Women for Women International Grantee Highlight: Investing in the Power of Women Matters

Note from the CREDO team: This February, Women for Women International is among three amazing groups that will receive a share of our $100,000 monthly grant. Funding from CREDO will directly support marginalized women in conflict as they earn and save money, improve their health and well-being, influence decisions in their home and community, and connect to networks for support.

Read this important blog post from Hanna Nussair, Communications Officer, WfWI below, then click here to visit CREDODonations.com to cast your vote to help determine how we distribute our monthly grant to Women for Women International and our other amazing grantees this February.

Shireen is a Syrian refugee living in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, © Alison Baskerville

Everywhere in the world, women face social, cultural, and economic barriers to equality — but we know that alleviating these barriers makes families, communities, and countries stronger.

At Women for Women International, we invest in women survivors of war and conflict, connecting them with each other, resources, and support to realize their own power.

Our greatest strength is our ability to meet women where they are, in their communities. We respond holistically to their critical needs by continuously listening to and learning. The uniqueness of our data-driven approach is that it is both women-centered and locally powered.

“The participants in our program deserve to have their voices heard by decision-makers on the issues that affect them, not only in their communities but at the state and national levels. We strive to amplify their voices and vision to influence change at the global level.” – Marie Clarke, VP, WfWI Global Programs

What is the Stronger Women Stronger Nations Program?

In our one-year Stronger Women, Stronger Nations Program, women break the isolation of war, conflict, and gender discrimination to realize their own power. As they form connections in class, women learn to save, build businesses, understand their rights, improve their health, and change societal rules. They pass this knowledge on to those around them — creating a ripple effect for generations.

Josephine Anna Taban is a 22-year-old mother of 2 from South Sudan , © Charles Atiki Lomodong

To center the voices and experiences of the women we serve, we involve them in improving and adapting programs to better meet their needs. We take pride in the fact that our country staff is from the same communities as the women we serve and are respected as local leaders. They are knowledgeable about the challenges women face as well as the opportunities to make real and lasting change. 

Our Impact

After graduating from the Stronger Women Stronger Nations Program, many of our participants transform into local leaders. Across our country offices, we introduced the Change Agents program for graduates to make a difference in the lives of other women like them. We also engage men as allies through our Men’s Engagement Program (MEP), to remove the systemic and cultural barriers women face.

Recent findings from our surveys and program evaluations in Nigeria indicate that our graduates were better prepared to pivot their businesses with the tools and knowledge gained from their vocational courses, making it possible for them to still earn an income and provide for their children.

For example, Stronger Women, Stronger Nations participants in Nigeria were 20% more likely to have some profitable activity during the pandemic. This data speaks to our vital role in fostering resiliency during times of economic uncertainty.

Stronger Women, Stronger Nations program participants receive a monthly training stipend to support themselves during times of uncertainty. Because of this, more women had savings to fall back on as waves of COVID shut down businesses and unemployment soared. Now as we recover from the pandemic, participants have necessary skills to support both their family and the local economy.

Hear in Aveen’s words how Women for Women International’s programs are making an impact.

 

Standing with Afghan Women During Crisis

When Taliban forces took control of Kabul in August 2021, rebuilding the lives of the women we serve in Afghanistan became our utmost priority. Our global community, including 26,000 new supporters, raised $5 million dollars to uplift Afghan women during this time of crisis.

Stronger Women Stronger Nations participants learning to knit in Afghanistan, © Rada Akbar

Now, we are working with the new government and partner organizations on the ground to meet immediate critical needs including enabling mobile cash transfers, providing kitchen garden and poultry kits as well as assessing the longer-term needs of our program participants.

Conflict Response Fund

Our work to uplift the power of women does not stop at Stronger Women Stronger Nations. Around the world, more countries are experiencing some form of violent conflict than at any other time in the last 30 years, and we know how critical it is to support these nations’ women.

Through our Conflict Respond Fund (CRF), we can expand our impact by tracking crises in real time, identifying credible partners on the ground and allocating resources to meet the urgent needs of women survivors, no matter what side of a conflict they are on. CRF grant recipients, past and present, include Syria, Yemen, Myanmar, Tigray, and Bangladesh.

The Future of Women for Women International

Stronger Women Stronger Nations Participants in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, © Women for Women International

As 2022 begins, the pandemic continues to rage on in waves globally, increasing gender inequality, widening the poverty gap and highlighting the inequitable access to vaccines, especially in the countries where we work.

Adding to this, conflict and crises continue to escalate across the world. From the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan with millions facing starvation and the economy on the brink of collapse, to the escalating sexual violence against women in Tigray where rape is being commonly used as a weapon of war, continuing to support women survivors of war and conflict is more important now as ever.

Join us in creating a world where every woman’s voice, role and contributions are valued – a world where women realize their power.

To learn how you can get involved visit our website and follow us on social media @womenforwomen