On 14 March 2023 on the occasion of the 67th Commission on the Status of Women, the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UN Trust Fund) held a webinar titled “Supporting civil society and women’s rights organizations working to end violence against women and girls in protracted, complex and overlapping crises”. 70% of women experience gender-based violence in crisis settings, compared with 35% of women worldwide. Despite being at the forefront of such crises civil society organizations are underfunded and under-represented in crisis settings.
INERELA+ Acting Executive Director Munya Mandipaza
During the webinar which was attended by the INERELA+ Acting Executive Director Munya Mandipaza, a panel of UN Trust Fund grantees and experts provided insight on the diverse challenges faced by women and girls worldwide. They also highlighted key role of women’s rights organizations, civil society organisations, activists and grassroots women’s committees in empowering women to exercise their rights amid crises and conflicts.
Hala Al Karib, the Regional Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Horn of Africa (SIHA) shared how the solidarity, agency and network building among women’s organizations enabled women’s activism for change in Somalia and South Sudan. SIHA led a school-based project to prevent violence against women and girls in the large camps for internally displaced people through the support of women activists.
Kevin Schumacher the Deputy Executive Director of Women for Afghan Women Afghanistan highlighted the crucial role of international solidarity in challenging times. He highlighted that empowering local activists is the most important way to invest in social transformation.
As a grantee of UNTF, the INERELA+ Acting Executive Director Munya Mandipaza provided insight on how INERELA+ achieved transformational change by focusing on institutional strengthening and building the organizational resilience in response to the challenges created by COVID-19 to reach women and girls. INERELA+ trained 200 religious leaders, 106 traditional leaders and 40 government officials on addressing violence against women and girls through a Project being implemented in Burundi, Ghana and South Africa. A total of 9,476 women and girls increased their knowledge regarding violence against women and girls and the referral mechanisms available, and 2,398 women and girls reported cases of violence. INERELA+ collaborates with groups and stakeholders such as host communities, men and boys, and civil society to reach primary target beneficiaries and partners.
By investing in the organizational resilience and preparedness of civil society and women’s rights organisations, the UN Trust Fund has enabled grantees to continue operating in crisis settings.