MADRE, An International Women's Human Rights Org.

MADRE's mission is to advance women's human rights by meeting urgent needs in communities and building lasting solutions to the crises women face. MADRE works towards a world in which all people enjoy the fullest range of individual and collective human rights; in which resources are shared equitably and sustainably; in which women participate effectively in all aspects of society; and in which people have a meaningful say in policies that affect their lives. MADRE's vision is enacted with an understanding of the inter-relationships between the various issues we address and by a commitment to working in partnership with women at the local, regional and international levels who share our go...
Aug 9, 2011

How a Chicken Can Send a Girl to School

When MADRE staff recently traveled to Guatemala, we spent time with our sister organization MUIXIL, an Indigenous women’s group in the rural highlands. Since 2007, with your help, we have supported a women’s chicken farming project, helping to meet women’s need for sustainable income in deeply impoverished Indigenous communities. We’re happy to announce that the project is growing!  

With the generous support of MADRE members, we were able to send a contribution to MUIXIL, enabling them to purchase 48 baby chickens and the supplies to build new chicken coops. The chickens and coops will help create a new future for women and their families in three different communities. With the eggs, women can give their children protein-rich meals, selling extra eggs to raise money.

For one woman named Rosa, who never went to school because of turmoil caused by the decades-long civil war, the chickens have meant that she is able to break the cycle and send her own young daughter to school. "Because of the war I never went to school for even one day. My biggest hope now is that my daughter will finish school. I have the chickens from MADRE now and that means better food for my daughter. We get a little money from the eggs each week. I put it in my secret place and I use it to buy pencils and books for her. I know her life will be better."

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Aug 9, 2011

Women Farmers Union in Sudan Purchases a Tractor!

In Sudan, most women farmers manually prepare land for the growing season. Tilling and seeding by hand is backbreaking work and extremely time consuming. It can take one woman several days to prepare just a tiny plot of land.

But thanks to MADRE member support, the Women Farmers Union, a project with our sister organization Zenab for Women in Development, has been able to purchase a tractor! Work that took them days by hand will now take only hours with the help of the tractor, which the many union members will share.

Now the farmers are working to purchase two tractor attachments: a planter and a disc harrow. The disc harrow allows for deeper plowing, giving plants more access to underground water sources. This is an important adaptation now that climate change is causing more droughts in Sudan.

In May, Zenab hosted 500 women for a General Assembly. Representing some 60 villages, this gathering allowed the women to learn from one another and plan their activities for the remainder of the year. The Women Farmers Union is the only organization of its kind in Sudan. As one woman farmer said after the General Assembly, “Zenab for Women in Development is the only one who helps us.”   

As our partners prepare to plant this year’s crop of sorghum, millet and wheat, Zenab’s founder and director, Fatima Ahmed conveys her thanks: “MADRE members helped us buy this tractor. Thanks to you, more women will be able to feed their children this year and earn money for school fees, medicine and other basic needs.”

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Aug 8, 2011

A Human Rights Training that Lights a Spark

The room was filled with Haitian grassroots women leaders who were learning about civic participation and their country’s political system, who were strategizing together and who were sharing their stories. As I looked around, I thought, “All of us in this room have either survived rape or know someone who has.”

Since the earthquake, we have seen the tremendous suffering of women and girls facing an epidemic of sexual violence in Haiti’s displacement camps. But we have also seen their tremendous courage in confronting this threat.

They have had the courage to organize in the camps to prevent rape and to care for survivors. And they’ve had the courage to insist that this violence must end. By being at the training, they learned how to focus their power as citizens, to pass laws and to reach all Haitians with the message that violence against women can be stopped.

This gathering was part of a series of trainings conducted in partnership with MADRE, the Heartland Alliance and KOFAVIV. The trainings are designed to equip Haitian women to ensure that they are not left behind as Haiti is rebuilt. At each event, women learn about their human rights, build their capacity and network with each other. They learn to take action on pressing policy questions that affect them, such as ensuring security in the displacement camps, improving medical services for women and girls, and boosting women’s political participation.

Included are some of the photos that we took of these incredibly brave women.

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