To date the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI) has funded fourteen grants in South and Central Asia for the total amount of $1,287,421. The grants are targeted to local organizations and fund projects that seek to increase the effectiveness of efforts to combat gender-based violence (GBV), women’s knowledge of and application of their civic, legal, political, and economic rights, and their access to justice, rule of law, and social and economic services. These small grants are based on the foundation that political and economic stability cannot be achieved without the full and effective participation of the women and girls and local organizations that make up the backbone of society.
Providing comprehensive response to GBV, projects seek to increase protection of survivors, prosecution of perpetrators, and prevention of future crimes.
Empowering Women against Gendered Violence- Enforcing Right Through the Indian Legal System, India (Secretary’s Fund: Avon Award)
This two-year project develops sustainable processes that allow victims of gender-based violence in the National Capital region to access and use the Indian legal system. Through a combination of direct legal services to women victimized by violence, training organizations and individuals who provide shelter and counseling to victims of gendered violence in accessing the legal system, ‘know-your-rights’ publications, fact finding surveys, legal advocacy, and networking and campaigns, victims will be better equipped to combat violations of their rights.
Innovative Street Theatre Advocacy to Mainstream GBV Interventions Locally, India (Secretary’s Fund: Avon Award)
The project utilizes street theater and workshops to increase awareness of gender-based violence. When implemented in villages in Karnataka, it will include street theater development programs, 19 workshops, and programs to develop 50 street theater village groups. Its program mobilizes other stakeholders, like self-help groups and youth forums, on gender-based violence. Street theatre activism through young male advocates against GBV is an innovative strategy to mainstream the issue at the community level – a demand side preventive approach. The project transforms young men and boys that are critical gatekeepers as powerful partners/allies to overcome GBV and other obstacles that women face in society. The whole community – both men and women - is introduced to “the GBV issue” rather than exclude it as “a woman only issue.”
Combating GBV, Pakistan (Small Grants Initiative)
This project discourages GBV practices through awareness-raising in Quetta and improves GBV survivors’ access to medical and legal services. It also strengthens the economic position of 400 refugee women through skills development and entrepreneurship opportunities and advocates with state institutions to improve their support mechanisms in dealing with GBV cases in Quetta.
Combating Violence against Rural Women in Pakistan, Pakistan (Small Grants Initiative)
This project informs and sensitizes girls and women, police, media representatives, lawyers, and local authorities in three select rural districts on the forms of violence against women and the application of existing and recently-passed legislation on sexual harassment that protects women. Given the country‘s worst flood disaster in the history of Pakistan, the project works with women in the IDP camps. This project raises awareness through information disseminated in relief item packages (food, clothing, etc) and establishes Women Friendly Spaces in the camps and communities where women and men have a place to discuss and report sexual harassment or GBV. It also creates a mechanism to provide legal assistance to female victims with local lawyers, conducts income-generating workshops specifically for women to help them recover, and educates local authorities.
Domestic Violence is a Human Rights Issue, Sri Lanka (Small Grants Initiative)
The main aim of this project is twofold: preventive and redressal. The project reduces and prevents violence against women and children in Sri Lanka by sensitizing and raising awareness of the issue among selected target groups. The goal of these efforts is to create an environment of equality for women to secure their well-being and reduce their vulnerability to violence.
Increasing women’s understanding and application of their legal rights
Bringing Together Women Representative and Community Leaders to Combat GBV, India (Small Grants Initiative)
This project brings together elected women representatives and community leaders to play a major role in combating gender-based violence. The first program of its kind in the state, the coalition of female representatives and community leaders press for curbing gender-based violence and monitoring schemes for women at district and grassroots level (through gender based budgeting). Along with policy level advocacy measures, this effort seeks to motivate female leaders, to ensure community participation, and to strengthen family reconciliation support for victims of GBV.
Increasing women’s access to training, mentorship, credit and finance, and skills building with the goal of increasing their economic independence, their participation in eco-friendly and agriculturally-successful practices, and the creation of women-owned enterprises
Capacity Building Program for Increased Economic Opportunity, Bangladesh (Small Grants Initiative)
The goal of this project is to contribute to the reduction of poverty and to increase economic opportunities through improved and sustainable participation of rural and marginalized women artisan groups in entrepreneurial activities and economic growth. It facilitates the development of women artisan groups, thus increasing women’s participation in business. A capacity-building program is provided to gain knowledge and skills from activities which include training, workshops, meetings, mentoring, and counseling.
Capacity Building of Marginalized Women, India (Small Grants Initiative)
The project trains poor women to make sanitary towels from waste materials so that they can be afforded by everyone. Groups of women are trained to collect old clothes, sort them, wash and iron them, and then cut, stitch and package them. The women are paid wages that will increase the standard of living as well as enhance their personal self esteem. The products are initially sold in the same catchment area through local NGOs, short-stay homes, and hospitals. Later the distribution will be extended to reach more customers.
Empowering Women through Inclusion in Value Chain, India (Small Grants Initiative)
The focus of this project is to position women engaged in chili cultivation to own and manage microenterprises around value-added post-harvest processes in order to gain greater recognition and empowerment within the household. Given the fact that most of these small-scale farmers sell their produce without any processing, they are not able to receive a greater share of benefits from the value chain.
Self Employed Women’s Organization Project, India (Small Grants Initiative)
This project aims to promote livelihood opportunities for the artisan silk weavers, and of the young women above 18 years of age in Delhi and Bhagalpur through access to developmental opportunities, education, and a decent income. Through the creation of economic opportunities both traditional and modern in nature, adolescent girls and young women are provided training in basic reading and writing in addition to vocational skills which enhance their productivity and employability.
Women’s Entrepreneurship Program, Sri Lanka (Small Grants Initiative)
This project promotes entrepreneurship among disadvantaged young people from female-headed households and widows in the Hambantota district. It provides finance, mentoring and business development services to this target group. By helping the youth become successful entrepreneurs, the project also helps them to overcome their poverty and to improve their living standards.
Victims Suffering in Silence, Uzbekistan (Small Grants Initiative)
This project targets vulnerable women - single mothers, women with disabilities, women from families consisting of one or more disabled family members, the unemployed - in the remote Bektemir and Chilonzor districts of the Tashkent region.These women typically have irregular work, low salaries or have struggled with long periods of unemployment. Through this program, women obtain access to job banks to seek employment. By receiving practical training on business organization, marketing, and accessing credit from banks or credit unions, women gain the skills that they need to open their own businesses, improving the quality of life for their families.
Increasing women’s ability to address climate change and food security
Promoting Food Security for Ethnic Minority Women, Bangladesh (Small Grants Initiative)
The purpose of this project is to increase food security and develop adaptive capacity to the adverse climate situation of marginalized women farmers in Adivasi, Bangladesh. It provides skill development training on issues of crop diversification, drought tolerance, and aquaculture while also establishing community gardens and fishponds.
Increasing women’s political participation
Building Political Leadership among Women, Bangladesh (Small Grants Initiative)
This program promotes gender equality, enhances women’s participation in politics and engenders the political process through the formation of a national women’s network called the Bangladesh Alliance for Women Leadership (BDAWL). The Leadership Academy prepares local community and political female leaders to take a more active role in government. In addition to training women in public speaking, writing, and conflict resolution, BDAWL links participants to a growing network of women leaders.