Empowerment of Women
All our programs strive for equal participation of men and women and to challenge entrenched attitudes that lead to discrimination and inequality. In addition to specialized programs designed to protect the economic and social rights of young female domestic workers or women migrant workers, we have found the participatory methods used in all our programs are particularly effective in empowering women to organize and challenge entrenched discrimination, a prerequisite for their social and economic empowerment.

Transforming the lives of women and children
Aginatha Festo Rutazaa is a community worker who lives in the village of Moshi, near Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. After attending Equitas’ International Human Rights Training Program (IHRTP) in 2009, she came to understand that by empowering women who were traditionally marginalized and at risk, they could solve many of their problems and improve their living conditions themselves. Upon her return from the IHRTP’, she founded the organization, Tusonge, which means let’s move forward in Swahili.

In less than a year, the market women she worked with went from marginalized second class citizens to women who were lobbying for property rights, voting and being elected, forming and running credit circles, developing their businesses, improving their health and that of their families and ensuring their children’s education. (Read Aginatha’s story)

Women’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
In 2010, Equitas published Equality for Women: A Handbook for NHRIs on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. With input from leading experts in the field, the Handbook argues that National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) have a crucial role to play in ensuring equal enjoyment of ESC rights. However, a commitment to gender equality is not enough to ensure effective protection and promotion of women’s ESC rights. NHRIs must also ensure that they have the capacity to:
• understand and apply the appropriate legal frameworks
• develop effective internal systems and procedures
• identify effective and appropriate strategies to remedy a particular solution
Download the Women’s ESCR Handbook

Migrant Workers Program
Our Migrant Workers Program addresses the specific needs of both government officials and non-governmental organizations to understand and be able to apply international human rights standards to promote and protect the rights of migrant workers, particularly women. (Learn more)

Les Petites Bonnes
Equitas has worked with partners in Burkina Faso, Mali, Morocco and Niger on a program to strengthen the capacity of non-governmental organizations to promote and protect the economic, social and cultural rights of young girls working in domestic servitude. (more)

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