Women’s Peace and Justice Project
Project: Changing community attitudes and practices to reduce discrimination and violence against women
Location: Sierra Leone, Moyamba district,
Partner: Women’s Partnership for Justice and Peace (WPJP)
The 11 year civil war had a severe impact on women and 9 years since the conflict ended there still exists a culture of impunity in relation to rape and sexual abuse.
- Nearly all women in Sierra Leone will suffer sexual or domestic violence in their lifetime
- In 2009 there was not one single conviction of the perpetrators of rape.
Although some efforts have been made to raise awareness, review legislations and enact new and women friendly laws, in practice women and girls continue to face discrimination before the law. This is particularly acute in rural communities, which are still largely governed by patriarchal customary laws and where government services are limited. The situation is compounded as women and girls who are often poor and illiterate are unaware of their rights and how to claim them.
What Womankind is doing
Womankind and our partner the Women’s Peace and Justice Project (WPJP) are working to eliminate violence against women and to raise women’s rights awareness.
In order to do this we will ensure that traditional authorities are actively promoting and protecting the rights of women and girls in their communities (particularly around access to justice); mechanisms (bylaws and community based support structures) are introduced and implemented for the protection of the rights of women and girls at community level; and women and girls are able to protect themselves, claim their rights and engage authorities on securing the rights of women and girls.
Overall the project intends to strengthen the realization of women’s rights thereby reducing the incidence of discrimination which leaves women vulnerable to violence, in the Moyamba district of southern Sierra Leone.
With our partner we are:
- Targeting 4,140 men and women for awareness raising campaigns and community dialogue sessions. 8,250 more community and family members will indirectly benefit from this
- Training 90 representatives (45 men and 45 women) from local/traditional authorities to address sexual/gender-based violence (SGBV) and women’s rights in their communities. 1,450 local/traditional authority representatives will benefit indirectly as a result of this
- Strengthening the ability of 90 women heads of groups and institutions to support women and girl survivors of violence and promote women’s access to justice. 1,731 more will benefit indirectly as a result of this
- Training 180 women leaders of existing women’s groups in court monitoring and advocacy in order to assist women to access their rights
- Training 120 female secondary school students and teachers from 6 secondary schools through 3-day training workshops.16,800 more will benefit indirectly from this shared knowledge