WE RISE 2023 – Regional Learning Exchange – UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women

INERELA+ Executive Director (Right) And Representatives of UN Trust Fund Grantee Organizations at the Regional Learning Exchange ,4 December 2023, Trademark Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya

From 4 to 6 December 2023, the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UN Trust Fund) organized the first regional learning exchange, “We Rise 2023: Regional Learning Exchange – UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women” among grantees located in Africa and Latin America who received funding from the UN Trust Fund under the Spotlight Initiative for the past three years. As these impactful projects came to a close a group of 55 organizations/ UN Trust Fund grantees came together to exchange knowledge and learn from one another on what had worked to prevent and end violence against women and girls while building strong and resilient feminist movements. INERELA+, one of the UN Trust Fund grantees and changemakers was tasked to facilitate their lessons learnt through facilitating a session on Strengthening the implementation of laws and policies on Violence Against Women and Girls. 

At the height of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence with the theme focusing on investment in preventing violence against women and girls, We Rise 2023 represented the commitment of the UN Trust Fund, UN Women and its key partner, the Spotlight Initiative, in investing in civil society and women’s rights organizations, who have historically been the powerful force behind global feminist movements. 

We Rise 2023 took place in the context of complex, overlapping and protracted crises happening around the world. Since the First UN Trust Fund Grantee Convention in 2019, civil society and women’s rights organizations have experienced and adapted to numerous global challenges, from the COVID-19 pandemic to natural and man-made disasters that have given rise to stronger anti-rights movements and unprecedented levels of violence against women and girls. These organizations/grantees remained as vital lifelines as first responders to survivors and those at high risk of violence. We Rise 2023 was the moment to reflect on the past years throughout which collective action brought innovation, built resilience, and taught invaluable lessons to deliver systemic solutions to violence against women and girls. This pivotal moment provided grantees with a unique opportunity to glean insights from their remarkable achievements, understanding what worked, the challenges faced, and how to carry these lessons into the future. Over the past three years, grantees collective efforts had navigated the challenges posed by the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, alongside a rise in climate crises, escalating conflicts and emergencies, disproportionately impacting women and girls.

INERELA+ through its Executive Director Munya Mandipaza facilitated a session on their experience of “Strengthening implementation of laws, policies, and action plans on violence against women and girls”. Her presentation focused on Project based insights and experiences with strengthening laws and policies in a multi country project covering Ghana, Burundi and South Africa which deployed various approaches to working with legal and political systems by engaging with a range of actors through use of multiple strategies for VAWG prevention. Grantee organizations were engaged to share their expertise and lessons learned in thematic, interactive workshops held on different topics throughout the three days.


Contributions and conclusions from participants were put together to inform the UN Trust Fund’s work in feminist grant-giving and its future convenings to ensure full delivery of its Strategic Plan 2021-2025.

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