of Sakia (Egypt); Radio Farat Al Nas(Jordan)

Listening groups and public events: Oxfam Novib, Soul City and their field based partners and El Sawy – Culture Wheels (in Cairo), SMPL Media

Social Media: SMPL Media, Lapis Communications (2nd Edition)

Monitoring and evaluation, community mobilization: Oxfam Novib, Soul City and their field based partners.

Funding partner:  Private donor and Womanity Foundation

Media Links

BBC World Impact (17 July 2014); A Woman’s Hour – BBC Radio 4 (23 July 2014); BBC Arabic ;YOUM7 (21 September 2014); Worth 100 Men ( Be 100 Ragl) I – The Communication Initiative (12 MARCH 2014); Can a radio series change attitudes and norms on violence against women? Oxfam (18 May 2016); Antonella Notari Vischer, the director of Womanity, was interviewed by Radio SouriaLi when Be 100 Ragl I was launched

To fund this work visit our Donate page or contact Ryna Sherazi at ryna@womanity.org.

Programs

Fiction for Women's Empowerment
(Middle East and North Africa)

Harnessing fiction as a platform for women’s empowerment.

 

PROGRAM PICTURES

PROGRAM VIDEOS

The project

The Challenge

While countries in the Arabic-speaking world differ in prosperity, population, and resources, they share strong similarities in cultural terms, and in governance and social structures. Many countries in the region find women in economically dependent positions within the family, with no or little decision-making power, and exposed to some form of violence.

Arab women’s participation in the labor market is only 26.7%, compared to a worldwide rate of 52.5%; women’s literacy rate is 59.4% compared to a worldwide rate of 72.7%; and overall unequal opportunities for girls and women result in a loss of resources and productivity for entire communities.

Issues that affect women, such as their role in society, their rights and responsibilities, and the problems they face in private and in public, are taboo and rarely discussed. Consequently, there are few public platforms for an open dialogue to address them and discuss ways for women to maintain their cultural identities while pursuing their aspirations and realizing their full potential.

Consequently, many Arab women are becoming more actively involved in the public, professional and political spheres, and are role models for their peers. However, these experiences are limited and women continue to remain too often bound by societal customs, with little space to challenge them directly.

The Approach

As demonstrated with Radio Nisaa FM in the Palestinian Territories in 2009, Womanity believes that the media offers a unique way to overcome women’s isolation, to enter family homes and put women’s and societal issues on the table, stimulating debate and providing information and knowledge.

In particular, ‘edutainment’ strategies, especially in the form of fiction series, can enact stories that closely relate to real life, where characters experience the same concerns and pressures of the listeners, leading the audience through a learning process towards positive behavioural changes.

With this in mind, Womanity and its programme partners produced an exclusive Arabic radio fiction, Worth 100 Men (Be 100 Ragl in Arabic). The series follows the story of Noha, an intrepid young radio journalist, who confronts gender discrimination in the workforce, in family, and the social sphere. Noha challenges prejudice and oppression, and becomes a role model for the whole community. The series covers divorce, domestic violence, sexual harassment, women’s access to education and professional careers, the status of single women in traditional society, and healthy romantic relationships.

The first edition was aired between March and October 2014 throughout the Arab world.

In 2015 Womanity and its project partner Lapis Communication undertook to produce the second edition of Be 100 Ragl designed as an animation series in ten episodes. The second season is an animated video story destined for online broadcasting and will be released online from June to August 2016. In season II, Noha is played by leading Jordanian actress Saba Mubarak , and the show theme tune ‘’B100 ragel’’ is performed by the Saudi based Iranian singer Alaa Wardi.

The Impact

  • Be 100 Ragl I

– Radio Nisaa in the Palestinian Territories, Radio Yemen Times in Yemen, and Radio Aswat in Morocco broadcast talk shows discussing the main topics of Worth 100 Men.

– To date, the fiction series has been heard by millions of listeners across nine Arab countries, and engaged over 140,000 social media users, who continued the dialogue long after the show was off-air.

– Womanity, in partnership with SMPL Media, organized ten public events and debates in Egypt and Jordan, attended by over 480 participants.

– Local women’s organizations have held community-based group discussions with the support and training of the program partner Oxfam Novib . Group discussions have significantly contributed to shift participants’ opinion towards more favourable positions in support of gender equality.

– Worth 100 Men was showcased at a side event of the Convention on the Status of Women, organized by Oxfam Novib, and in two BBC programs.

  • Be 100 Ragl II

The series will be released online across the Arab region in Ramadan 2016. As for the first edition, the broadcasting of the second season of the fiction series will run in parallel with a combination of online spaces on social media and offline conversations, the Be 100 Ragl Tour, as following :

– Open online spaces on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to further gather audience and expert comments, animate the debate, and offer possibilities for connections across the community and throughout the program duration;

– Real-life round-tables, meet-ups and debates involving public screenings organized in appropriate spaces in cooperation with civil society and women’s groups, schools, universities, NGO’s, young changemakers and innovators

Read our final report of Be 100 Ragl I

Be 100 Ragl I Valued Partners

Design and production: Global Production (1st edition), Lapis Communications (2nd Edition)

BroadcastingRadio Nisaa (Palestinian Territories), Radio Yemen Times (Yemen), Radio SouriaLi (Syria), Panorama FM (Saudi Arabia and Bahrain),Radio Aswat (Morocco), Radio Almahaba (Iraq), MEGA FM (Cairo, Egypt), Alexhits (Egypt, online), Sound of Sakia (Egypt); Radio Farat Al Nas(Jordan)

Listening groups and public events: Oxfam Novib, Soul City and their field based partners and El Sawy – Culture Wheels (in Cairo), SMPL Media

Social Media: SMPL Media, Lapis Communications (2nd Edition)

Monitoring and evaluation, community mobilization: Oxfam Novib, Soul City and their field based partners.

Funding partner:  Private donor and Womanity Foundation

Media Links

BBC World Impact (17 July 2014); A Woman’s Hour – BBC Radio 4 (23 July 2014); BBC Arabic ;YOUM7 (21 September 2014); Worth 100 Men ( Be 100 Ragl) I – The Communication Initiative (12 MARCH 2014); Can a radio series change attitudes and norms on violence against women? Oxfam (18 May 2016); Antonella Notari Vischer, the director of Womanity, was interviewed by Radio SouriaLi when Be 100 Ragl I was launched

To fund this work visit our Donate page or contact Ryna Sherazi at ryna@womanity.org.

Programs

Fiction for Women's Empowerment
(Middle East and North Africa)

Harnessing fiction as a platform for women’s empowerment.

 

PROGRAM PICTURES

PROGRAM VIDEOS

The project

The Challenge

While countries in the Arabic-speaking world differ in prosperity, population, and resources, they share strong similarities in cultural terms, and in governance and social structures. Many countries in the region find women in economically dependent positions within the family, with no or little decision-making power, and exposed to some form of violence.

Arab women’s participation in the labor market is only 26.7%, compared to a worldwide rate of 52.5%; women’s literacy rate is 59.4% compared to a worldwide rate of 72.7%; and overall unequal opportunities for girls and women result in a loss of resources and productivity for entire communities.

Issues that affect women, such as their role in society, their rights and responsibilities, and the problems they face in private and in public, are taboo and rarely discussed. Consequently, there are few public platforms for an open dialogue to address them and discuss ways for women to maintain their cultural identities while pursuing their aspirations and realizing their full potential.

Consequently, many Arab women are becoming more actively involved in the public, professional and political spheres, and are role models for their peers. However, these experiences are limited and women continue to remain too often bound by societal customs, with little space to challenge them directly.

The Approach

As demonstrated with Radio Nisaa FM in the Palestinian Territories in 2009, Womanity believes that the media offers a unique way to overcome women’s isolation, to enter family homes and put women’s and societal issues on the table, stimulating debate and providing information and knowledge.

In particular, ‘edutainment’ strategies, especially in the form of fiction series, can enact stories that closely relate to real life, where characters experience the same concerns and pressures of the listeners, leading the audience through a learning process towards positive behavioural changes.

With this in mind, Womanity and its programme partners produced an exclusive Arabic radio fiction, Worth 100 Men (Be 100 Ragl in Arabic). The series follows the story of Noha, an intrepid young radio journalist, who confronts gender discrimination in the workforce, in family, and the social sphere. Noha challenges prejudice and oppression, and becomes a role model for the whole community. The series covers divorce, domestic violence, sexual harassment, women’s access to education and professional careers, the status of single women in traditional society, and healthy romantic relationships.

The first edition was aired between March and October 2014 throughout the Arab world.

In 2015 Womanity and its project partner Lapis Communication undertook to produce the second edition of Be 100 Ragl designed as an animation series in ten episodes. The second season is an animated video story destined for online broadcasting and will be released online from June to August 2016. In season II, Noha is played by leading Jordanian actress Saba Mubarak , and the show theme tune ‘’B100 ragel’’ is performed by the Saudi based Iranian singer Alaa Wardi.

The Impact

  • Be 100 Ragl I

– Radio Nisaa in the Palestinian Territories, Radio Yemen Times in Yemen, and Radio Aswat in Morocco broadcast talk shows discussing the main topics of Worth 100 Men.

– To date, the fiction series has been heard by millions of listeners across nine Arab countries, and engaged over 140,000 social media users, who continued the dialogue long after the show was off-air.

– Womanity, in partnership with SMPL Media, organized ten public events and debates in Egypt and Jordan, attended by over 480 participants.

– Local women’s organizations have held community-based group discussions with the support and training of the program partner Oxfam Novib . Group discussions have significantly contributed to shift participants’ opinion towards more favourable positions in support of gender equality.

– Worth 100 Men was showcased at a side event of the Convention on the Status of Women, organized by Oxfam Novib, and in two BBC programs.

  • Be 100 Ragl II

The series will be released online across the Arab region in Ramadan 2016. As for the first edition, the broadcasting of the second season of the fiction series will run in parallel with a combination of online spaces on social media and offline conversations, the Be 100 Ragl Tour, as following :

– Open online spaces on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to further gather audience and expert comments, animate the debate, and offer possibilities for connections across the community and throughout the program duration;

– Real-life round-tables, meet-ups and debates involving public screenings organized in appropriate spaces in cooperation with civil society and women’s groups, schools, universities, NGO’s, young changemakers and innovators

Read our final report of Be 100 Ragl I

Be 100 Ragl I Valued Partners

Design and production: Global Production (1st edition), Lapis Communications (2nd Edition)

BroadcastingRadio Nisaa (Palestinian Territories), Radio Yemen Times (Yemen), Radio SouriaLi (Syria), Panorama FM (Saudi Arabia and Bahrain),Radio Aswat (Morocco), Radio Almahaba (Iraq), MEGA FM (Cairo, Egypt), Alexhits (Egypt, online), Sound of Sakia (Egypt); Radio Farat Al Nas(Jordan)

Listening groups and public events: Oxfam Novib, Soul City and their field based partners and El Sawy – Culture Wheels (in Cairo), SMPL Media

Social Media: SMPL Media, Lapis Communications (2nd Edition)

Monitoring and evaluation, community mobilization: Oxfam Novib, Soul City and their field based partners.

Funding partner:  Private donor and Womanity Foundation

Media Links

BBC World Impact (17 July 2014); A Woman’s Hour – BBC Radio 4 (23 July 2014); BBC Arabic ;YOUM7 (21 September 2014); Worth 100 Men ( Be 100 Ragl) I – The Communication Initiative (12 MARCH 2014); Can a radio series change attitudes and norms on violence against women? Oxfam (18 May 2016); Antonella Notari Vischer, the director of Womanity, was interviewed by Radio SouriaLi when Be 100 Ragl I was launched

To fund this work visit our Donate page or contact Ryna Sherazi at ryna@womanity.org.

Programs

Fiction for Women's Empowerment
(Middle East and North Africa)

Harnessing fiction as a platform for women’s empowerment.

 

PROGRAM PICTURES

PROGRAM VIDEOS

The project

The Challenge

While countries in the Arabic-speaking world differ in prosperity, population, and resources, they share strong similarities in cultural terms, and in governance and social structures. Many countries in the region find women in economically dependent positions within the family, with no or little decision-making power, and exposed to some form of violence.

Arab women’s participation in the labor market is only 26.7%, compared to a worldwide rate of 52.5%; women’s literacy rate is 59.4% compared to a worldwide rate of 72.7%; and overall unequal opportunities for girls and women result in a loss of resources and productivity for entire communities.

Issues that affect women, such as their role in society, their rights and responsibilities, and the problems they face in private and in public, are taboo and rarely discussed. Consequently, there are few public platforms for an open dialogue to address them and discuss ways for women to maintain their cultural identities while pursuing their aspirations and realizing their full potential.

Consequently, many Arab women are becoming more actively involved in the public, professional and political spheres, and are role models for their peers. However, these experiences are limited and women continue to remain too often bound by societal customs, with little space to challenge them directly.

The Approach

As demonstrated with Radio Nisaa FM in the Palestinian Territories in 2009, Womanity believes that the media offers a unique way to overcome women’s isolation, to enter family homes and put women’s and societal issues on the table, stimulating debate and providing information and knowledge.

In particular, ‘edutainment’ strategies, especially in the form of fiction series, can enact stories that closely relate to real life, where characters experience the same concerns and pressures of the listeners, leading the audience through a learning process towards positive behavioural changes.

With this in mind, Womanity and its programme partners produced an exclusive Arabic radio fiction, Worth 100 Men (Be 100 Ragl in Arabic). The series follows the story of Noha, an intrepid young radio journalist, who confronts gender discrimination in the workforce, in family, and the social sphere. Noha challenges prejudice and oppression, and becomes a role model for the whole community. The series covers divorce, domestic violence, sexual harassment, women’s access to education and professional careers, the status of single women in traditional society, and healthy romantic relationships.

The first edition was aired between March and October 2014 throughout the Arab world.

In 2015 Womanity and its project partner Lapis Communication undertook to produce the second edition of Be 100 Ragl designed as an animation series in ten episodes. The second season is an animated video story destined for online broadcasting and will be released online from June to August 2016. In season II, Noha is played by leading Jordanian actress Saba Mubarak , and the show theme tune ‘’B100 ragel’’ is performed by the Saudi based Iranian singer Alaa Wardi.

The Impact

  • Be 100 Ragl I

– Radio Nisaa in the Palestinian Territories, Radio Yemen Times in Yemen, and Radio Aswat in Morocco broadcast talk shows discussing the main topics of Worth 100 Men.

– To date, the fiction series has been heard by millions of listeners across nine Arab countries, and engaged over 140,000 social media users, who continued the dialogue long after the show was off-air.

– Womanity, in partnership with SMPL Media, organized ten public events and debates in Egypt and Jordan, attended by over 480 participants.

– Local women’s organizations have held community-based group discussions with the support and training of the program partner Oxfam Novib . Group discussions have significantly contributed to shift participants’ opinion towards more favourable positions in support of gender equality.

– Worth 100 Men was showcased at a side event of the Convention on the Status of Women, organized by Oxfam Novib, and in two BBC programs.

  • Be 100 Ragl II

The series will be released online across the Arab region in Ramadan 2016. As for the first edition, the broadcasting of the second season of the fiction series will run in parallel with a combination of online spaces on social media and offline conversations, the Be 100 Ragl Tour, as following :

– Open online spaces on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to further gather audience and expert comments, animate the debate, and offer possibilities for connections across the community and throughout the program duration;

– Real-life round-tables, meet-ups and debates involving public screenings organized in appropriate spaces in cooperation with civil society and women’s groups, schools, universities, NGO’s, young changemakers and innovators

Read our final report of Be 100 Ragl I

Be 100 Ragl I Valued Partners

Design and production: Global Production (1st edition), Lapis Communications (2nd Edition)

BroadcastingRadio Nisaa (Palestinian Territories), Radio Yemen Times (Yemen), Radio SouriaLi (Syria), Panorama FM (Saudi Arabia and Bahrain),Radio Aswat (Morocco), Radio Almahaba (Iraq), MEGA FM (Cairo, Egypt), Alexhits (Egypt, online), Sound of Sakia (Egypt); Radio Farat Al Nas(Jordan)

Listening groups and public events: Oxfam Novib, Soul City and their field based partners and El Sawy – Culture Wheels (in Cairo), SMPL Media

Social Media: SMPL Media, Lapis Communications (2nd Edition)

Monitoring and evaluation, community mobilization: Oxfam Novib, Soul City and their field based partners.

Funding partner:  Private donor and Womanity Foundation

Media Links

BBC World Impact (17 July 2014); A Woman’s Hour – BBC Radio 4 (23 July 2014); BBC Arabic ;YOUM7 (21 September 2014); Worth 100 Men ( Be 100 Ragl) I – The Communication Initiative (12 MARCH 2014); Can a radio series change attitudes and norms on violence against women? Oxfam (18 May 2016); Antonella Notari Vischer, the director of Womanity, was interviewed by Radio SouriaLi when Be 100 Ragl I was launched

To fund this work visit our Donate page or contact Ryna Sherazi at ryna@womanity.org.

Programs

Fiction for Women's Empowerment
(Middle East and North Africa)

Harnessing fiction as a platform for women’s empowerment.

 

PROGRAM PICTURES

PROGRAM VIDEOS

The project

The Challenge

While countries in the Arabic-speaking world differ in prosperity, population, and resources, they share strong similarities in cultural terms, and in governance and social structures. Many countries in the region find women in economically dependent positions within the family, with no or little decision-making power, and exposed to some form of violence.

Arab women’s participation in the labor market is only 26.7%, compared to a worldwide rate of 52.5%; women’s literacy rate is 59.4% compared to a worldwide rate of 72.7%; and overall unequal opportunities for girls and women result in a loss of resources and productivity for entire communities.

Issues that affect women, such as their role in society, their rights and responsibilities, and the problems they face in private and in public, are taboo and rarely discussed. Consequently, there are few public platforms for an open dialogue to address them and discuss ways for women to maintain their cultural identities while pursuing their aspirations and realizing their full potential.

Consequently, many Arab women are becoming more actively involved in the public, professional and political spheres, and are role models for their peers. However, these experiences are limited and women continue to remain too often bound by societal customs, with little space to challenge them directly.

The Approach

As demonstrated with Radio Nisaa FM in the Palestinian Territories in 2009, Womanity believes that the media offers a unique way to overcome women’s isolation, to enter family homes and put women’s and societal issues on the table, stimulating debate and providing information and knowledge.

In particular, ‘edutainment’ strategies, especially in the form of fiction series, can enact stories that closely relate to real life, where characters experience the same concerns and pressures of the listeners, leading the audience through a learning process towards positive behavioural changes.

With this in mind, Womanity and its programme partners produced an exclusive Arabic radio fiction, Worth 100 Men (Be 100 Ragl in Arabic). The series follows the story of Noha, an intrepid young radio journalist, who confronts gender discrimination in the workforce, in family, and the social sphere. Noha challenges prejudice and oppression, and becomes a role model for the whole community. The series covers divorce, domestic violence, sexual harassment, women’s access to education and professional careers, the status of single women in traditional society, and healthy romantic relationships.

The first edition was aired between March and October 2014 throughout the Arab world.

In 2015 Womanity and its project partner Lapis Communication undertook to produce the second edition of Be 100 Ragl designed as an animation series in ten episodes. The second season is an animated video story destined for online broadcasting and will be released online from June to August 2016. In season II, Noha is played by leading Jordanian actress Saba Mubarak , and the show theme tune ‘’B100 ragel’’ is performed by the Saudi based Iranian singer Alaa Wardi.

The Impact

  • Be 100 Ragl I

– Radio Nisaa in the Palestinian Territories, Radio Yemen Times in Yemen, and Radio Aswat in Morocco broadcast talk shows discussing the main topics of Worth 100 Men.

– To date, the fiction series has been heard by millions of listeners across nine Arab countries, and engaged over 140,000 social media users, who continued the dialogue long after the show was off-air.

– Womanity, in partnership with SMPL Media, organized ten public events and debates in Egypt and Jordan, attended by over 480 participants.

– Local women’s organizations have held community-based group discussions with the support and training of the program partner Oxfam Novib . Group discussions have significantly contributed to shift participants’ opinion towards more favourable positions in support of gender equality.

– Worth 100 Men was showcased at a side event of the Convention on the Status of Women, organized by Oxfam Novib, and in two BBC programs.

  • Be 100 Ragl II

The series will be released online across the Arab region in Ramadan 2016. As for the first edition, the broadcasting of the second season of the fiction series will run in parallel with a combination of online spaces on social media and offline conversations, the Be 100 Ragl Tour, as following :

– Open online spaces on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to further gather audience and expert comments, animate the debate, and offer possibilities for connections across the community and throughout the program duration;

– Real-life round-tables, meet-ups and debates involving public screenings organized in appropriate spaces in cooperation with civil society and women’s groups, schools, universities, NGO’s, young changemakers and innovators

Read our final report of Be 100 Ragl I

Be 100 Ragl I Valued Partners

Design and production: Global Production (1st edition), Lapis Communications (2nd Edition)

BroadcastingRadio Nisaa (Palestinian Territories), Radio Yemen Times (Yemen), Radio SouriaLi (Syria), Panorama FM (Saudi Arabia and Bahrain),Radio Aswat (Morocco), Radio Almahaba (Iraq), MEGA FM (Cairo, Egypt), Alexhits (Egypt, online), Sound of Sakia (Egypt); Radio Farat Al Nas(Jordan)

Listening groups and public events: Oxfam Novib, Soul City and their field based partners and El Sawy – Culture Wheels (in Cairo), SMPL Media

Social Media: SMPL Media, Lapis Communications (2nd Edition)

Monitoring and evaluation, community mobilization: Oxfam Novib, Soul City and their field based partners.

Funding partner:  Private donor and Womanity Foundation

Media Links

BBC World Impact (17 July 2014); A Woman’s Hour – BBC Radio 4 (23 July 2014); BBC Arabic ;YOUM7 (21 September 2014); Worth 100 Men ( Be 100 Ragl) I – The Communication Initiative (12 MARCH 2014); Can a radio series change attitudes and norms on violence against women? Oxfam (18 May 2016); Antonella Notari Vischer, the director of Womanity, was interviewed by Radio SouriaLi when Be 100 Ragl I was launched

To fund this work visit our Donate page or contact Ryna Sherazi at ryna@womanity.org.

Programs

Fiction for Women's Empowerment
(Middle East and North Africa)

Harnessing fiction as a platform for women’s empowerment.

 

PROGRAM PICTURES

PROGRAM VIDEOS

The project

The Challenge

While countries in the Arabic-speaking world differ in prosperity, population, and resources, they share strong similarities in cultural terms, and in governance and social structures. Many countries in the region find women in economically dependent positions within the family, with no or little decision-making power, and exposed to some form of violence.

Arab women’s participation in the labor market is only 26.7%, compared to a worldwide rate of 52.5%; women’s literacy rate is 59.4% compared to a worldwide rate of 72.7%; and overall unequal opportunities for girls and women result in a loss of resources and productivity for entire communities.

Issues that affect women, such as their role in society, their rights and responsibilities, and the problems they face in private and in public, are taboo and rarely discussed. Consequently, there are few public platforms for an open dialogue to address them and discuss ways for women to maintain their cultural identities while pursuing their aspirations and realizing their full potential.

Consequently, many Arab women are becoming more actively involved in the public, professional and political spheres, and are role models for their peers. However, these experiences are limited and women continue to remain too often bound by societal customs, with little space to challenge them directly.

The Approach

As demonstrated with Radio Nisaa FM in the Palestinian Territories in 2009, Womanity believes that the media offers a unique way to overcome women’s isolation, to enter family homes and put women’s and societal issues on the table, stimulating debate and providing information and knowledge.

In particular, ‘edutainment’ strategies, especially in the form of fiction series, can enact stories that closely relate to real life, where characters experience the same concerns and pressures of the listeners, leading the audience through a learning process towards positive behavioural changes.

With this in mind, Womanity and its programme partners produced an exclusive Arabic radio fiction, Worth 100 Men (Be 100 Ragl in Arabic). The series follows the story of Noha, an intrepid young radio journalist, who confronts gender discrimination in the workforce, in family, and the social sphere. Noha challenges prejudice and oppression, and becomes a role model for the whole community. The series covers divorce, domestic violence, sexual harassment, women’s access to education and professional careers, the status of single women in traditional society, and healthy romantic relationships.

The first edition was aired between March and October 2014 throughout the Arab world.

In 2015 Womanity and its project partner Lapis Communication undertook to produce the second edition of Be 100 Ragl designed as an animation series in ten episodes. The second season is an animated video story destined for online broadcasting and will be released online from June to August 2016. In season II, Noha is played by leading Jordanian actress Saba Mubarak , and the show theme tune ‘’B100 ragel’’ is performed by the Saudi based Iranian singer Alaa Wardi.

The Impact

  • Be 100 Ragl I

– Radio Nisaa in the Palestinian Territories, Radio Yemen Times in Yemen, and Radio Aswat in Morocco broadcast talk shows discussing the main topics of Worth 100 Men.

– To date, the fiction series has been heard by millions of listeners across nine Arab countries, and engaged over 140,000 social media users, who continued the dialogue long after the show was off-air.

– Womanity, in partnership with SMPL Media, organized ten public events and debates in Egypt and Jordan, attended by over 480 participants.

– Local women’s organizations have held community-based group discussions with the support and training of the program partner Oxfam Novib . Group discussions have significantly contributed to shift participants’ opinion towards more favourable positions in support of gender equality.

– Worth 100 Men was showcased at a side event of the Convention on the Status of Women, organized by Oxfam Novib, and in two BBC programs.

  • Be 100 Ragl II

The series will be released online across the Arab region in Ramadan 2016. As for the first edition, the broadcasting of the second season of the fiction series will run in parallel with a combination of online spaces on social media and offline conversations, the Be 100 Ragl Tour, as following :

– Open online spaces on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to further gather audience and expert comments, animate the debate, and offer possibilities for connections across the community and throughout the program duration;

– Real-life round-tables, meet-ups and debates involving public screenings organized in appropriate spaces in cooperation with civil society and women’s groups, schools, universities, NGO’s, young changemakers and innovators

Read our final report of Be 100 Ragl I

Be 100 Ragl I Valued Partners

Design and production: Global Production (1st edition), Lapis Communications (2nd Edition)

BroadcastingRadio Nisaa (Palestinian Territories), Radio Yemen Times (Yemen), Radio SouriaLi (Syria), Panorama FM (Saudi Arabia and Bahrain),Radio Aswat (Morocco), Radio Almahaba (Iraq), MEGA FM (Cairo, Egypt), Alexhits (Egypt, online), Sound of Sakia (Egypt); Radio Farat Al Nas(Jordan)

Listening groups and public events: Oxfam Novib, Soul City and their field based partners and El Sawy – Culture Wheels (in Cairo), SMPL Media

Social Media: SMPL Media, Lapis Communications (2nd Edition)

Monitoring and evaluation, community mobilization: Oxfam Novib, Soul City and their field based partners.

Funding partner:  Private donor and Womanity Foundation

Media Links

BBC World Impact (17 July 2014); A Woman’s Hour – BBC Radio 4 (23 July 2014); BBC Arabic ;YOUM7 (21 September 2014); Worth 100 Men ( Be 100 Ragl) I – The Communication Initiative (12 MARCH 2014); Can a radio series change attitudes and norms on violence against women? Oxfam (18 May 2016); Antonella Notari Vischer, the director of Womanity, was interviewed by Radio SouriaLi when Be 100 Ragl I was launched

To fund this work visit our Donate page or contact Ryna Sherazi at ryna@womanity.org.

Programs

Fiction for Women's Empowerment
(Middle East and North Africa)

Harnessing fiction as a platform for women’s empowerment.

 

PROGRAM PICTURES

PROGRAM VIDEOS

The project

The Challenge

While countries in the Arabic-speaking world differ in prosperity, population, and resources, they share strong similarities in cultural terms, and in governance and social structures. Many countries in the region find women in economically dependent positions within the family, with no or little decision-making power, and exposed to some form of violence.

Arab women’s participation in the labor market is only 26.7%, compared to a worldwide rate of 52.5%; women’s literacy rate is 59.4% compared to a worldwide rate of 72.7%; and overall unequal opportunities for girls and women result in a loss of resources and productivity for entire communities.

Issues that affect women, such as their role in society, their rights and responsibilities, and the problems they face in private and in public, are taboo and rarely discussed. Consequently, there are few public platforms for an open dialogue to address them and discuss ways for women to maintain their cultural identities while pursuing their aspirations and realizing their full potential.

Consequently, many Arab women are becoming more actively involved in the public, professional and political spheres, and are role models for their peers. However, these experiences are limited and women continue to remain too often bound by societal customs, with little space to challenge them directly.

The Approach

As demonstrated with Radio Nisaa FM in the Palestinian Territories in 2009, Womanity believes that the media offers a unique way to overcome women’s isolation, to enter family homes and put women’s and societal issues on the table, stimulating debate and providing information and knowledge.

In particular, ‘edutainment’ strategies, especially in the form of fiction series, can enact stories that closely relate to real life, where characters experience the same concerns and pressures of the listeners, leading the audience through a learning process towards positive behavioural changes.

With this in mind, Womanity and its programme partners produced an exclusive Arabic radio fiction, Worth 100 Men (Be 100 Ragl in Arabic). The series follows the story of Noha, an intrepid young radio journalist, who confronts gender discrimination in the workforce, in family, and the social sphere. Noha challenges prejudice and oppression, and becomes a role model for the whole community. The series covers divorce, domestic violence, sexual harassment, women’s access to education and professional careers, the status of single women in traditional society, and healthy romantic relationships.

The first edition was aired between March and October 2014 throughout the Arab world.

In 2015 Womanity and its project partner Lapis Communication undertook to produce the second edition of Be 100 Ragl designed as an animation series in ten episodes. The second season is an animated video story destined for online broadcasting and will be released online from June to August 2016. In season II, Noha is played by leading Jordanian actress Saba Mubarak , and the show theme tune ‘’B100 ragel’’ is performed by the Saudi based Iranian singer Alaa Wardi.

The Impact

  • Be 100 Ragl I

– Radio Nisaa in the Palestinian Territories, Radio Yemen Times in Yemen, and Radio Aswat in Morocco broadcast talk shows discussing the main topics of Worth 100 Men.

– To date, the fiction series has been heard by millions of listeners across nine Arab countries, and engaged over 140,000 social media users, who continued the dialogue long after the show was off-air.

– Womanity, in partnership with SMPL Media, organized ten public events and debates in Egypt and Jordan, attended by over 480 participants.

– Local women’s organizations have held community-based group discussions with the support and training of the program partner Oxfam Novib . Group discussions have significantly contributed to shift participants’ opinion towards more favourable positions in support of gender equality.

– Worth 100 Men was showcased at a side event of the Convention on the Status of Women, organized by Oxfam Novib, and in two BBC programs.

  • Be 100 Ragl II

The series will be released online across the Arab region in Ramadan 2016. As for the first edition, the broadcasting of the second season of the fiction series will run in parallel with a combination of online spaces on social media and offline conversations, the Be 100 Ragl Tour, as following :

– Open online spaces on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to further gather audience and expert comments, animate the debate, and offer possibilities for connections across the community and throughout the program duration;

– Real-life round-tables, meet-ups and debates involving public screenings organized in appropriate spaces in cooperation with civil society and women’s groups, schools, universities, NGO’s, young changemakers and innovators

Read our final report of Be 100 Ragl I

Be 100 Ragl I Valued Partners

Design and production: Global Production (1st edition), Lapis Communications (2nd Edition)

BroadcastingRadio Nisaa (Palestinian Territories), Radio Yemen Times (Yemen), Radio SouriaLi (Syria), Panorama FM (Saudi Arabia and Bahrain),Radio Aswat (Morocco), Radio Almahaba (Iraq), MEGA FM (Cairo, Egypt), Alexhits (Egypt, online), Sound of Sakia (Egypt); Radio Farat Al Nas(Jordan)

Listening groups and public events: Oxfam Novib, Soul City and their field based partners and El Sawy – Culture Wheels (in Cairo), SMPL Media

Social Media: SMPL Media, Lapis Communications (2nd Edition)

Monitoring and evaluation, community mobilization: Oxfam Novib, Soul City and their field based partners.

Funding partner:  Private donor and Womanity Foundation

Media Links

BBC World Impact (17 July 2014); A Woman’s Hour – BBC Radio 4 (23 July 2014); BBC Arabic ;YOUM7 (21 September 2014); Worth 100 Men ( Be 100 Ragl) I – The Communication Initiative (12 MARCH 2014); Can a radio series change attitudes and norms on violence against women? Oxfam (18 May 2016); Antonella Notari Vischer, the director of Womanity, was interviewed by Radio SouriaLi when Be 100 Ragl I was launched

To fund this work visit our Donate page or contact Ryna Sherazi at ryna@womanity.org.

Programs

(Middle East and North Africa)

A competition to find outstanding female students across the Middle East and North Africa

PROGRAM PICTURES

The project

 ” The competition being held by Goodwall and The Womanity Foundation is a celebration of the excellence achieved by young females around the Middle East and Africa” said Goodwall, co-founder Taha Bawa. “We believe that talent can be found throughout the world, and we want to make sure that these talented young women are getting the education they need and deserve.”

  

The challenge 

Across the region, women’s employment is around half of that of men’s. We are trying to change that by supporting girls and women’s access to quality education and vocational training. This includes promoting avenues that give women a voice in society, politics and governance institutions.

Freedom House reported that women in the Middle East and North Africa are often suppressed to subordinate status due to societal norms and a conservative interpretation of Sharia Law and that “women in the region are significantly underrepresented in senior positions in politics and the private sector, and in some countries, they are completely absent from the judiciary.”

 

The approach

In 2017, Goodwall Womanity Scholarship will cover a one year full-tuition at the Swiss International Scientific School of Dubai for a female young leader in the MENA region and iPads to the 10 finalists.

A second Scholarship will offer a prize of USD 5,000 to cover the tuition of an university of choice of the winner.

Both Scholarships target female students in the Middle East and Northern Africa who have had a positive and lasting impact in their communities or have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills. We’re looking for role-models who are capable to inspire others to do good in their own communities.

To participate to the call, interested candidates have to create a profile on Goodwall. More details can be found here: https://goodwall.app.link/womanity

 

Valued partner

Goodwall is a positive, inspirational community for young people to connect and get recognition for their talents and achievements. Committed to celebrating student success and rewarding students for outstanding leadership, community service, innovation and top achievements, Goodwall has a fast-growing community of approximately 1M students from 150+ countries and works with top universities around the world.

PROGRAM PICTURES

PROGRAM VIDEOS

The project

 The Challenge

According to the UN, violence against women (VAW) includes “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion, or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private.” The UN estimates that 1 in 3 women have experienced physical or sexual violence, and about 120 million girls have been forced into sexual acts at some point in their lives. Furthermore, recent research finds that 76% of women under 30 have reported abuse or harassment online.

This widespread violation of human rights means that women and girls can be afraid to participate fully in their communities, which has significant human and economic costs for society. In the UK for instance the cost of gender violence against women reaches almost 28.5 billion euros (US $ 31.8 billion).

The Approach

The Womanity Award for the Prevention of Violence Against Women was developed in 2013, on the basis of a study and program designed for the Foundation, by Accenture Development Partnerships (ADP). The Award was first presented to winners in 2014. The international award supports collaboration between individuals or groups seeking to combat gender-based violence, and aims to break down barriers that such organizations face. This enables ground-breaking projects that are successful in one location, to be expanded, and reproduced elsewhere, to reach and help many more women.

Given every two years, the Womanity Award is presented to two recipients who work in partnership, with the Foundation’s financial and technical support. The Foundation fosters connections to professional services, supports learning visits and in depth work around monitoring and evaluation, and provides any relevant expertise and resources necessary for the replication and scaling up of the innovation.

The Award helps an Innovation Partner that has developed an already successful approach to the problem of VAW to increase their reach; whilst their designated Scale-Up Partner will receive support to adapt and deliver that project in their own location. The partnership lasts for three years.

The project aims to demonstrate the success of a new philanthropic model that builds upon scattered capacities and combines them to achieve lasting, large-scale change.

The Womanity Award, launched in 2013, is co-funded by the Trafigura Foundation.

To fund this work visit our Donate page.

The Impact (2014)

  • The first recipients of the first Womanity Award were Promundo (based in Brazil and the US) and Abaad (based in Lebanon) in 2014.
  • Promundo, the Womanity Award Innovation Partner, has pioneered Program H, aiming to address the roots of violence by positively transforming gender norms. Men’s involvement as gender-equitable caregivers is promoted, and harmful gender stereotypes in schools and workplaces are deconstructed.
  • Positive outcomes of Program H include improved sexual and reproductive health, a reduction in sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS, as well as a reduction in gender-based violence. Young people have become engaged as agents of change.
  • Abaad, the Womanity Award Scale-Up Partner, is dedicated to the advancement, participation and empowerment of women in Lebanon and in the Middle East and North Africa, and through this aim to increase social and economic development. The award supports Promundo and Abaad to adapt Program H for delivery in this region.
  • The campaign has been endorsed by the Lebanese President and stimulated national debates on the subject of gender-based violence in Lebanon, encouraging women and men to refer cases to Abaad.

Web Report Womanity Award 1 2015-2016

The Impact (2016)

  • The second recipients of the Womanity Award are the Association For Progressive Communications (APC) (a global network with an HQ based in South Africa) and La Sandía Digital and their project partner Luchadoras (both based in Mexico).
  • APC, the Womanity Award Innovation Partner, has set up the Take Back the Tech! campaign, in Mexico, with a view to counter and build awareness of the problem of online and other tech-related violence against women.
  • Since its inception in 2006, APC  has supported local Take Back the Tech! campaigns in over 35 countries.
  • Through pressure from the Safety and Free Speech Coalition, which TBTT! serves on, Facebook and Twitter have changed some of their policies to offer more protection for women’s freedom of speech and freedom from violence.
 As part of a coalition of organisations, TBTT! Also managed to get Facebook to relax its stance on people using their real names on the site. The policy was seen as a major issue for women with new identities escaping abusive situations.
  • La Sandía Digital/Luchadoras, the Womanity Award Scale-Up Partners, are two multidisciplinary feminist collectives of women media producers based in Mexico City, dedicated to the promotion of women’s rights and social justice: Luchadoras via its online show and La Sandía Digital through participatory video documentaries.
  • Luchadoras has produced 160 shows with more than 250 women from Mexico, Colombia, Egypt, Guatemala, Iran, Nicaragua and Palestine. The weekly show now boasts over 500,000 viewers per month.

Womanity Award 2nd Edition Update 2015-2016

Since may 2016, Luchadoras, the scale up partner has now successfully formed “Siemprevivas”, a collective of 6 activist organizations that will roll out the campaign in Mexico.

The collective is getting from strength to strength as they are bridging off line and online activities.

  • The collective have been equipped with theory of change methodology,
  • They have designed their M&E framework,
  • Kick-started media producing and digital self-defense activities in various places in Mexico.
  • Other activities include physical self-defense, mapping of online violence, assistance to online violence survivors have taken place.
  • They have now set up a feminist server, enabling them to communicate safely online, in a protected private space, where they can also make collective decisions and work on their joint campaign.
  • They have produced an initial video in November contributing to the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the global Take Back the Tech! campaign
  • On policy and global campaigning level, they have taken part in AWID, but also the Internet Governance Forum, the Internet Freedom Festival, and RightsCon, adding the Mexican voice to the debate.

Deconstructing Masculinities

 

2014 Awardees

The inaugural Womanity Award in 2014 went to the US-Brazilian organization Promundo and their Lebanese partners Abaad, to replicate Promundo’s work engaging men and boys in the achievement of women and girls’ rights (called Program H). Program H has had considerable success in Brazil and dozens of countries around the world. Abaad is implementing the approach for the first time in the Middle East with the help of Promundo and the support of the Womanity Foundation.

About Promundo

Promundo is a global leader in promoting gender justice and preventing violence by engaging men and boys in partnership with women and girls.

“Program H” (“H” for homens, or men, in Portuguese, and hombres in Spanish) is a methodology developed by Promundo and partners to start conversations with young men and their communities about norms related to manhood.

The “Program H” manual includes approximately 200 activities to carry out group work with young men (ages 15 to 24) on gender, sexuality, reproductive health, fatherhood and care giving, violence prevention, emotional health, drug use, and preventing and living with HIV and AIDS.

Through the Program H toolkit, Promundo has reduced intimate-partner violence among more than 250,000 young men and women across 40 countries, by combining group education with youth-led activism to achieve equality and reduce violence. Public school systems in Brazil, India, Croatia, Chile, Nicaragua, and elsewhere have officially adopted the approach as a part of their school curriculum.

This replication work is a first of its kind in the MENA region.

About Abaad

Abaad is a Lebanese based NGO promoting sustainable social and economic development in the MENA region through equality, protection and empowerment of marginalized groups, especially women.

Abaad leads various projects simultaneously, related to women and girls’ empowerment and the transformation of masculinities (some of which, outside Program H, are also developed in partnership with Promundo).

“Undergoing this work at a point in these young men’s lives where they are still formulating their identities and understanding how to interact with others – specifically members of the opposite sex – will prevent countless cases of gender-based violence in Lebanon,” says Anthony Keedi, Program Manager of ABAAD’s Masculinities Program.

Replication Process

  • Abaad and Promundo undertook a foundation learning visit to Serbia in October 2014, where they benefited from the expertise of past successful replications by the Young Men Initiative in the Balkans as well as Youth Action Northern Ireland.
  • Inspired by their learning meeting in the Balkans, Abaad proceeded with a first translation of the Program H manual and a thorough expert review to validate the cultural adaptation.
  • The “Program H” curriculum for Lebanon has now been translated in Arabic. Promundo has reviewed the manual following Abaad’s robust process of verification and cultural adaptation with experts in the sector, to ensure the changes are still in line with the original ethos of the manual.
  • Validation sessions have taken place in the first semester of 2016 with future trainers as well as young people in order to gather as much feedback as possible by representative stakeholders.
  • Participants are sourced from the Men Engage network in Lebanon.
  • In February 2016, a second learning visit took place with Promundo and Abaad in Rio, Brazil, where Program H originally started. Abaad are learning a lot from this cross-fertilization of projects, and are therefore able to maximize their resources. Promundo proved to be a strong mentor for the Lebanese organization. However Promundo also shares they are growing their understanding of the challenges around masculinities in the MENA region.
  • The launch of Program H Lebanon, took place on July 14th 2016 in Beirut. The Arabic version of the curriculum is called Programme RA (for “Rajol”, “man” in arabic).
  • The Training of Trainers sessions kickstarted in September 2016,  and were followed with a pilot workshop for 35 young people at the Wellspring Learning Community in Beirut.

Both organizations are now focusing on the implementation of a robust monitoring and evaluation process to measure changes experienced by stakeholders.

An internet free of violence against women

2016 Awardees

The second Womanity Award was announced in Paris at the OuiShare Fest, in May 2016. The Award went to the Take Back the Tech! (TBTT!) campaign, led by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) (South Africa) and Luchadoras/La Sandía Digital (Mexico). The collaborative campaign, which addresses the wide-spread problem of online violence against women, enables women to proactively respond to online abuse, claim virtual space and creatively influence policies and practices. The ultimate goal is to build an Internet free of violence.

The Issue

Across the world there are 200 million fewer women online than men, it means men have more chance to present their own perspective online and hold even more power over women. Women are 27 times more likely as men to be harassed online.

What online violence looks like:

TTBT! works to get more women online and trained in new technologies so they can have a louder voice. It also seeks recognition for women’s achievements in ICT and in all areas of life, and for these achievements to be fairly documented on sites like Wikipedia, for example.

The winning partner organizations will collaborate for three years to extend and replicate the TBTT! in Mexico. This Award will enable the Partners to produce internet TV programs to increase awareness of the campaignamong young women, use online and traditional media to communicate tools and strategies for dealing with tech-related VAW, and build a network of young feminist activists and media producers.

“Violence against women and girls online is increasing,” says Lulú V. Barrera, founder of Luchadoras. “We want to break down stereotypes of women as submissive, with secondary roles in society around marriage and motherhood. We want to empower women through technology.”

About APC

The Association for Progressive Communications (APC), headquartered in South Africa, created the Take Back the Tech global campaign in 2006, with the view to reclaim online space for women and making that space safer and more representative, as well as a place for women to thrive and challenge norms that perpetuate discrimination and violence. The campaign is now present in 35 countries.

About La Sandía Digital

La Sandía Digital works with women in Latin America and helps them produce their own films documenting experiences around sexism. Such films include Living in Darkness, which highlights the case of a woman who tried desperately to divorce her husband but was criminalised for not fulfilling traditional gender roles around motherhood. La Sandía Digital has also created a very popular weekly feminist internet TV programme called Luchadoras, a subsidiary that will become fully independent at completion of the Womanity Award program..

About Luchadoras

Luchadoras, based in Mexico City, is dedicated to the promotion of women’s rights and social justice via an online feminist TV show broadcast weakly trough RompevientoTV. To replicate Take Back the Tech!, the collective will build a strong strategic network, equip women for digital self-defense, and train them to create content to respond to abuse and violence online.

Luchadoras is recognized by women’s rights movement as an important ally in amplifying their demands given limited mainstream media attention to social activism. In March 2016, the Mexico City Human Rights Commission awarded Luchadoras’ founder Lulú Barrera an honorable mention in the Hermila Galindo Prize for “innovative use of ICT to promote gender equality”.

Replication Process

In order to adapt Take Back The Tech! to the Mexican setting, with younger women’s collectives, the Partners will aim to:

  • Challenge the norms
  • Build awareness
  • Amplify collective power
  • Strengthen response

ICT for Womanity

ICT for Womanity Network

 The Award winning program will also connect with other initiatives using ICT to prevent violence against women, creating a global network of activists and practitioners and fostering peer to peer opportunities. This network aims to:

  • Increase the two Award winners’ learning opportunities;
  • Provide a safe space to exchange information and knowledge on how ICTs can prevent violence against women;
  • Collect and analyze data to assess the effectiveness of ICTs improving women’s safety;
  • Increase awareness in the mainstream media of how ICT is proven to prevent violence against women

For more information on registration, articles and achievements to date, visit the ICTforWomanity page

PROGRAM PICTURES

PROGRAM VIDEOS

The project

 The Challenge

According to the UN, violence against women (VAW) includes “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion, or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private.” The UN estimates that 1 in 3 women have experienced physical or sexual violence, and about 120 million girls have been forced into sexual acts at some point in their lives. Furthermore, recent research finds that 76% of women under 30 have reported abuse or harassment online.

This widespread violation of human rights means that women and girls can be afraid to participate fully in their communities, which has significant human and economic costs for society. In the UK for instance the cost of gender violence against women reaches almost 28.5 billion euros (US $ 31.8 billion).

The Approach

The Womanity Award for the Prevention of Violence Against Women was developed in 2013, on the basis of a study and program designed for the Foundation, by Accenture Development Partnerships (ADP). The Award was first presented to winners in 2014. The international award supports collaboration between individuals or groups seeking to combat gender-based violence, and aims to break down barriers that such organizations face. This enables ground-breaking projects that are successful in one location, to be expanded, and reproduced elsewhere, to reach and help many more women.

Given every two years, the Womanity Award is presented to two recipients who work in partnership, with the Foundation’s financial and technical support. The Foundation fosters connections to professional services, supports learning visits and in depth work around monitoring and evaluation, and provides any relevant expertise and resources necessary for the replication and scaling up of the innovation.

The Award helps an Innovation Partner that has developed an already successful approach to the problem of VAW to increase their reach; whilst their designated Scale-Up Partner will receive support to adapt and deliver that project in their own location. The partnership lasts for three years.

The project aims to demonstrate the success of a new philanthropic model that builds upon scattered capacities and combines them to achieve lasting, large-scale change.

The Womanity Award, launched in 2013, is co-funded by the Trafigura Foundation.

To fund this work visit our Donate page.

The Impact (2014)

  • The first recipients of the first Womanity Award were Promundo (based in Brazil and the US) and Abaad (based in Lebanon) in 2014.
  • Promundo, the Womanity Award Innovation Partner, has pioneered Program H, aiming to address the roots of violence by positively transforming gender norms. Men’s involvement as gender-equitable caregivers is promoted, and harmful gender stereotypes in schools and workplaces are deconstructed.
  • Positive outcomes of Program H include improved sexual and reproductive health, a reduction in sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS, as well as a reduction in gender-based violence. Young people have become engaged as agents of change.
  • Abaad, the Womanity Award Scale-Up Partner, is dedicated to the advancement, participation and empowerment of women in Lebanon and in the Middle East and North Africa, and through this aim to increase social and economic development. The award supports Promundo and Abaad to adapt Program H for delivery in this region.
  • The campaign has been endorsed by the Lebanese President and stimulated national debates on the subject of gender-based violence in Lebanon, encouraging women and men to refer cases to Abaad.

Web Report Womanity Award 1 2015-2016

The Impact (2016)

  • The second recipients of the Womanity Award are the Association For Progressive Communications (APC) (a global network with an HQ based in South Africa) and La Sandía Digital and their project partner Luchadoras (both based in Mexico).
  • APC, the Womanity Award Innovation Partner, has set up the Take Back the Tech! campaign, in Mexico, with a view to counter and build awareness of the problem of online and other tech-related violence against women.
  • Since its inception in 2006, APC  has supported local Take Back the Tech! campaigns in over 35 countries.
  • Through pressure from the Safety and Free Speech Coalition, which TBTT! serves on, Facebook and Twitter have changed some of their policies to offer more protection for women’s freedom of speech and freedom from violence.
 As part of a coalition of organisations, TBTT! Also managed to get Facebook to relax its stance on people using their real names on the site. The policy was seen as a major issue for women with new identities escaping abusive situations.
  • La Sandía Digital/Luchadoras, the Womanity Award Scale-Up Partners, are two multidisciplinary feminist collectives of women media producers based in Mexico City, dedicated to the promotion of women’s rights and social justice: Luchadoras via its online show and La Sandía Digital through participatory video documentaries.
  • Luchadoras has produced 160 shows with more than 250 women from Mexico, Colombia, Egypt, Guatemala, Iran, Nicaragua and Palestine. The weekly show now boasts over 500,000 viewers per month.

Womanity Award 2nd Edition Update 2015-2016

Since may 2016, Luchadoras, the scale up partner has now successfully formed “Siemprevivas”, a collective of 6 activist organizations that will roll out the campaign in Mexico.

The collective is getting from strength to strength as they are bridging off line and online activities.

  • The collective have been equipped with theory of change methodology,
  • They have designed their M&E framework,
  • Kick-started media producing and digital self-defense activities in various places in Mexico.
  • Other activities include physical self-defense, mapping of online violence, assistance to online violence survivors have taken place.
  • They have now set up a feminist server, enabling them to communicate safely online, in a protected private space, where they can also make collective decisions and work on their joint campaign.
  • They have produced an initial video in November contributing to the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the global Take Back the Tech! campaign
  • On policy and global campaigning level, they have taken part in AWID, but also the Internet Governance Forum, the Internet Freedom Festival, and RightsCon, adding the Mexican voice to the debate.

Deconstructing Masculinities

 

2014 Awardees

The inaugural Womanity Award in 2014 went to the US-Brazilian organization Promundo and their Lebanese partners Abaad, to replicate Promundo’s work engaging men and boys in the achievement of women and girls’ rights (called Program H). Program H has had considerable success in Brazil and dozens of countries around the world. Abaad is implementing the approach for the first time in the Middle East with the help of Promundo and the support of the Womanity Foundation.

About Promundo

Promundo is a global leader in promoting gender justice and preventing violence by engaging men and boys in partnership with women and girls.

“Program H” (“H” for homens, or men, in Portuguese, and hombres in Spanish) is a methodology developed by Promundo and partners to start conversations with young men and their communities about norms related to manhood.

The “Program H” manual includes approximately 200 activities to carry out group work with young men (ages 15 to 24) on gender, sexuality, reproductive health, fatherhood and care giving, violence prevention, emotional health, drug use, and preventing and living with HIV and AIDS.

Through the Program H toolkit, Promundo has reduced intimate-partner violence among more than 250,000 young men and women across 40 countries, by combining group education with youth-led activism to achieve equality and reduce violence. Public school systems in Brazil, India, Croatia, Chile, Nicaragua, and elsewhere have officially adopted the approach as a part of their school curriculum.

This replication work is a first of its kind in the MENA region.

About Abaad

Abaad is a Lebanese based NGO promoting sustainable social and economic development in the MENA region through equality, protection and empowerment of marginalized groups, especially women.

Abaad leads various projects simultaneously, related to women and girls’ empowerment and the transformation of masculinities (some of which, outside Program H, are also developed in partnership with Promundo).

“Undergoing this work at a point in these young men’s lives where they are still formulating their identities and understanding how to interact with others – specifically members of the opposite sex – will prevent countless cases of gender-based violence in Lebanon,” says Anthony Keedi, Program Manager of ABAAD’s Masculinities Program.

Replication Process

  • Abaad and Promundo undertook a foundation learning visit to Serbia in October 2014, where they benefited from the expertise of past successful replications by the Young Men Initiative in the Balkans as well as Youth Action Northern Ireland.
  • Inspired by their learning meeting in the Balkans, Abaad proceeded with a first translation of the Program H manual and a thorough expert review to validate the cultural adaptation.
  • The “Program H” curriculum for Lebanon has now been translated in Arabic. Promundo has reviewed the manual following Abaad’s robust process of verification and cultural adaptation with experts in the sector, to ensure the changes are still in line with the original ethos of the manual.
  • Validation sessions have taken place in the first semester of 2016 with future trainers as well as young people in order to gather as much feedback as possible by representative stakeholders.
  • Participants are sourced from the Men Engage network in Lebanon.
  • In February 2016, a second learning visit took place with Promundo and Abaad in Rio, Brazil, where Program H originally started. Abaad are learning a lot from this cross-fertilization of projects, and are therefore able to maximize their resources. Promundo proved to be a strong mentor for the Lebanese organization. However Promundo also shares they are growing their understanding of the challenges around masculinities in the MENA region.
  • The launch of Program H Lebanon, took place on July 14th 2016 in Beirut. The Arabic version of the curriculum is called Programme RA (for “Rajol”, “man” in arabic).
  • The Training of Trainers sessions kickstarted in September 2016,  and were followed with a pilot workshop for 35 young people at the Wellspring Learning Community in Beirut.

Both organizations are now focusing on the implementation of a robust monitoring and evaluation process to measure changes experienced by stakeholders.

An internet free of violence against women

2016 Awardees

The second Womanity Award was announced in Paris at the OuiShare Fest, in May 2016. The Award went to the Take Back the Tech! (TBTT!) campaign, led by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) (South Africa) and Luchadoras/La Sandía Digital (Mexico). The collaborative campaign, which addresses the wide-spread problem of online violence against women, enables women to proactively respond to online abuse, claim virtual space and creatively influence policies and practices. The ultimate goal is to build an Internet free of violence.

The Issue

Across the world there are 200 million fewer women online than men, it means men have more chance to present their own perspective online and hold even more power over women. Women are 27 times more likely as men to be harassed online.

What online violence looks like:

TTBT! works to get more women online and trained in new technologies so they can have a louder voice. It also seeks recognition for women’s achievements in ICT and in all areas of life, and for these achievements to be fairly documented on sites like Wikipedia, for example.

The winning partner organizations will collaborate for three years to extend and replicate the TBTT! in Mexico. This Award will enable the Partners to produce internet TV programs to increase awareness of the campaignamong young women, use online and traditional media to communicate tools and strategies for dealing with tech-related VAW, and build a network of young feminist activists and media producers.

“Violence against women and girls online is increasing,” says Lulú V. Barrera, founder of Luchadoras. “We want to break down stereotypes of women as submissive, with secondary roles in society around marriage and motherhood. We want to empower women through technology.”

About APC

The Association for Progressive Communications (APC), headquartered in South Africa, created the Take Back the Tech global campaign in 2006, with the view to reclaim online space for women and making that space safer and more representative, as well as a place for women to thrive and challenge norms that perpetuate discrimination and violence. The campaign is now present in 35 countries.

About La Sandía Digital

La Sandía Digital works with women in Latin America and helps them produce their own films documenting experiences around sexism. Such films include Living in Darkness, which highlights the case of a woman who tried desperately to divorce her husband but was criminalised for not fulfilling traditional gender roles around motherhood. La Sandía Digital has also created a very popular weekly feminist internet TV programme called Luchadoras, a subsidiary that will become fully independent at completion of the Womanity Award program..

About Luchadoras

Luchadoras, based in Mexico City, is dedicated to the promotion of women’s rights and social justice via an online feminist TV show broadcast weakly trough RompevientoTV. To replicate Take Back the Tech!, the collective will build a strong strategic network, equip women for digital self-defense, and train them to create content to respond to abuse and violence online.

Luchadoras is recognized by women’s rights movement as an important ally in amplifying their demands given limited mainstream media attention to social activism. In March 2016, the Mexico City Human Rights Commission awarded Luchadoras’ founder Lulú Barrera an honorable mention in the Hermila Galindo Prize for “innovative use of ICT to promote gender equality”.

Replication Process

In order to adapt Take Back The Tech! to the Mexican setting, with younger women’s collectives, the Partners will aim to:

  • Challenge the norms
  • Build awareness
  • Amplify collective power
  • Strengthen response

ICT for Womanity

ICT for Womanity Network

 The Award winning program will also connect with other initiatives using ICT to prevent violence against women, creating a global network of activists and practitioners and fostering peer to peer opportunities. This network aims to:

  • Increase the two Award winners’ learning opportunities;
  • Provide a safe space to exchange information and knowledge on how ICTs can prevent violence against women;
  • Collect and analyze data to assess the effectiveness of ICTs improving women’s safety;
  • Increase awareness in the mainstream media of how ICT is proven to prevent violence against women

For more information on registration, articles and achievements to date, visit the ICTforWomanity page

Programs

WomenChangeMakers
(India and Brazil)

Helping social entrepreneurs to become a catalyst for large-scale social change for women and girls.

PROGRAM PICTURES

PROGRAM VIDEOS

The project

“Being a WomenChangeMakers fellow has helped our organization to increase our partners’ network and be able to know people we wouldn’t have known otherwise. The fellowship is opening a lot of doors and we believe as time goes by, the impact will be even bigger than anticipated.” – Alice Freitas, WomenChangeMakers Fellow 2012-2014, founder and CEO of Asta (Brazil)

The Challenge

According to the UNDP, women perform 66% of the world’s work and produce 50% of the food, but earn only 10% of the income and own only 1% of the property[1], whilst only 21.4% of the world’s parliamentarians are women[2].

When women and men have equal opportunities and rights, economic growth and social development accelerate and poverty rates drop more rapidly for everyone. But today equality is still a distant goal. Women and girls in the developing world still face barriers across all aspects of life – social, economical and political – to a far greater degree than men[3]. This is a result of systematic discrimination in education, health care, employment, and control over productive resources.

Many policies and institutions around the world still fail to take gender disparities into account. And, with too few seats at the tables where decisions are made, women themselves have limited opportunity to spark change.

[1] The World Bank, International Finance Corporation (2012), “Removing barriers to economic inclusion”, http://wbl.worldbank.org/~/media/FPDKM/WBL/Documents/Reports/2012/Women-Business-and-the-Law-2012.pdf

[2] UNDP (2014), “Fast Facts: Gender Equality and UNDP”, http://www.undp.org/content/dam/undp/library/corporate/fast-facts/english/FF-Gender-Equality-and-UNDP.pdf

[3] ONE (2015), “Poverty is sexist: Why Girls and Women Must be at the heart of the fight to End Extreme Poverty”, https://s3.amazonaws.com/one.org/pdfs/poverty_is_sexist_report.pdf

About WomenChangeMakers (WCM)

Womanity believes that empowering women and helping them to improve conditions within their community instigates lasting social and economic development, at the local level and on a global scale. The WomenChangeMakers program supports outstanding individuals whose projects have the power to generate progress for women.

The program aims to identify, support, and connect leading social entrepreneurs addressing women’s access to education and healthcare, and economic and political participation. WomenChangeMakers builds an ecosystem of partnerships which helps its Fellows grow, expand and replicate their project, increase synergies and scale-up their impact.

The Approach

The WomenChangeMakers program was launched in 2010 to identify and then aid social entrepreneurs to achieve large-scale social change by contributing to progress for women and their communities. The program aims to help social entrepreneurs strengthen and scale-up their ongoing efforts to promote women’s empowerment. Strategic partnerships are built with professionals who assist program Fellows to enhance their capacity, reach, and impact.

Our Fellows head projects that have been successful and are ready to replicate and grow. They are identified in their countries by the Womanity Foundation and its partners, and then carefully evaluated by the WomenChangeMakers’ team. Selected Fellows are then granted a three-year support package. This includes access to like-minded professionals and relevant resources, as well as mentorship opportunities, through the WomenChangeMakers’ network, of which they become life members.

Please scroll down to read how the program supports Fellows, and about our selection process.

The Impact

  • Alice Freitas was a finalist in the 2013 Folha de São Paulo and Schwab Foundation Social entrepreneurship award, selected to attend the Ashoka Globaliser Program 2014 and selected to participate in the Visionaries Program run by Endeavour. Rede Asta’s co-founder, Rachel Schettino, was selected as a panelist at the first Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society in Brazil.
  • Rede Asta has supported 812 handicraft artisans in 60 production groups to date.
  • Alice Freitas and Rede Asta were featured on Mundo SA, a television show on one of Brazil’s largest channels. This led to monthly average income increasing threefold.
  • Mulher em Construção had a project approved by the Brazil Foundation to train 100 women in construction work in Rio Grande do Sul, following an introduction by Womanity.
  • Rede Nami trained 1,000 teenagers in using socially conscious urban art to allow them to articulate messages of gender equality across their communities through graffiti.
  • In December 2014 and in partnership with Brazil’s most prestigious social entrepreneurship award Prêmio Empreendedor Social, WomenChangeMakers Brazil was delighted to inaugurate three awardees as Honorary WomenChangeMakers Fellows.
  • In 2014, Educate Girls launched a pilot for the world’s first Pay-by-Results (PbR) program in education and in India, connections with the investors were facilitated by the Womanity Foundation.
  • The number of beneficiaries reached through the Educate Girls program has grown from approximately 567,000 to 1.1 million, bringing over 80,000 girls back to school. 4,500+ groups of volunteers known as “Team Balika,” are working as agents of change in their communities, encouraging girls’ enrollment and school reform.
  • Bandhan Konnagar, through its Targeting Hardcore Poor Program, has been serving 5,880 additional beneficiaries since the last half of 2014, raising its cumulative beneficiary number to 25,547 poor and marginalized families.
  • In 2014 Educate Girls won a prestigious WISE Award, an initiative of the Qatar Foundation and was chosen as a winner of the 2014 Stars Foundation, Education Impact Award. In 2015 Safeena Husain was honored by the Skoll Foundation with an Award for Social Entrepreneurship.

 

 

 

zigla

 

Read our latest report on WomenChangeMakers 2015 in English or in Portuguese.

To fund this work visit our Donate page or contact Ryna Sherazi at ryna@womanity.org.

Meet the Fellows

2012 Edition

Alice Freitas

Founder and CEO, Rede Asta, Ashoka Fellow and Avina Leader

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Sector: Livelihoods

Model: Go-to-Market Strategies for a Direct Sales Network

Working primarily with women-owned enterprises in the lower income segment, Alice Freitas has created Brazil’s first direct sales network that addresses the issues of economic empowerment and social equality. Enterprises at the bottom of the pyramid are most often handicapped and intimidated by the challenges of large-scale distribution and the competition in the open market economy. In order to create a level playing field, Rede Asta engages with about 600 marginalized producers, 93% of whom are women, through access to markets, know-how, and facilitative networks. The last involves the creation of a network of trained sales agents equipped with an intimate understanding of market realities, producer profiles, and the history and social impact of the product. This, in turn, opens up a direct communication channel between the producers and consumers.  Moreover, 97% of the 650–700 resellers and 86% of the RedeAsta team are women. Beginning in 2008 with sales of BRL 600 per month, Rede Asta presently grosses monthly average sales of BRL 50,000. In five years it aims to support 85 producer cooperatives comprising 1,400 artisans, generating average gross monthly sales of BRL 300,000.

The organization’s goal is to create a brand that spurs consumption patterns to fast track economic inclusion for women and replicate the model throughout Brazil and beyond.

 

Safeena Hussain

Founder and CEO, Educate Girls

Location: Pali district, Rajasthan, India

Sector: Girls’ Education

Model: Public-Private Partnership

The first WCM Fellow from India, Safeena Hussain, launched Educate Girls with the vision to create a sustainable model for the education of the girl child in government schools in India. Gender disparity remains a significant barrier to education across India, particularly in rural areas, with more than 3.7 million girl children out of school in India today. Even with the Government of India’s Right to Education Act, passed in 2009, there remain 26 districts across the country termed “critical gender gap districts”. Nine of them are in Rajasthan, where Safeena started her work in 2008.

By leveraging existing community and government resources, the model promotes the concept of community ownership to improve school infrastructure and advocates for the rights of the girl child and give her a voice. It serves as a catalyst for sustainable, scalable and holistic reform. Educate Girls’ focuses on enrolment, retention and increased academic performance for girl children. Team Balika, a cadre of village-based youth leaders, works in the schools as well as village communities spreading awareness and in turn boosting enrollment, retention, and learning outcomes for all girls.

The model works on orchestrated synergies, top-down, with government officials at different levels, and bottom-up, with villagers and village committees. Alongside partnering with government, private sector funding and strategic alliances remain crucial to the expansion and development of the Educate Girls program.

In the short span of five years, Educate Girls has enrolled over 80,000 girls to school by reaching 5,500 schools.

 

2013 Edition

Panmela Castro

Founder: Nami Rede Feminista de Arte Urbana

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Sector: Women’s Rights

Model: Activism through Art

Panmela Castro is one of Brazil’s top female graffiti artists who has gained international attention for her activism through art as well as the work she does with the NGO that she started in 2010, called Nami Rede Feminista de Arte Urbana (Rede Nami), a feminist collective of urban artists. Rede Nami’s mission is to contribute to gender equality through graffiti arts, with a specific focus on addressing violence against women. Rede Nami trains and prepares artists and art educators to respond to prejudice and racial, ethnic, class, religious, and sexual orientation discrimination. Its activities involve training and art workshops, running projects, performing cultural events for civil and public partnerships, and organizing seminars and artistic productions. All of its activities seek to defend and promote women’s rights. Agência Nami Grafitti is Rede Nami’s social business, which relies on urban arts professionals, experts in gender and women’s rights, and capable artists to run graffiti workshops, deploy thematic walls, and lead seminars. In addition, the agency contributes to Rede Nami’s financial sustainability.

Rede Nami has the potential to positively impact thousands of women, men, and youth across Brazil through their socially empowering street art interventions. It also provides a platform to economically empower women urban artists by providing them with important spaces of exchange, professional capacity building and opportunities to sell and publicize their work through Rede Nami’s network.

The WCM Fellowship to Panmela will support Rede Nami to become a financially sustainable organization with a solid business model by building a network of partners that could train at least 1,400 women and men in preventing gender-based violence each year across several Brazilian cities.

Through the WomenChangeMakers’ network, the Ford Foundation approved USD 100,000 to fund “Afrografiteiras”, a project where Rede Nami will train and support 30 young black women to express and promote women’s empowerment through graffiti art.

 

Maria Beatriz ‘Bia’ Kern

Founder and Director: Mulher em Construção

Location: Canoas, Rio Grande do Sol, Brazil

Sector: Livelihoods

Model: Gender perspectives in skills development

Bia Kern is the founder and Director of Mulher em Construção (MEC), an organization that launched in 2006 in Canoas, Rio Grande do Sul in the South of Brazil to train and qualify women to work in civil construction with the aim of social and economic empowerment. MEC’s approach involves building the capacity and professional development of women and connecting them to the job market in this sector. MEC offers courses and workshops to women from low-income and disadvantaged backgrounds in construction skills such as masonry, tile-laying, painting, electrical installations, plumbing, among others.

MEC also is one of the only organizations in Brazil that mainstreams gender as an integral element in training women as civil construction workers – the organization includes trainings in citizenship, and generates entrepreneurship with technical and vocational skills training for low-income women. Thus MEC has an opportunity to tap into the uncovered demand in construction for skilled labor and, simultaneously, advocate for women’s rights. The organization is already participating in public biddings and there is an opportunity for it to show how empowered women can contribute to civic resilience through urban development. MEC is also setting up the first professional school in Brazil to train low-income women in construction skills for future stable employment.

The WCM Fellowship to Bia Kern will support MEC to become a financially sustainable organization in the construction sector. In three years, MEC wants to replicate its model across Brazil and train at least 5,000 women per year.

The partnership between Womanity Foundation and the University of St. Gallen generated an interesting case study on the impact of Mulher em Construção (MEC). Linda Koenig, Master student of the St. Gallen University, São Paulo HUB, conducted her research in the area of Impact Investing and Social Finance studying the socio-economic impact of MEC’s training of women in construction work and gender empowerment.Read the research paper here: st-gallen-university_master-thesis-linda-koenig_mec

Neelam Chibber

Co-founder and MD Industree Crafts Private Limited

Location: Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Sector: Rural Livelihoods

Model: Hybrid Social Enterprise

Neelam Chhiber co-founded the for-profit Industree Crafts Private Limited (ICPL) as a social business to improve market access for the artisans and where the profits generated are ploughed back into production and the skilling of artisans.

The non-profit arm, Industree Crafts Foundation, established in 2000, works with rural producers on design development, and technical and skill initiatives in the natural fibre sector. In time, the Foundation’s mandate broadened to include other crafts as well. The Foundation also sought to build up the production base and enable artisans to become owners of their enterprises.

In a nutshell, Industree is a hybrid social enterprise that works on two levels – it supports the livelihoods of rural producers and agricultural workers in the natural fiber crafts sector across India by manufacturing contemporary products, mainly home accessories; and connects rural producers to urban markets, through the company’s high-end retail stores across the country – Mother Earth.

In the last fiscal of 2013, the retail venture targeted a revenue of Rs 30 crore. Ninety percent of the more than 10,000 producers engaged presently with Industree are women. The WCM Fellowship aims to support Neelam’s goal of scaling the Foundation’s capacity-building initiatives for sustainable livelihoods, mainly for women artisans.

The Foundation targets skills development and capacity building of 200,000 artisans over the next 5 years. The Fellowship’s key focus thereby will be to help the Foundation create strong, high quality training systems; develop a sustainable funding model; enhance network linkages; and strengthen the monitoring and evaluation systems, which will include assessment tools to measure the initiative’s impact on women’s empowerment.

 

Chandra Shekhar Ghosh

Founder and CEO, Bandhan

Location: Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Sector: Microfinance

Model:  Microfinance-plus

C.S. Ghosh founded Bandhan that was set up with the dual objective of poverty alleviation and women’s empowerment. The model incorporates two entities: Its non-banking financial company (NBFC) and Bandhan Financial Services Pvt Ltd (BFSPL). The aim of the entities is to bring financial stability to poor women through micro-loans in the 22 Indian states and one Union Territory in which it operates. To date, it has reached out to 4.8 million disadvantaged women. Bandhan-Konnagar, the non-profit arm of the organization, aims at fostering a deeper systemic development by focusing on ultra-poor women (or the ‘hardcore poor’, such as destitute or homeless women), who fall outside the lending net of most Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs). Through its “credit plus approach,” it brings them on par with those to whom MFIs and banks will give credit. Bandhan Konnagar lends muscle to the women’s financial advancement through community-based programs targeted at education, health, and livelihoods.

The WCM Fellowship to C. S. Ghosh will support Bandhan Konnagar’s expansion plan for the next three years, with a goal of reaching 10 states covering 2,000,000 households through five community development programs. The key focus of this Fellowship will be to strengthen the organization’s communication strategy, improve its use of technology, enhance the networking and fundraising capacities, review its monitoring and evaluation systems and advance its women empowerment programs.

 

2014 Edition (Honorary Fellows)

Marianne Costa

Co-founder: Raizes Desenvolvimento Sustentàvel

Sector: Economic empowerment

Model: Social business for women’s access to market

Marianne Costa co-founded a tourism consulting firm and three years later a social business to improve the handicraft generation and market access for women artisans, and heads of households in Jequitinhonha Valley, Minas Gerais. Three years after this, the two ventures merged to form Raízes Desenvolvimento Sustentável a social enterprise combining ethical tourism and volunteering with handicraft production and livelihood development.

 

Raquel da Silva Barros

Founder: Lua Nova

Sector: Protection

Model: Social integration of street girls

Raquel da Silva Barros of Lua Nova developed a successful model for the social integration of street girls who are pregnant or have small children, using motherhood as a positive turning point in their lives. The young women are hosted in the Lua Nova community with their children and are offered therapy, drug rehabilitation and taught healthy parenting. The program also offers training and employment opportunities in catering, construction, sewing and silkscreen.

  

Carlos Zuma

Co-founder: Instituto Noos

Sector: Domestic violence

Model: Rehabilitation courses

Carlos Zuma’s Instituto Noos offers people and judicial courts a more constructive remedy to cases of domestic violence. Zuma, a trained family psychologist, used his hands-on experiences to open channel for judges to refer male, and female, abusers, to six-month rehabilitation courses that are showing promising results. Carlos is creating a way for families, judges, and psychologists to collaborate in constructively addressing the epidemic problem of family violence in Brazil.

 

2015 Edition

Ajaita Shah

Founder: Frontier Markets

Location: Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Sector: Economic empowerment

Model: Training rural women

Ajaita Shah started Frontier Markets (FM) in 2011 to address the lack of access to regular and reliable electricity and lighting in rural India by providing affordable, appropriate high-quality solar energy products. Frontier Market’s innovation lies in its user-centric distribution and service model, which creates easy access, trains local women to educate rural households on the socio-economic and health benefits of clean energy products and to provide after-sales’ service, thus turning these women into clean energy advocates and entrepreneurs. FM works closely with users and product design companies to fine-tune their products to best serve customers’ needs. Ajaita was nominated by WCM India Fellow Neelam Chibber and by Audrey Selian of Rianta Capital. 

The WomenChangeMakers Fellowship to Ajaita Shah and her organization Frontier Markets will seek to accelerate their growth, especially by building their organizational efficiency in the area of systems’ development and processes, human resource management and capacity development, and data and information management.

 

Bijal Brahmbhatt

Executive Director: Mahila Housing SEWA Trust

Location: Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Sector: Rural livelihood

Model: Pro-poor Housing and Infrastructure

Bijal Brahmbhatt was nominated by the Oak Foundation in India. Bijal, a civil engineer and a habitat improvement expert, has blueprinted and organically developed the work of Mahila Housing SEWA Trust (MHT), an autonomous organization promoted by the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA). Under Bijal’s leadership, MHT has transitioned from being a consultative NGO to a facilitator and deliverer of pro-poor housing and related infrastructure (energy, water, solid waste management, roads) for women living in slums. Bijal’s innovation also lies in enabling women to access government subsidies set aside for slum development, and in providing technical services, urban planning, legal expertise, and securing land tenure for slum residents.

The WomenChangeMakers’ Fellowship to Bijal and her organization Mahila Housing SEWA Trust will lend strength to their organizational growth and expansion. The Fellowship is committed to help Bijal form the knowledge hub that she envisions to strategically share information on affordable housing and environment conservation by engaging with a large number of women as partners in change from their beneficiary network.

 

Ruchira Gupta (Associate Fellow)

Founder and President: Apne Aap Women Worldwide

Location: New Delhi, India

Sector: End sex trafficking

Model: Women’s rights

After winning the Emmy Award for her film on trafficked women, Ruchira Gupta, a former journalist, was persuaded to set up Apne Aap Women Worldwide in 2002 by the 22 prostituted women whom she had filmed. Apne Aap, a grassroots organization that is working to end sex trafficking—an abject form of modern-day slavery—is enabling trafficked women, at-risk girls, and populations threatened by intergenerational prostitution to exercise choices to break out of the shackles of trafficking. Apne Aap does this by increasing choices for her target population through its “Last Girl 10 Assets Programme”, which ensures that women are positioned to access their rights, and by deterring the buying of sex through campaigns social and policy change. Ruchira was nominated for WCM 2015 by Rosanna Arquette.

The WomenChangeMakers Fellowship will support the process documentation of Apne Aap’s “Last Girl 10 Assets Programme”, to enable Apne Aap to share their valuable tool in view of its wider utilization in other geographies, possibly by partner organizations. This will lend muscle to Apne Aap’s global replication strategy.

 

Anke Riedel

Founder: Casa Angela

Location: São Paolo, Brazil 

Sector: Pre-natal, natal and post-natal care

Model: Humanized birth 

Anke Riedel, a physician by training, oversees Casa Angela’s operations in São Paulo (Brazil), a center founded in 2009 where all women, including the poorest, receive pre-natal, natal and post-natal care and guidance. Casa Angela’s innovative approach towards humanized childbirth and mother and child´s care is exemplary in Brazil and beyond. Anke Riedel also participates actively in local and regional networks promoting humanized birth through dialogue, sharing experience and advocating for appropriate policies and practices.

With the support of the WCM Program, Anke Riedel intends to strengthen Casa Angela’s business model and replicate its methodology in public and private health sectors in order to scale up reach and impact. The goal is to offer a humanized birth approach to a wide proportion of Brazilians of all socio-economic classes and to significantly improve health outcomes.

http://www.casaangela.org.br/

 

Lilian do Prado

Co-founder: Acreditar – Capital Humano e Transformação Social 

Location: Pernambuco and Ceará, Brazil

Sector: Women’s entrepreneurship 

Model: Financial and business support 

Lilian do Prado co-founded Acreditar – Capital Humano e Transformação Social when she was 20 years old. With a bachelor degree in Business Administration, she oversees Acreditar’s operations in small cities and rural areas of the states of Pernambuco and Ceará (Brazil), supporting the incubation of businesses, providing financial education, technical advice and productive microcredit, to young people and women who set out to create their own businesses. Through Acreditar, she has successfully fostered a culture of youth and female entrepreneurship in a socio-economic context that tends to stifle creativity, innovation and women’s emancipation. Her achievements have earned her recognition by national and international organizations such as the Brazil Foundation, Ashoka, McKinsey, and the Prêmio Claudia.

Being part of the WCM Fellowship, Lilian aims to strengthen the focus on women’s entrepreneurship and build specific programs and venture funds for women.

http://acreditar.org.br/novo-site/

 

 

Selection

Nominators in each country of operation identify potential Fellows who are aiming to scale and/or replicate their project, and refer them to us (social entrepreneurs do not apply directly to become a WomenChangeMakers’ Fellow). The candidates are then evaluated and tested against a carefully developed criteria, through a series of interviews and tests to ensure that the selected social entrepreneurs and their projects are relevant to our mission.

We invite non-governmental organizations working in the field on women’s empowerment who wish to know more about nominating Fellows to contact us.

Our Selection Criteria

Women’s empowerment and progress: Candidates need to be heading a proven and successful project for the empowerment of women to create an enabling environment and/or lifting the barriers to women’s emancipation. They must be active in one of the following areas –

  • access to education and training;
  • access to health care or improvement of health services for women;
  • promotion of women’s social and political leadership;
  • protection of women’s dignity and integrity and prevention of sexual and other forms of targeted violence;
  • access to economic independence and empowerment.

 

Inflection point: Candidates need to be at an inflection point; their programs should be proven and tested as successful and efficient, and may already have been approached by or included in other organizations. They must be at a level where they have a need to scale or replicate and grow. The selected Fellows have been awarded recognition by cornerstone institutions in the field of social entrepreneurship such as Ashoka, the Schwab Foundation, the Skoll Foundation and Avina.

Systemic change: The project ideas need to be structured in a systematic way and address the root causes of targeted problems, rather than its symptoms. They should have a strong impact demonstrated by the number of women’s lives changed in a sustainable way, alongside impact on legislation at regional, national, or international levels. At the same time, they should prove to have had an impact in the collective mind and social doings of the communities they act upon.

Social impact: The project ideas need to have the potential to create a substantial social impact and transform the lives of many. At selection stage, it needs to have already demonstrated a social impact with potential for growth.

Sustainability and scalability: The project ideas need to include a critical path to scale including strategies to build sustainable, long-term economic models.

Independence: The organization should be independent as far as secularity and governmental control is concerned.

Our Selection Requirements

Entrepreneurial qualities: We look for individuals with a proven track record of entrepreneurship, a vision, and the determination to reach it by any means.

Creativity: Social entrepreneurs must have the capacity to adjust to changing environments and come up with creative solutions to reach their vision in spite of obstacles.

Leadership qualities: The Fellowship identifies role models for communities. Social entrepreneurs should empower people in their networks to become changemakers.

Personal values: These will be measured based on the deep and consistent commitment to equal rights and opportunities between men and women.

Ethical fibre and integrity: This will be investigated through due diligence and evaluation of entrepreneurs’ track records.

Support to Fellows

WomenChangeMakers offers a full range of tools to its social entrepreneur Fellow to achieve growth. According to their specific needs, support and tools for growth are provided.

  1. Consultancy and Training with Partners: We provide access for Fellows to professionals who can help them address key issues needed to successfully scale and/or replicate their project. This consultancy and training is delivered by our partners who specialize in the following areas:
    • Business Management
    • Human Resources
    • Networking
    • Legal Issues
    • Public Relations, Marketing and Communication
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
  2. WomenChangeMakers Corporate Support Network:Our Support Network is a community of successful business people, entrepreneurs, senior executives, investment bankers, venture capitalists, and consultants who share our beliefs and will engage with our Fellows, committing time and resources to support their work.
  3. Network of Social Entrepreneurs: We provide all the benefits of being part of a network of social entrepreneurs that exchanges best practices, experiences, market information, and more. This takes place in the form of meetings and a virtual community platform.
  4. Financial Support: We award financial support to our Fellows, principally in the form of a stipend (salary) to the social entrepreneur themself or to a key person leading the transition. The aim is to enable the social entrepreneur and their team to take the project to the next level of growth.

Partners

Accenture, Ashoka, Avina, EgonZehnder, Ford Foundation, Burson Marsteller, Lex Mundi Pro Bono, Thomson Reuters Foundation/Trust Law, UN Women, Vital Voices, Synergos, LGT Venture Philanthropy, Ogilvy, Newdea, ZIGLA, Chanel Foundation, Paula Cardenau de Njembre, PEOCIT Technology, Trafigura Foundation, Philip Morris International.

Programs

WomenChangeMakers
(India and Brazil)

Helping social entrepreneurs to become a catalyst for large-scale social change for women and girls.

PROGRAM PICTURES

PROGRAM VIDEOS

The project

“Being a WomenChangeMakers fellow has helped our organization to increase our partners’ network and be able to know people we wouldn’t have known otherwise. The fellowship is opening a lot of doors and we believe as time goes by, the impact will be even bigger than anticipated.” – Alice Freitas, WomenChangeMakers Fellow 2012-2014, founder and CEO of Asta (Brazil)

The Challenge

According to the UNDP, women perform 66% of the world’s work and produce 50% of the food, but earn only 10% of the income and own only 1% of the property[1], whilst only 21.4% of the world’s parliamentarians are women[2].

When women and men have equal opportunities and rights, economic growth and social development accelerate and poverty rates drop more rapidly for everyone. But today equality is still a distant goal. Women and girls in the developing world still face barriers across all aspects of life – social, economical and political – to a far greater degree than men[3]. This is a result of systematic discrimination in education, health care, employment, and control over productive resources.

Many policies and institutions around the world still fail to take gender disparities into account. And, with too few seats at the tables where decisions are made, women themselves have limited opportunity to spark change.

[1] The World Bank, International Finance Corporation (2012), “Removing barriers to economic inclusion”, http://wbl.worldbank.org/~/media/FPDKM/WBL/Documents/Reports/2012/Women-Business-and-the-Law-2012.pdf

[2] UNDP (2014), “Fast Facts: Gender Equality and UNDP”, http://www.undp.org/content/dam/undp/library/corporate/fast-facts/english/FF-Gender-Equality-and-UNDP.pdf

[3] ONE (2015), “Poverty is sexist: Why Girls and Women Must be at the heart of the fight to End Extreme Poverty”, https://s3.amazonaws.com/one.org/pdfs/poverty_is_sexist_report.pdf

About WomenChangeMakers (WCM)

Womanity believes that empowering women and helping them to improve conditions within their community instigates lasting social and economic development, at the local level and on a global scale. The WomenChangeMakers program supports outstanding individuals whose projects have the power to generate progress for women.

The program aims to identify, support, and connect leading social entrepreneurs addressing women’s access to education and healthcare, and economic and political participation. WomenChangeMakers builds an ecosystem of partnerships which helps its Fellows grow, expand and replicate their project, increase synergies and scale-up their impact.

The Approach

The WomenChangeMakers program was launched in 2010 to identify and then aid social entrepreneurs to achieve large-scale social change by contributing to progress for women and their communities. The program aims to help social entrepreneurs strengthen and scale-up their ongoing efforts to promote women’s empowerment. Strategic partnerships are built with professionals who assist program Fellows to enhance their capacity, reach, and impact.

Our Fellows head projects that have been successful and are ready to replicate and grow. They are identified in their countries by the Womanity Foundation and its partners, and then carefully evaluated by the WomenChangeMakers’ team. Selected Fellows are then granted a three-year support package. This includes access to like-minded professionals and relevant resources, as well as mentorship opportunities, through the WomenChangeMakers’ network, of which they become life members.

Please scroll down to read how the program supports Fellows, and about our selection process.

The Impact

  • Alice Freitas was a finalist in the 2013 Folha de São Paulo and Schwab Foundation Social entrepreneurship award, selected to attend the Ashoka Globaliser Program 2014 and selected to participate in the Visionaries Program run by Endeavour. Rede Asta’s co-founder, Rachel Schettino, was selected as a panelist at the first Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society in Brazil.
  • Rede Asta has supported 812 handicraft artisans in 60 production groups to date.
  • Alice Freitas and Rede Asta were featured on Mundo SA, a television show on one of Brazil’s largest channels. This led to monthly average income increasing threefold.
  • Mulher em Construção had a project approved by the Brazil Foundation to train 100 women in construction work in Rio Grande do Sul, following an introduction by Womanity.
  • Rede Nami trained 1,000 teenagers in using socially conscious urban art to allow them to articulate messages of gender equality across their communities through graffiti.
  • In December 2014 and in partnership with Brazil’s most prestigious social entrepreneurship award Prêmio Empreendedor Social, WomenChangeMakers Brazil was delighted to inaugurate three awardees as Honorary WomenChangeMakers Fellows.
  • In 2014, Educate Girls launched a pilot for the world’s first Pay-by-Results (PbR) program in education and in India, connections with the investors were facilitated by the Womanity Foundation.
  • The number of beneficiaries reached through the Educate Girls program has grown from approximately 567,000 to 1.1 million, bringing over 80,000 girls back to school. 4,500+ groups of volunteers known as “Team Balika,” are working as agents of change in their communities, encouraging girls’ enrollment and school reform.
  • Bandhan Konnagar, through its Targeting Hardcore Poor Program, has been serving 5,880 additional beneficiaries since the last half of 2014, raising its cumulative beneficiary number to 25,547 poor and marginalized families.
  • In 2014 Educate Girls won a prestigious WISE Award, an initiative of the Qatar Foundation and was chosen as a winner of the 2014 Stars Foundation, Education Impact Award. In 2015 Safeena Husain was honored by the Skoll Foundation with an Award for Social Entrepreneurship.

 

 

 

zigla

 

Read our latest report on WomenChangeMakers 2015 in English or in Portuguese.

To fund this work visit our Donate page or contact Ryna Sherazi at ryna@womanity.org.

Meet the Fellows

2012 Edition

Alice Freitas

Founder and CEO, Rede Asta, Ashoka Fellow and Avina Leader

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Sector: Livelihoods

Model: Go-to-Market Strategies for a Direct Sales Network

Working primarily with women-owned enterprises in the lower income segment, Alice Freitas has created Brazil’s first direct sales network that addresses the issues of economic empowerment and social equality. Enterprises at the bottom of the pyramid are most often handicapped and intimidated by the challenges of large-scale distribution and the competition in the open market economy. In order to create a level playing field, Rede Asta engages with about 600 marginalized producers, 93% of whom are women, through access to markets, know-how, and facilitative networks. The last involves the creation of a network of trained sales agents equipped with an intimate understanding of market realities, producer profiles, and the history and social impact of the product. This, in turn, opens up a direct communication channel between the producers and consumers.  Moreover, 97% of the 650–700 resellers and 86% of the RedeAsta team are women. Beginning in 2008 with sales of BRL 600 per month, Rede Asta presently grosses monthly average sales of BRL 50,000. In five years it aims to support 85 producer cooperatives comprising 1,400 artisans, generating average gross monthly sales of BRL 300,000.

The organization’s goal is to create a brand that spurs consumption patterns to fast track economic inclusion for women and replicate the model throughout Brazil and beyond.

 

Safeena Hussain

Founder and CEO, Educate Girls

Location: Pali district, Rajasthan, India

Sector: Girls’ Education

Model: Public-Private Partnership

The first WCM Fellow from India, Safeena Hussain, launched Educate Girls with the vision to create a sustainable model for the education of the girl child in government schools in India. Gender disparity remains a significant barrier to education across India, particularly in rural areas, with more than 3.7 million girl children out of school in India today. Even with the Government of India’s Right to Education Act, passed in 2009, there remain 26 districts across the country termed “critical gender gap districts”. Nine of them are in Rajasthan, where Safeena started her work in 2008.

By leveraging existing community and government resources, the model promotes the concept of community ownership to improve school infrastructure and advocates for the rights of the girl child and give her a voice. It serves as a catalyst for sustainable, scalable and holistic reform. Educate Girls’ focuses on enrolment, retention and increased academic performance for girl children. Team Balika, a cadre of village-based youth leaders, works in the schools as well as village communities spreading awareness and in turn boosting enrollment, retention, and learning outcomes for all girls.

The model works on orchestrated synergies, top-down, with government officials at different levels, and bottom-up, with villagers and village committees. Alongside partnering with government, private sector funding and strategic alliances remain crucial to the expansion and development of the Educate Girls program.

In the short span of five years, Educate Girls has enrolled over 80,000 girls to school by reaching 5,500 schools.

 

2013 Edition

Panmela Castro

Founder: Nami Rede Feminista de Arte Urbana

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Sector: Women’s Rights

Model: Activism through Art

Panmela Castro is one of Brazil’s top female graffiti artists who has gained international attention for her activism through art as well as the work she does with the NGO that she started in 2010, called Nami Rede Feminista de Arte Urbana (Rede Nami), a feminist collective of urban artists. Rede Nami’s mission is to contribute to gender equality through graffiti arts, with a specific focus on addressing violence against women. Rede Nami trains and prepares artists and art educators to respond to prejudice and racial, ethnic, class, religious, and sexual orientation discrimination. Its activities involve training and art workshops, running projects, performing cultural events for civil and public partnerships, and organizing seminars and artistic productions. All of its activities seek to defend and promote women’s rights. Agência Nami Grafitti is Rede Nami’s social business, which relies on urban arts professionals, experts in gender and women’s rights, and capable artists to run graffiti workshops, deploy thematic walls, and lead seminars. In addition, the agency contributes to Rede Nami’s financial sustainability.

Rede Nami has the potential to positively impact thousands of women, men, and youth across Brazil through their socially empowering street art interventions. It also provides a platform to economically empower women urban artists by providing them with important spaces of exchange, professional capacity building and opportunities to sell and publicize their work through Rede Nami’s network.

The WCM Fellowship to Panmela will support Rede Nami to become a financially sustainable organization with a solid business model by building a network of partners that could train at least 1,400 women and men in preventing gender-based violence each year across several Brazilian cities.

Through the WomenChangeMakers’ network, the Ford Foundation approved USD 100,000 to fund “Afrografiteiras”, a project where Rede Nami will train and support 30 young black women to express and promote women’s empowerment through graffiti art.

 

Maria Beatriz ‘Bia’ Kern

Founder and Director: Mulher em Construção

Location: Canoas, Rio Grande do Sol, Brazil

Sector: Livelihoods

Model: Gender perspectives in skills development

Bia Kern is the founder and Director of Mulher em Construção (MEC), an organization that launched in 2006 in Canoas, Rio Grande do Sul in the South of Brazil to train and qualify women to work in civil construction with the aim of social and economic empowerment. MEC’s approach involves building the capacity and professional development of women and connecting them to the job market in this sector. MEC offers courses and workshops to women from low-income and disadvantaged backgrounds in construction skills such as masonry, tile-laying, painting, electrical installations, plumbing, among others.

MEC also is one of the only organizations in Brazil that mainstreams gender as an integral element in training women as civil construction workers – the organization includes trainings in citizenship, and generates entrepreneurship with technical and vocational skills training for low-income women. Thus MEC has an opportunity to tap into the uncovered demand in construction for skilled labor and, simultaneously, advocate for women’s rights. The organization is already participating in public biddings and there is an opportunity for it to show how empowered women can contribute to civic resilience through urban development. MEC is also setting up the first professional school in Brazil to train low-income women in construction skills for future stable employment.

The WCM Fellowship to Bia Kern will support MEC to become a financially sustainable organization in the construction sector. In three years, MEC wants to replicate its model across Brazil and train at least 5,000 women per year.

The partnership between Womanity Foundation and the University of St. Gallen generated an interesting case study on the impact of Mulher em Construção (MEC). Linda Koenig, Master student of the St. Gallen University, São Paulo HUB, conducted her research in the area of Impact Investing and Social Finance studying the socio-economic impact of MEC’s training of women in construction work and gender empowerment.Read the research paper here: st-gallen-university_master-thesis-linda-koenig_mec

Neelam Chibber

Co-founder and MD Industree Crafts Private Limited

Location: Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Sector: Rural Livelihoods

Model: Hybrid Social Enterprise

Neelam Chhiber co-founded the for-profit Industree Crafts Private Limited (ICPL) as a social business to improve market access for the artisans and where the profits generated are ploughed back into production and the skilling of artisans.

The non-profit arm, Industree Crafts Foundation, established in 2000, works with rural producers on design development, and technical and skill initiatives in the natural fibre sector. In time, the Foundation’s mandate broadened to include other crafts as well. The Foundation also sought to build up the production base and enable artisans to become owners of their enterprises.

In a nutshell, Industree is a hybrid social enterprise that works on two levels – it supports the livelihoods of rural producers and agricultural workers in the natural fiber crafts sector across India by manufacturing contemporary products, mainly home accessories; and connects rural producers to urban markets, through the company’s high-end retail stores across the country – Mother Earth.

In the last fiscal of 2013, the retail venture targeted a revenue of Rs 30 crore. Ninety percent of the more than 10,000 producers engaged presently with Industree are women. The WCM Fellowship aims to support Neelam’s goal of scaling the Foundation’s capacity-building initiatives for sustainable livelihoods, mainly for women artisans.

The Foundation targets skills development and capacity building of 200,000 artisans over the next 5 years. The Fellowship’s key focus thereby will be to help the Foundation create strong, high quality training systems; develop a sustainable funding model; enhance network linkages; and strengthen the monitoring and evaluation systems, which will include assessment tools to measure the initiative’s impact on women’s empowerment.

 

Chandra Shekhar Ghosh

Founder and CEO, Bandhan

Location: Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Sector: Microfinance

Model:  Microfinance-plus

C.S. Ghosh founded Bandhan that was set up with the dual objective of poverty alleviation and women’s empowerment. The model incorporates two entities: Its non-banking financial company (NBFC) and Bandhan Financial Services Pvt Ltd (BFSPL). The aim of the entities is to bring financial stability to poor women through micro-loans in the 22 Indian states and one Union Territory in which it operates. To date, it has reached out to 4.8 million disadvantaged women. Bandhan-Konnagar, the non-profit arm of the organization, aims at fostering a deeper systemic development by focusing on ultra-poor women (or the ‘hardcore poor’, such as destitute or homeless women), who fall outside the lending net of most Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs). Through its “credit plus approach,” it brings them on par with those to whom MFIs and banks will give credit. Bandhan Konnagar lends muscle to the women’s financial advancement through community-based programs targeted at education, health, and livelihoods.

The WCM Fellowship to C. S. Ghosh will support Bandhan Konnagar’s expansion plan for the next three years, with a goal of reaching 10 states covering 2,000,000 households through five community development programs. The key focus of this Fellowship will be to strengthen the organization’s communication strategy, improve its use of technology, enhance the networking and fundraising capacities, review its monitoring and evaluation systems and advance its women empowerment programs.

 

2014 Edition (Honorary Fellows)

Marianne Costa

Co-founder: Raizes Desenvolvimento Sustentàvel

Sector: Economic empowerment

Model: Social business for women’s access to market

Marianne Costa co-founded a tourism consulting firm and three years later a social business to improve the handicraft generation and market access for women artisans, and heads of households in Jequitinhonha Valley, Minas Gerais. Three years after this, the two ventures merged to form Raízes Desenvolvimento Sustentável a social enterprise combining ethical tourism and volunteering with handicraft production and livelihood development.

 

Raquel da Silva Barros

Founder: Lua Nova

Sector: Protection

Model: Social integration of street girls

Raquel da Silva Barros of Lua Nova developed a successful model for the social integration of street girls who are pregnant or have small children, using motherhood as a positive turning point in their lives. The young women are hosted in the Lua Nova community with their children and are offered therapy, drug rehabilitation and taught healthy parenting. The program also offers training and employment opportunities in catering, construction, sewing and silkscreen.

  

Carlos Zuma

Co-founder: Instituto Noos

Sector: Domestic violence

Model: Rehabilitation courses

Carlos Zuma’s Instituto Noos offers people and judicial courts a more constructive remedy to cases of domestic violence. Zuma, a trained family psychologist, used his hands-on experiences to open channel for judges to refer male, and female, abusers, to six-month rehabilitation courses that are showing promising results. Carlos is creating a way for families, judges, and psychologists to collaborate in constructively addressing the epidemic problem of family violence in Brazil.

 

2015 Edition

Ajaita Shah

Founder: Frontier Markets

Location: Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Sector: Economic empowerment

Model: Training rural women

Ajaita Shah started Frontier Markets (FM) in 2011 to address the lack of access to regular and reliable electricity and lighting in rural India by providing affordable, appropriate high-quality solar energy products. Frontier Market’s innovation lies in its user-centric distribution and service model, which creates easy access, trains local women to educate rural households on the socio-economic and health benefits of clean energy products and to provide after-sales’ service, thus turning these women into clean energy advocates and entrepreneurs. FM works closely with users and product design companies to fine-tune their products to best serve customers’ needs. Ajaita was nominated by WCM India Fellow Neelam Chibber and by Audrey Selian of Rianta Capital. 

The WomenChangeMakers Fellowship to Ajaita Shah and her organization Frontier Markets will seek to accelerate their growth, especially by building their organizational efficiency in the area of systems’ development and processes, human resource management and capacity development, and data and information management.

 

Bijal Brahmbhatt

Executive Director: Mahila Housing SEWA Trust

Location: Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Sector: Rural livelihood

Model: Pro-poor Housing and Infrastructure

Bijal Brahmbhatt was nominated by the Oak Foundation in India. Bijal, a civil engineer and a habitat improvement expert, has blueprinted and organically developed the work of Mahila Housing SEWA Trust (MHT), an autonomous organization promoted by the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA). Under Bijal’s leadership, MHT has transitioned from being a consultative NGO to a facilitator and deliverer of pro-poor housing and related infrastructure (energy, water, solid waste management, roads) for women living in slums. Bijal’s innovation also lies in enabling women to access government subsidies set aside for slum development, and in providing technical services, urban planning, legal expertise, and securing land tenure for slum residents.

The WomenChangeMakers’ Fellowship to Bijal and her organization Mahila Housing SEWA Trust will lend strength to their organizational growth and expansion. The Fellowship is committed to help Bijal form the knowledge hub that she envisions to strategically share information on affordable housing and environment conservation by engaging with a large number of women as partners in change from their beneficiary network.

 

Ruchira Gupta (Associate Fellow)

Founder and President: Apne Aap Women Worldwide

Location: New Delhi, India

Sector: End sex trafficking

Model: Women’s rights

After winning the Emmy Award for her film on trafficked women, Ruchira Gupta, a former journalist, was persuaded to set up Apne Aap Women Worldwide in 2002 by the 22 prostituted women whom she had filmed. Apne Aap, a grassroots organization that is working to end sex trafficking—an abject form of modern-day slavery—is enabling trafficked women, at-risk girls, and populations threatened by intergenerational prostitution to exercise choices to break out of the shackles of trafficking. Apne Aap does this by increasing choices for her target population through its “Last Girl 10 Assets Programme”, which ensures that women are positioned to access their rights, and by deterring the buying of sex through campaigns social and policy change. Ruchira was nominated for WCM 2015 by Rosanna Arquette.

The WomenChangeMakers Fellowship will support the process documentation of Apne Aap’s “Last Girl 10 Assets Programme”, to enable Apne Aap to share their valuable tool in view of its wider utilization in other geographies, possibly by partner organizations. This will lend muscle to Apne Aap’s global replication strategy.

 

Anke Riedel

Founder: Casa Angela

Location: São Paolo, Brazil 

Sector: Pre-natal, natal and post-natal care

Model: Humanized birth 

Anke Riedel, a physician by training, oversees Casa Angela’s operations in São Paulo (Brazil), a center founded in 2009 where all women, including the poorest, receive pre-natal, natal and post-natal care and guidance. Casa Angela’s innovative approach towards humanized childbirth and mother and child´s care is exemplary in Brazil and beyond. Anke Riedel also participates actively in local and regional networks promoting humanized birth through dialogue, sharing experience and advocating for appropriate policies and practices.

With the support of the WCM Program, Anke Riedel intends to strengthen Casa Angela’s business model and replicate its methodology in public and private health sectors in order to scale up reach and impact. The goal is to offer a humanized birth approach to a wide proportion of Brazilians of all socio-economic classes and to significantly improve health outcomes.

http://www.casaangela.org.br/

 

Lilian do Prado

Co-founder: Acreditar – Capital Humano e Transformação Social 

Location: Pernambuco and Ceará, Brazil

Sector: Women’s entrepreneurship 

Model: Financial and business support 

Lilian do Prado co-founded Acreditar – Capital Humano e Transformação Social when she was 20 years old. With a bachelor degree in Business Administration, she oversees Acreditar’s operations in small cities and rural areas of the states of Pernambuco and Ceará (Brazil), supporting the incubation of businesses, providing financial education, technical advice and productive microcredit, to young people and women who set out to create their own businesses. Through Acreditar, she has successfully fostered a culture of youth and female entrepreneurship in a socio-economic context that tends to stifle creativity, innovation and women’s emancipation. Her achievements have earned her recognition by national and international organizations such as the Brazil Foundation, Ashoka, McKinsey, and the Prêmio Claudia.

Being part of the WCM Fellowship, Lilian aims to strengthen the focus on women’s entrepreneurship and build specific programs and venture funds for women.

http://acreditar.org.br/novo-site/

 

 

Selection

Nominators in each country of operation identify potential Fellows who are aiming to scale and/or replicate their project, and refer them to us (social entrepreneurs do not apply directly to become a WomenChangeMakers’ Fellow). The candidates are then evaluated and tested against a carefully developed criteria, through a series of interviews and tests to ensure that the selected social entrepreneurs and their projects are relevant to our mission.

We invite non-governmental organizations working in the field on women’s empowerment who wish to know more about nominating Fellows to contact us.

Our Selection Criteria

Women’s empowerment and progress: Candidates need to be heading a proven and successful project for the empowerment of women to create an enabling environment and/or lifting the barriers to women’s emancipation. They must be active in one of the following areas –

  • access to education and training;
  • access to health care or improvement of health services for women;
  • promotion of women’s social and political leadership;
  • protection of women’s dignity and integrity and prevention of sexual and other forms of targeted violence;
  • access to economic independence and empowerment.

 

Inflection point: Candidates need to be at an inflection point; their programs should be proven and tested as successful and efficient, and may already have been approached by or included in other organizations. They must be at a level where they have a need to scale or replicate and grow. The selected Fellows have been awarded recognition by cornerstone institutions in the field of social entrepreneurship such as Ashoka, the Schwab Foundation, the Skoll Foundation and Avina.

Systemic change: The project ideas need to be structured in a systematic way and address the root causes of targeted problems, rather than its symptoms. They should have a strong impact demonstrated by the number of women’s lives changed in a sustainable way, alongside impact on legislation at regional, national, or international levels. At the same time, they should prove to have had an impact in the collective mind and social doings of the communities they act upon.

Social impact: The project ideas need to have the potential to create a substantial social impact and transform the lives of many. At selection stage, it needs to have already demonstrated a social impact with potential for growth.

Sustainability and scalability: The project ideas need to include a critical path to scale including strategies to build sustainable, long-term economic models.

Independence: The organization should be independent as far as secularity and governmental control is concerned.

Our Selection Requirements

Entrepreneurial qualities: We look for individuals with a proven track record of entrepreneurship, a vision, and the determination to reach it by any means.

Creativity: Social entrepreneurs must have the capacity to adjust to changing environments and come up with creative solutions to reach their vision in spite of obstacles.

Leadership qualities: The Fellowship identifies role models for communities. Social entrepreneurs should empower people in their networks to become changemakers.

Personal values: These will be measured based on the deep and consistent commitment to equal rights and opportunities between men and women.

Ethical fibre and integrity: This will be investigated through due diligence and evaluation of entrepreneurs’ track records.

Support to Fellows

WomenChangeMakers offers a full range of tools to its social entrepreneur Fellow to achieve growth. According to their specific needs, support and tools for growth are provided.

  1. Consultancy and Training with Partners: We provide access for Fellows to professionals who can help them address key issues needed to successfully scale and/or replicate their project. This consultancy and training is delivered by our partners who specialize in the following areas:
    • Business Management
    • Human Resources
    • Networking
    • Legal Issues
    • Public Relations, Marketing and Communication
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
  2. WomenChangeMakers Corporate Support Network:Our Support Network is a community of successful business people, entrepreneurs, senior executives, investment bankers, venture capitalists, and consultants who share our beliefs and will engage with our Fellows, committing time and resources to support their work.
  3. Network of Social Entrepreneurs: We provide all the benefits of being part of a network of social entrepreneurs that exchanges best practices, experiences, market information, and more. This takes place in the form of meetings and a virtual community platform.
  4. Financial Support: We award financial support to our Fellows, principally in the form of a stipend (salary) to the social entrepreneur themself or to a key person leading the transition. The aim is to enable the social entrepreneur and their team to take the project to the next level of growth.

Partners

Accenture, Ashoka, Avina, EgonZehnder, Ford Foundation, Burson Marsteller, Lex Mundi Pro Bono, Thomson Reuters Foundation/Trust Law, UN Women, Vital Voices, Synergos, LGT Venture Philanthropy, Ogilvy, Newdea, ZIGLA, Chanel Foundation, Paula Cardenau de Njembre, PEOCIT Technology, Trafigura Foundation, Philip Morris International.

Programs

Teenagers Leading Change (Past Project)
(Israel)

Inspiring and empowering young disadvantaged Arab Israeli women.

PROGRAM PICTURES

The project

“The Teenagers Leading Change program improved my connection with my school. I started to learn seriously and decided to do the matriculation exams. I understood the importance of education, and now I believe I can succeed.” – Arab Israeli teenager and program participant.

The Challenge

Arab women in Israel face major challenges: both as members of a minority group and as part of the more traditional Arab society. Their political representation is almost non-existent and they have few opportunities to be part of any decision-making processes. They remain the poorest, lowest paid, and least educated segment of Israeli society.

The number of Arab girls in Israel who continue to higher studies after completing mid-level education remains very low. This drastically reduces their chances of achieving their full potential, obtaining work, or becoming independent and lifting themselves out of poverty.

The Approach

“Reaching girls at this influential age can lead to deep-seated transformations in their lives and can change their academic and professional career paths.” – Antonella Notari, Director Womanity Foundation.

In 2008, with the Israeli Women’s Network (IWN), the Womanity Foundation developed the program, Teenagers Leading Change (TLC). This was a unique leadership training course, intended to promote the empowerment and personal development of young Arab women in Israel. Validated by the Israeli Ministry of Education, the training targeted Arab women aged 16 and 17 in the city of Jaffa in East Jerusalem, and in the so-called Triangle area.

The course was delivered by specialized facilitators in 10 weekly sessions. Through role-play, discussion, practical exercises, and lectures, the course examined social inequality issues, perceptions of stereotypes, sexual identity, and other gender-related topics. It provided participants with skills needed to gain confidence, exercise leadership roles, and make life-determining choices, whilst providing a safe environment to share views and feelings about the role and status of women in their communities.

The training took place during school hours to ensure full student participation. Schools selected the classes in which the course was taught, based largely on the number and interest of students.

The Impact

Womanity worked with IWN to carry out an independent and in-depth evaluation of the program’s impact, especially in relation to changes in attitudes and behaviour among participants. The evaluation considered in-depth interviews and facilitators’ feedback on the groups they led.

  • Over 1,500 young Arab women aged 15 to 17 have participated in the program, furthering their critical thinking skills and personal development.
  • In 2013, the program was strengthen by introducing modules aimed at encouraging girls’ taking on leadership roles and independent decisions.
  • The evaluation showed a positive impact in improved wellbeing, better listening skills and empathy in the participants who as a result were most likely to consider continuing their studies and pursuing a professional career.

 Teenagers Leading Change Valued Partners

The Israeli Women’s Network (IWN)

 

 

Programs

University Scholarships
(Palestinian Territories)

Supporting underprivileged young Palestinian women graduating from university.

PROGRAM PICTURES

The project

“Entering university had provided me with self-confidence and the ability to deal with other people and to understand their points of view and learn from them. I started looking at life from a different angle that is now filled with hope and enthusiasm for a better future.” – Ghadeer Muzahem, graduated in Accounting from Al-Quds University in 2012 with the support of the Womanity Foundation

The Challenge

In the Palestinian Territories education of women is valued as proven by the fact that it has one of the best female literacy rates in the developing world. Women from poor backgrounds, however, often miss out on the opportunity to pursue higher education. As a result, they have fewer training and educational chances to develop their skills and gain economic independence and remain trapped in poor economic conditions without opportunities to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.

 The Approach

In collaboration with the Women’s Studies Centre (WSC),  Womanity developed a project to provide financial support to underprivileged young women and cover their university tuition fees. The aim is to boost supported women’s chances of finding employment by helping them to complete courses at colleges and universities.

The women selected must meet socio-economic criteria, have graduated successfully from high school and maintain high academic scores. Representatives from the WSC visit each family before approving a scholarship, follow-up with the academic performance of students and pay directly to the Universities the tuition fees due. A special scholarship has further been established for young girls living in refugee camps.

The annual scholarships covered the costs for one semester per year in order to encourage some funding from the students or other sources.

The Impact

Since 2009, 21 students have received scholarships for one semester per year, 20 of them successfully graduated.

Of the young women who have graduated, some have already entered the workplace and are involved in careers such as teaching, or as employees in pharmacy, non-governmental organizations and private sector, or are working as volunteers and civil servants. Others have progressed to additional higher education.

WSC were also able to expand the project and fund, with additional sources, an average of additional 55 scholarships every year.

Valued Partner

The Women’s Study Centre (WSC)

 

 

Programs

ERADICATING GIRLS’ LABOR (PAST PROJECT)
(MOROCCO)

Returning young girls from child labor, to their families and into education, helps them to escape the cycle
of abuse and poverty.

PROGRAM PICTURES

PROGRAM VIDEOS

The project

“My entering college is the most positive thing that happened to me in 2009 because it gave me hope for a better future.” Saadia, 15 years, former ’little maid’.

The Challenge

Experts believe more than half of the 600,000 child laborers in Morocco are girls under the age of 15, some as young as six. Many of them work long hours as domestic servants. Often referred as ‘petites bonnes’ or little maids, these young girls are vulnerable to physical, psychological, and sexual abuse. With few education opportunities, most find themselves illiterate as adults. Without family or other support, and with few skills, most live in poverty on the margins of society and some turn to prostitution to survive.

Despite Moroccan law prohibiting child labor, the practice remains prevalent due to extreme poverty, poor access to education (particularly for girls), and widespread social acceptance of child labor.

The Approach

The Womanity Foundation, through its local partner – Institution Nationale de Solidarité avec les Femmes en Détresse (INSAF) – has been working in Chichaoua since 2005. This is one of the main poor rural regions from where many of Morocco’s little maids are recruited, usually by brokers, to work in middle class urban households.

The project began with three key goals:

  • To identify little maids and help them to return home and attend school. Financial support for 90% of these girls is aimed at enabling them to graduate from secondary school.
  • Ending child labor and discrimination against little maids by raising awareness about the dangers it implies among children, their families, and local communities.
  • To lobby provincial, regional, and national authorities to adopt a framework to protect children from exploitative labor, and to ensure their effective enforcement.Since 2010, the project’s reach included the El Kelaa de Sraghna region and El Haouz, and INSAF aims to further expand in the Rhamna, Fés, and Meknés regions. INSAF is also concurrently scaling-up its lobbying activities.

The Impact

  • 218 former ‘little maids’ were supported in the period 2005-2014 with an educational scholarship.
  • There has been a dramatic drop in the number of “little maids” from the villages where INSAF has been active since 2005.
  • In 10 years, INSAF organized several awareness campaigns on the risks of child labor, including domestic work, reaching over 10,000 community members, 14,218 children of which 6,432 girls, 187 local organizations and 318 representatives of local authorities, 424 schoolteachers and 77 school principals.
  • INSAF created a coalition of 60 local and national Moroccan organizations who campaign and lobby for better laws and enforcement measures to prevent child labor. The network is led by Amnesty International Morocco, The Moroccan Association of Human Rights, la Fondation Orient-Occident and INSAF.
  • In 2010, INSAF was awarded the prestigious Prix d’Excellence pour le Development Humain Durable by the Fondation Suisse Maroc pour le Dévelopment Durable (FSMD).

Read our latest report on Eradicating Girls’ Labor in Morocco.

Valued Partners

Institution Nationale de Solidarité avec les Femmes en Détresse (INSAF), authorities, and local associations. Womanity funded INSAF’s activities alongside other donors including UN Women, Coopération Belge, Drosos Foundation, and L’Oréal Foundation.

Programs

Investing in Women Entrepreneurs
(Haiti)

“Men might have more resources, but women have the responsibility to nourish all life.” – Nadine Louise, TOYA Foundation, Global Fund for Women grantee. The Womanity Foundation supported the GFFW in Haiti.

PROGRAM PICTURES

The project

Supporting women to gain employment, aid reconstruction efforts, and overcome gender violence in the wake of the Haitian earthquake.

The Challenge

The world was shocked in January 2010 when a devastating earthquake ripped through Haiti, killing hundreds of thousands. Years later, more than half a million Haitians are still living in makeshift camps, set up to house those displaced. With few income opportunities, recreational outlets, or basic services, frustration led to violence – especially against women – to rise.

The Approach

Following the earthquake, Womanity’s main donors were compelled to gather extra resources and support relief efforts on the ground. In line with its mission, Womanity decided to direct its support towards women’s protection and empowerment. A particular focus being on female entrepreneurship as a way to contribute to the reconstruction of Haiti, and to reduce poverty. The $64,000 earmarked for Haiti was disbursed over 3 years to different organizations that addressed women’s issues.

One of the non-governmental organizations supported was Entrepreneurs du Monde, in Camp Corail, Haiti’s largest refugee camp. This partnership was formed to promote female entrepreneurship, provide professional training, create paid jobs for women in the Camp through a microcredit scheme, and help to rebuild needed infrastructure.

The Impact

  • Through the scheme, 20 paid jobs for women were created and eight small enterprises have been set up, including production workshops for peanut butter, Haitian grapefruit jam, two restaurants, and a pastry production unit.
  • Entrepreneurs du Monde installed 2 solar panels, providing a much-needed alternative source of power for all participating women entrepreneurs.
  • In 2010, the first donation of $25,000 was made to the Global Fund for Women, who granted it to Kòdinasyon Solidarite Fanm Djanm Sid (Dynamic Women of the South Solidarity Network). The network used the grant to conduct a survey and media campaign on women’s rights in Southern Haiti.
  • A second grant was successfully disbursed to Movimiento de la Mujer Haitiana (Haitian Women’s Movement). This is a self-help group working in Southeast Haiti for women affected by the earthquake, or who have experienced violence in its aftermath.

Valued Partners

Entrepreneurs du Monde; Global Fund for Women.