"Clapping with Both Hands: 15 Studies of Good Practice in Promoting Gender Equality" launched on the International Women's Day 8 March celebrates innovative programmes championed by brave women and men in 13 countries – from Guatemala to Mali, Mozambique to Nepal – that have enhanced the voice of women at home, at work, in governance bodies and society at large.
Click to download the ACT Gender Good Practice report (pdf, 4 MB)
The report demonstrates the work of leading organisations that contribute to achieving gender equality through a range of projects, whether addressing violence against women or lack of access to and control over resources. It highlights the hope, strength and persistence of women and men who believe that their communities can benefit from increased gender equality.
"At the heart of our vision"
"Gender equality and women’s empowerment are at the heart of ACT Alliance’s vision for a better and more just world. While there has been progress on gender equality in some countries, women in many parts of the world suffer from violence, discrimination and under-representation in decision-making processes" says John Nduna, General Secretary of ACT Alliance.
Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) is one of more than 125 members of the ACT Alliance, which is one of the largest humanitarian networks in the word.
The introduction of mills in Mali saves women time, allowing them to take part in community development. Photo: Norwegian Church Aid
Strengthened democracy in Mali
In Mali, campaigns run by NCA to get more women on the election trail have resulted in the number of female candidates jumping by 42% in some regions.
The programme is one of the studies in the report and documents how NCA works to increase women’s participation in local government (municipalities) in Northern Mali by mobilising women and challenging the behaviour of duty bearers.
Through five local organisations, various strategies were used to strengthen women’s associations with more that 30.000 members, identifying female candidates, leadership training and raising awareness about citizens’ rights and the right to vote in the election campaign.
Active involvement of male community and religious leaders lent legitimacy to the project of increasing women’s participation in public life.
Vital to meet the needs
Gender equality is the equal enjoyment by women, girls, boys and men of rights, opportunities, resources and rewards.
"The promotion and achievements of gender equality and gender justice is vital to meeting the needs of the world`s poorest", Thora Holter, special advisor on gender justice in Norwegian Church aid says. "Women represent a disproportionate number of the poor, and are vastly underrepresented at all levels of government and have often limited opportunity to influence decision- and policy making".
Read about Norwegian Church Aid's work with Gender Justice.