One element of PSYDEH’s scalable program is the way they help female leaders participate in important elections in Mexico; but when the candidates faced myriad forms of violence, the PSYDEH team had to rethink their advocacy approaches.
The Psicologia y Derechos Humanos PSYDEH A.C. team wondered whether they should change the approach to their work after the women they served began to face discrimination. When they asked the women themselves for feedback, they were amazed. The women wanted PSYDEH to continue—and to address the discrimination head-on.
After listening to feedback from the women in their programs, the PSYDEH team moved forward, “If we don’t link our work to the fight against political violence towards women with immediate concrete benefits to women’s lives, we will lose whatever momentum we’ve created since mid-2014,” the team shared. They developed a Theory of Change, which helped them re-focus on their goal of ending political violence against women and set up new success indicators. Along every step of the way, the team sought and collected community feedback, ensuring women’s voices were heard.
Advocating for a bottom-up approach was part of PSYDEH’s mission externally, but they learned to also use this approach internally, as well. Creating a Theory of Change required thoughtful brainstorming. As explained by the team:
“This leads to a successful, bottom-up, problem-solving system that encourages broad community involvement and consistent, respectful engagement between citizens and government.”
The PSYDEH team has big plans in 2019 and will continue to adapt and evolve with the help of the women they serve. As one of the program participants said, “We are women who know that we can work, that we can move forward. With help from PSYDEH, and the help that we can give to each other, despite discrimination, despite having nothing, despite prejudices that exist, we can move forward—absolutely all citizens—to make ourselves better.”
The impact of PSYDEH’s work was felt by GlobalGiving’s Mexico Representative, Maria Catalina Villalpanda Paez, who shared this: “It was truly inspiring to learn about the work done by PYSDEH in the State of Hidalgo and to know that they are working from below to achieve a profound change that in the future will be replicated. The attention to detail and the dedication that they print in each of their projects is an example for any Mexican and international organization that seeks to improve the quality of life of the people it serves.”
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Featured Photo: Women leaders in Forum-wide trust circle by Psicologia y Derechos Humanos PSYDEH A.C.