Women’s Rights

Across the world, women and girls’ rights are affected the most by poverty. From the moment they are born, girls face inequalities and injustice in almost every aspect of their lives.

We make sure girls go to and stay in school. We work with communities to end gender-based violence. And we train women in the skills they need to earn a living.

Our Women’s Rights Programme

ActionAid Ireland has a Women’s Rights Programme which is funded by Irish Aid and implemented in three countries, Ethiopia, Kenya and Nepal, The programme uses an innovative approach to positively change the mindsets, attitudes and subsequently the behaviours of people to ensure women & girls live their lives free of discrimination and violence.

We also work with women’s groups to strengthen the leadership and voices of women, so that they are able to set the agenda and lead change at the community, regional and national level.

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Ending FGM in Ireland

This project aimed at preventing female genital mutilation (FGM) through empowerment and awareness-raising activities using an ActionAid methodology that has been successful in Africa. The approach, Reflective Action, draws on learning from the south to north. We are working in direct provision centres around Ireland, targeting women and men who are predominately from FGM practicing countries.

The practice of FGM is usually targeted at schoolgirls, with FGM ceremonies planned in their parent’s home countries to coincide with holiday breaks but it can also happen right here in Ireland. In the current situation, intermittent opening/closing of school and travel restrictions; ActionAid Ireland believes, with the lack of opportunity to travel to home countries and confinement to family homes, there is a serious danger the practice will continue and indeed increase here in Ireland. As ActionAid Ireland cannot currently deliver our FGM work face-to-face due to coronavirus restrictions, we are delivering this project online.

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Women’s Leadership in Emergencies

Women’s rights are central to ActionAid’s response in times of emergencies. Women who are pregnant or breast feeding have different nutrition requirements. Women are vulnerable to sexual assaults following major disasters. Sanitary towels are a necessity for women who have lost their homes. We don’t only work with women, but women’s needs are central to planning our response.

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Nepal Earthquake 2015: Action Aid Nepal Women's Rights coordinator Malati Maskey amidst the devastation in Khokhana

REFLECT Approach

Around the world ActionAid uses the REFLECT circle method. This method empowers women and gives them basic training, including literacy. It was developed by ActionAid in the 1990s and is now used by thousands of organisations in over 70 countries around the globe. Watch our uplifting video that shows the approach in action.

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