Womankind Worldwide undertook a project from 2015 to 2018 to reduce violence against women and girls in Kenya and Tanzania.
Working in two sub-counties in Kenya and one refugee camp and one host community in Tanzania, the charity wanted to raise public awareness of women’s rights around issues such as FGM, forced marriage and domestic violence. It also wanted to train a new generation of legal experts, counsellors, and community leaders to increase provision of services relevant to the issues.
The charity worked through two partner organisations: Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) in Kenya and Women’s Legal Aid Centre (WLAC) in Tanzania. Over the three years, the charity provided legal aid to 18,999 women. Their initial target was 10,500 women. They also surpassed their targets for raising awareness and training service providers, reaching 21,202 and 803 people respectively.
The £580,000 project has meant that there are now many more paralegals and community-based officers working in both regions, and as more women become aware of their rights, more cases are being referred to authorities and service providers. By sparking more conversations about the issues within communities, harmful established traditions such as forced and child marriage and FGM are being challenged.
Womankind’s two partner organisations are becoming household names, and police stations now have gender desks as a private space for women to report violence.
Charity Awards judge Jehangir Malik said it was an “excellent submission dealing with very challenging areas in conservative societies”. He said the charity took a “very strong local partnership approach and put Southern voices in the driving seat”. The project was succeeding in changing social norms, he said.
Judge Richard Hawkes added that Womankind Worldwide “have always had a good approach; this is good solid development work”.
CC reg no: 328206