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Championing women's rights in Southern Africa

Posted by Chloe Safier Regional Gender Lead

5th Mar 2015

Activists dance at the SRC. (Credit: Oxfam in Zimbabwe)

Regional gender lead, Chloe Safier, introduces a new set of Oxfam case studies about women's rights programming in Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Oxfam has been working for decades to bring about a gender just Southern Africa. Gender inequality is rife in the region; women have limited control over the decisions that affect their lives, and violence against women and girls is pervasive. LGBTQI people and sex workers also face discrimination throughout the region.

Oxfam is working with local partners to make a difference in the lives of women and other marginalised groups in five countries in Southern Africa: Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi and South Africa. The impact of this work is demonstrated by five case studies that showcase some of the highlights from our programming.

In Malawi, the Women's and Girls' Voices in Essential Services (WOGIVES) programme is giving women the opportunity to discover their leadership potential, earn an income, and meet with local officials to get access to essential services for their communities. You can read more about this in Putting the Power in Women's Hands: The WOGIVES Project in Malawi.

These five case studies give an idea of the breadth and depth of Oxfam's work in the region to promote women's rights

Our programme in Mozambique has supported a network of women's rights organisations to lobby successfully for a national law against domestic violence, and has given smaller organisations the financial and practical support they needed to grow. Read Changing Laws, Changing Lives: Supporting survivors of gender-based violence in Mozambique.

The Birds and the Bees programme trains high school students in South Africa as peer educators and activists to take a stand against sexual violence in their schools and communities. See The Birds and the Bees: Training a new generation of activists against sexual violence in South Africa.

In Zambia, the 'I Care About Her' programme has driven men and boys to the streets to call for an end to violence against women, and has brought men together to discuss the role they need to play in ending violence. Download the case study, I Care About Her: Building a movement of champions in Zambia to end violence against women and girls for more information.

Oxfam's support to the Sexual Rights Centre in Zimbabwe has led to the organisation's growth, and staff have developed their capacity to carry out the challenging work of serving some of Zimbabwe's most marginalised people. Read the full case study, Building Capacity to Make a Difference: Oxfam and the Sexual Rights Centre in Zimbabwe for more information.

These five case studies give an idea of the breadth and depth of Oxfam's work in the region to promote women's rights, but this is just a piece of the work happening at country and regional level. Though a variety of projects, programs and initiatives, working in partnership with women's rights organizations, we are continuing to fight to end gender-based violence and empower women to demand their rights.

Read more

Blog post written by Chloe Safier

Regional Gender Lead

More by Chloe Safier

Chloe Safier