Participants in workshop
In July 2020, LvA launched a new 12-month project funded by the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF). The objectives of the project are two-fold: to increase the capacity of young women to understand and challenge the structural drivers of GBV and to shape community attitudes on GBV; and to mobilise community members to take action against GBV.Under the project, LvA is facilitating quarterly workshop series for women aged 18 – 35. These workshops explore concepts of power, patriarchy, misogyny and gender norms and stereotypes and interrogate their respective roles in the perpetration of gender-based violence. They also look at available legal rights and legal remedies in cases of intimate partner violence and/or sexual violence. Lastly, they participate in a reflexive journey where participants are invited to map their lives events, reflecting on key moments and sources of strength (whether internal or external).
Following the completion of these workshop series, graduates are invited to form a Community Action Group (CAG). These CAGs are then further capacitated to take a stand against gender-based violence in their own community. CAG members receive training on key principals, tools, and techniques of community mobilisation and then plan and implement their own community activation event designed to raise awareness about gender-based violence in their community.
To date, LvA has facilitated workshop series for two groups of women. During these workshops, the participants were able to speak from personal experience about the abuse they had experienced in their own live and the ways in which patriarchy and harmful gender norms and stereotypes oppress women in their community and suppress their voice. They further noted how women are more vulnerable to abuse due to economic dependence on their abusive partners. Throughout the workshops, participants were eager to learn so that they could help other women in the community. Following each of these workshop series, each set of graduates formed a CAG. These groups then met weekly for the additional capacitation as discussed above.
The groups are currently planning two community activations to take place during the upcoming 16 days of Activism against Violence against Women and Children, taking place between 25 November and 10 December. The first activation will be at a mall in the community where the CAG, in partnership with local police and other state actors, will set up stands where they can engage community members about GBV and available support services. The second planned activation will be a door to door campaign where group members will go into the community in order to engage community members on an individual basis to raise awareness about GBV and available support services. LvA is encouraged to see project beneficiaries take ownership over these events and to witness their determination and dedication to addressing GBV in their community.
Participants engage with Journey of Life exercise
LvA facilitator details mobilization principles
Participants break out in small groups