Women’s Empowerment & Gender Equality

We empower women and girls in order to  defeat poverty and achieve equality.  We focus on women and girls because we believe  we cannot overcome poverty  until everyone has equal rights and opportunities.

Over the last decades, there has been an improvement in gender equality and women empowerment in Liberia and the subregion. Liberia had elected the first female president in Africa, and more girls are going to school. The number of women serving in parliament has increased; fewer girls are being forced into early marriage, and leadership positions and laws are also being reformed to advance gender equality.

Despite these gains, many challenges remain — for example, discriminatory laws and social norms are pervasive. Violence against women and girls also remains widespread, persistent, and devastating human rights violations in Liberia and the Mano River Basin region, and serious public health concern in the area. Acute poverty and violence against women remain a significant obstacle to fulfilling women’s human rights and achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The rates of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), harmful practices (HPs), female genital mutilation (FGM), and teenage pregnancy are high. In contrast, access to sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) is low. Women also form the majority of those living in abject poverty in Liberia and the sub-region.

Working for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality

VOSIEDA is working in Liberia and the subregion to address violence against women and girls by fighting poverty and empowering women in their efforts to take part in decision-making at all levels and promote leadership and participation of women. In our development projects, we tailor our activities towards meeting the different needs of women and men to promote equality between them. We believe that gender equality is a fundamental human right and a necessary foundation for peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable communities, particularly in Liberia and the West Africa Mano River Basin. For an extended period, women and girls have long-suffered due to civil war, poverty, and discriminatory traditions in Liberia and the subregion.

Our Priority Areas

Gender Equality and Women’s Human Rights

We are working with local communities and women’s groups in Liberia and the Mano River Basin region to stop all forms of violence against women and girls in their communities. We campaign to change laws and challenge culturally accepted practices that treat women as second-class citizens. We are especially focused on domestic and family violence, sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices, femicide, trafficking in human beings, and sexual and economic exploitation of women and girls.

Women’s Socioeconomic Empowerment

We foster women’s socioeconomic empowerment by supporting women in their fight against poverty. We empower women and girls to gain access to basic financial services such as loans and to access business skills training. We also work with women to ensure they have a workplace that provides adequate wages and safe working conditions, where they are protected from sexual and gender-based violence. We provide cash grants to women and girls that are affected by disasters so that they can purchase basic supplies and use the money to get their livelihood back on track.

Peacebuilding and Crisis Prevention

Civil wars, violent conflict, terrorism, and violent extremism in West Africa have differential and overwhelming consequences for women and girls. Because of this, women in Liberia and across the Mano River Union Basin region are leading movements for peace and to rebuild their communities.

Studies show that women’s participation in peace processes contributes to longer, more resilient peace after conflict. Women’s inclusion in peace processes, therefore, makes humanitarian assistance more effective, strengthens the efforts of peacekeepers, prevents radicalization and the spread of extremism, and accelerates the economic recovery of conflict-affected communities. Nevertheless, women remain largely invisible to, and excluded from, peace processes and negotiations in Liberia and region.

VOSIEDA work to amplify the voices of women and support their vital work to prevent conflict, respond to crises, and accelerate peace in their communities in Liberia and the Mano River Union Basin region.

Women’s Empowerment & Gender Equality

Rural Women’s Economic Empowerment through Cassava processing in Grand Bassa and Rivercess County, Liberia

Strengthening Economics Potential of Liberia’s Women and Youth through Savings for Change

Supporting and Strengthening Sub-regional post-Ebola Medical Surveillance and Socio-Economic Recovery Initiatives in West Africa

Youth, Employment & Skills (YES) Projects 1 & 2

Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration of Ex-combatants in Liberia