Raising Her Voice

May day marches in LaPaz. (Bolivia, 2006)

At a glance

RHV aims to influence public policy, decision-making, and expenditure to reflect the interests of women from poor countries. Visit the RHV online community.


Launched in August 2008 and running until 2013, Raising Her Voice (RHV) aims to promote the rights and capacity of poor women to engage effectively in governance at all levels. The programme also seeks to draw out important lessons from our experiences at country level, to strengthen Oxfam's wider governance work, and to feed back into our grassroots projects.

RHV is a collection of projects in 17 countries, each with its own priorities and approaches that take into account local realities and opportunities. However, all RHV projects focus on four broad areas of work:

  • Enabling poor women activists to network, campaign, and advocate.

  • Working with public institutions and decision-making forums, including traditional structures.

  • Empowering civil-society organizations to achieve poor women's rights as citizens, through awareness raising, capacity building, and training.

  • Disseminating lessons and good practice through innovative media and communications work.

See more about how Raising Her Voice works in each country and region.

RHV by region


Gambia, Liberia, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda

  • Our partners in Africa have decided to make the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa the focus of the RHV programme, ensuring that its provisions are reflected in national legal frameworks and that these are implemented effectively to ensure concrete improvements to policies, budget allocation and access to services for women.

  • At the pan-Africa level, RHV support for the Solidarity for African Women's Rights Coalition focuses on lobbying for countries to sign, ratify, and 'domesticate' the protocol.


Nepal, Indonesia - projects in Papua and Aceh - and Pakistan

  • Oxfam is working with partners to encourage rural women to contribute to local decision-making structures - such as Forest User Groups and Village Development Committees - and to national-level advocacy and campaigning on women's rights, using popular communication media such as local radio.

  • Our projects are also building strong relationships between grassroots groups and women entering political processes, so that women elected to office adopt positions that highlight and address women's specific needs  as part of decision-making on all poverty related issues.

Latin America

Bolivia, Guatemala, Honduras and Chile

  • Oxfam's country-level projects work with women's groups and movements to build the leadership capacity of poor women, develop their ability to influence decision-makers, address the barriers to women's participation, and encourage different groups of women to work together for positive social change.

  • There is a region-wide project based in Chile, which focuses on migrant women workers as a particularly excluded group.

Eastern Europe

Albania and Armenia

  • RHV projects in Eastern Europe focus on fostering local public-private partnerships for rural development projects, investment. In Albania, RHV advocacy for improved services is carried out by Local Action Groups.

  • In Armenia, RHV partners are ensuring effective service delivery for children and young people with disabilities, and promoting the active and informed engagement of poor women in local government decision-making.


Raising Her Voice is mainly funded by UK aid through the Department for International Development's (DFID) Governance and Transparency Fund. Through this fund DFID supports global initiatives to help civil society, the media and other stakeholders to promote accountable and transparent governance and governments at all levels.

Latest blogs on Raising Her Voice

Violence against women: changing attitudes and laws

Around the world women and men are taking part in 16 days of activism to eliminate violence against women. Cat Meredith examines Oxfam's approach to changing attitudes and laws, from UN conference halls to village committees. ... Read more

Dear Oxfam, an evaluator writes...

This week we have been highlighting the lessons from the five-year Raising Her Voice programme. Here, we post an open letter to Oxfam from the evaluator who assessed the programme at key points and the impact she saw.

When women get together great things are possible - lessons from Raising Her Voice

For five years Raising Her Voice worked in 17 countries to promote women's participation and influence in decision making. Here Emily Brown, programme coordinator, shares her lessons as we launch the final programme evaluation and summary. ... Read more

Veeru Kohli – the ultimate outsider

When Veeru Kohli stood as independent candidate in Hyderabad's provincial elections on 11  May 2013 she made history. Jacky Repila explains how Oxfam's Raising Her Voice programme played a part in her journey from bonded labourer... Read more

'We will not allow their deaths to go unpunished.' Join the day of action against femicide in Honduras

A day of action is taking place in Honduras on Wednesday to show solidarity with the 3,000 mothers, daughters and sisters who have been violently killed in that country in the last decade. Jacky Repila explains more.

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