Share your ideas for our Network’s gender justice agenda

Hello all!

Gender justice is a major priority for the Legal Empowerment Network. As such, we are eager to intensify our work in this area. As a first step, earlier this year, we asked members of our Network to tell us more about their work of gender justice and women’s rights, and to share how they would like to engage further on this topic.

Now, we are sharing what we learned. Please find the full survey results here: Gender Justice Network Survey Results.pdf (830.8 KB)

Below are a few highlights:

We received 206 responses to the survey from across 54 countries. Of these, 76% of respondents said they worked at the community-level, for example, by providing direct support to women, while 70% engaged in policy, advocacy and collective action, and 51% in research and learning.

Many members also focus on the legal empowerment of communities that have been historically marginalized or experienced multiple layers of oppression. For example, 69% focus on adolescent girls and youth; 48% on Indigenous women; 31% on racial and ethnic minority women; and 29% on migrant and refugee women, among other populations.

Top issue areas of experience and interest

The largest percentage of respondents work on issues related to gender-based violence and family law (73%); gender, environmental/climate justice and land rights (56%), and women’s health and reproductive rights (50%).

Similarly, the most respondents (73%) were keen to work on the sub-issue of gender-based violence together. Following this, members were interested in engaging on women and girls’ leadership in legal empowerment, and women’s access to justice.

Activities of Interest

Finally, respondents were most keen to engage in:

  • Networking and connecting with others who work on gender justice (80%)
  • Learning from one another, and sharing challenges and strategies (79%)
  • Building a joint advocacy agenda to push for systemic change (72%)

What should we do next as a network? Please share your ideas!

We are excited to continue to build upon these areas of interest and create opportunities for you to connect with other Network members; learn about others’ work in the area of gender justice and women’s rights; share common challenges and good practices; and build towards collective action and advocacy together.

To help shape our agenda further, we would love to hear from you! Please share with us:

  1. Tell us a little bit about your work in the area of gender justice. What do you do, and what models do you utilize?

  2. What are the key questions and challenges that you are grappling with in your work towards gender justice and women’s rights?

  3. What are specific skills or areas of knowledge you are looking to build in your work?

We hope to use your insights and responses to the above questions to continue to shape our gender justice agenda. Thank you, and we look forward to keeping you all updated with next steps and opportunities.

@WomensRights, @deniseddora @Caryn @Farzanakhan @jasminkafriscik @krithikadinesh @Abi @KateFlatley @BeverlyLongid @LinetteduToit @Chi @JessicaHolles @johnmasuwa @macarenamartinic @PrabhakarBagchand @Adamskamara @Bina @DalistaniNgulube @LuisaMariaColonia @Rachele @ScholasticaJullu @yvette @AdnaOGP – do chime in and let us know what you think!

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@akhila_kolisetty, this is fantastic! I will definitely share my ideas :blush:

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I would love to share my ideas too on this topic

@Timotistic12 @Rachele Yes, please do share a bit more about your work around gender justice / women’s rights and the key questions / challenges you are interested to learn about and explore further in this area. We look forward to further conversations on this!

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My main concern is teenage pregnancy in the Urban poor Community’s in Diobu waterfront Community’s of Port-Harcourt Rivers State Nigeria, this young girls are denied basic education and training in a trade to support them financially through life and most of them are orphans and some have lost the breadwinner of the family. So the young boys hooked on drugs actually sexually abuse this teenage girls and in most cases get them pregnant without any support whatsoever, so the young girls with children have to hawk to make ends meet and some out of pride and laziness will prefer to sell their body’s to get money from willing men, most of them married with children to support themselves. It’s more sad cuz most of this girl’s go into drugs and become addicts and a nuisance to their families and friends. We tried a mentorship program for the young girls (☆▽☆) most of them single mothers and the Red Cross supported us with a free training program for hairdressers and caterer’s and Tailor’s and beauticians and drivers, after their training program, they are given starter packs of money and the needful things they need to start an hairdressing salon, a food stand and beauticians equipment and a driving license for those who learnt driving. But some of them still abuse the system and collect the money and sell their equipments after benefitting and go back into the neighborhood to continue their life of drugs and prostitution. We are happy for the success recorded so far but more needs to be done cuz Red Cross supported was for a selected few considering the amount of girls without a skill and means of livelihood, we need more donor organizations to support our program of supporting this Urban poor Community girls to have a sense of belonging to our larger society and to be trained so they can contribute to the development of our society and country and the world at large. Thank you

Dear @akhila_kolisetty, as promised, please find below my insights.

  • I desire to see women grow and expand in their digital skills and knowledge so that they can improve their lives, careers, families and the overall community. Due to the increasing number of cyberbullying and online violence against women, I have been appreciative to carry out several legal consultancies and spoken at events on digital resilience for women in Africa. I approach these tasks using national, regional and international legal frameworks - addressing how they can better protect women in these platforms.

  • One of the challenges in this work has to do with language barriers - most digital platforms are in English and in Tanzania for instance, majority of women do not know English. This factor tends to exclude them from the full enjoyment of connecting with other people online. Another challenge is costs - to have access to online sources, one must have the necessary tools such as a smartphone, or a laptop and also have enough funds to cover internet. I found it very important to address these challenges because we tend to forget them when discussing how to empower women digitally and economically.

  • I am looking to advance my skills in the legal analysis of digital resilience and women empowerment. Through this, I hope to be able to provide constructive feedback to policy makers in the grassroot level with regards to combatting online violence against women.

I humbly submit, and always happy to share more with anyone who might be interested!

I am concerned about the leadership and participation of community women in decision making. Female sex workers are underrepresented in female sex worker programs (involvement of female sex workers is only below 20 percent). We initiated groups of women sex workers in three provinces in Indonesia, namely DKI Jakarta, Jambi, and Banten, through a participatory approach based on the experiences of women sex workers, such as providing understanding to female sex workers about organizations, women’s rights, and literacy in legal protection for quick handling of cases of violence experienced by female sex workers.

The following are the current challenges:

  1. Female sex workers (FSW) are underrepresented in the FSW program in Indonesia because they lack self-confidence, believe they are incompetent, underestimate the ability of the community, and take sides with marginalized groups whose territory is “grey,” sometimes taking sides (on behalf of the community) and sometimes dismissing them (not there is community involvement in decision making).

  2. Female sex workers have been more marginalized as a consequence of abuse, threats, and persecution. The higher the fear of receiving appropriate benefits, the more difficult it is to obtain protection and access to health care as a result of the violence they face.

  3. The criminalization of sex workers through the issuing of Regional Regulations (PERDA) in various areas of Indonesia’s 34 provinces has an influence on the issue of sex worker violence not receiving attention since they are deemed criminals and break societal standards.

I am looking to advance my skill in the expertise in cultivating relationships with government and non-government stakeholders so that can advocate for the government at the local and national levels within the framework of democracy and human rights to advocate for women’s rights, with a focus on marginalized women who are the most affected by injustice.

  1. Ability to create cross-issue networks in order to boost the voices of women in the community.

@SitiBariyah Hi Siti, thank you so much for sharing these thoughts on the key challenges that you face in working with sex workers in Indonesia, and the key skills you’re looking to learn. We’ll keep an eye out for ways to incorporate your suggestions and opportunities to connect you with other organizations working in this area. Thank you, again!