Empowering poor women to engage effectively in governance
Women have the right to an equal say in all matters that affect their lives. However, around the world, many believe that women are of less value than men. Women living in poverty therefore face multiple barriers to involvement in decision-making.
Oxfam’s Raising Her Voice (RHV) is a global programme in 12 countries to change this. We’re working to promote the rights and ability of poor women worldwide to increase their influence and ensure their voices are heard so that those in power – from village leaders to politicians and law-makers - become more accountable to them. Former RHV projects in 5 more countries continue to work in a variety of ways to sustain the gains made.
“Our unity is our strength. For showing us where our strength lies, we would like to thank Raising Her Voice.” Project participant, Nepal
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Through Raising Her Voice Oxfam has worked in partnership with 450 organisations around the world to enhance women's participation in decision-making. Our programme also supports national level work - such as helping to introduce vital new laws and policies to protect and promote women and girls. For example, our Uganda project helped to introduce new legislation to stop domestic violence, female genital mutilation and trafficking – all in 2010 alone!
Together, we’re enabling nearly 200,000 women each year to take part in, shape and monitor the decisions that most affect their lives. Raising Her Voice works in four main ways:
“Before [Raising Her Voice], women didn’t participate in meetings, but now we are involved in school boards, where all members are women, and the development councils, where half of the members are women.” Project participant, Guatemala
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