2012

Women's Empowerment through Virtual Exchange (WEAVE)

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Running from 2012 to 2013, the Women's Empowerment through Virtual Exchange (WEAVE) project is working to develop an online database for women’s human rights advocates across Nigeria, including civil society organisations, policymakers, researchers, and legal experts. Led by Media Information Narrative Development (MIND), in partnership with the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) and with funding from Cordaid, the web platform seeks to address current access barriers of women’s rights advocates to legal and policy information needed for effective advocacy.

Communication Strategies: 

According to MIND, over the past years, successful policy and legal lobbies have been initiated across Nigeria by gender professionals. Yet, many groups involved in promoting women's rights, especially at the grassroots, lack access to legal and policy tools to be able to effectively engage in advocacy. The WEAVE web platform seeks to give organisations and individuals free and easy access to crucial information including:

  • international treaties and conventions ratified/domesticated by Nigeria;
  • Nigerian legislation (including federal, state, and sharia laws);
  • Nigerian government policies (federal/ state);
  • available data, reports, and statistics on women’s current situation in Nigeria; and
  • contact details of women empowerment experts in different professions.

WEAVE seeks to promote shared ownership of the web portal by involving organisations and individuals from different sectors and geopolitical zones in building, testing, and hosting the platform. Social media applications will be used to facilitate exchange of information across the country. The technical structure and online applications will be devised in partnership with the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT).

Rather than directly interacting with the grassroots, the web platform primarily focuses on intermediate civil society agents at federal, state, and local level who have the computer and analytical skills required for sharing the information disclosed through the web platform with women at the grassroots. The information shared through the web platform is arranged in such a way that it can directly fed into human rights monitoring mechanisms like the upcoming periodic session of CEDAW in Nigeria in 2014.

Development Issues: 

Women and Governance, Technology

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Partner Text: 

Media Information Narrative Development (MIND), Royal Tropical Institute (KIT).

Source: 

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The Soul Beat 211- Communication and Change News and Issues

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Issue #: 
211
Date: 
December 12, 2012

In this issue of The Soul Beat:

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Guidelines in Arabic and English for Conducting HIV Support Groups

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Publication Date
Publication Date: 
January 1, 2012
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Produced by FHI 360 in Egypt, these Arabic and English guidelines are designed to support conducting HIV support groups. Funded by the Drosos and Ford Foundations, the booklet identifies principles, benefits, and criteria for conducting effective support groups, while also providing material that can help support group facilitators and/or members in mentoring caregivers, families, and people living with HIV. According to FHI 360, an HIV support group is a community of patients, family members, and friends dedicated to dealing with HIV together. It is an appropriate way to delivering psychological, emotional, and educational support to people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), their caregivers, and family.

Cost: 
Free to download
Languages: 

English Arabic

Number of Pages: 

14

Source: 

FHI 360 website on December 10 2012.

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African Shared Values Initiative

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African Shared Values, an initiative of the Political Affairs Department (DPA) of the African Union (AU), works to facilitate discussions and debate about what values are shared between AU member states and their citizens. The initiative uses public dialogues held face-to-face in African cities, via radio programmes, social media, and online forums. The programme was launched in 2012 as part of the AU's Year of Shared Values.

Communication Strategies: 

According to the African Shared Values programme, the 2012 Year of Shared Values is an initiative designed to promote dialogue among all the continent's citizens, with the larger view of working towards the African Union (AU) commitment to a stronger Africa based on unity and integration. The Shared Values Conversations will eventually inform all activities that the AU is committed to, from election monitoring, to assisting displaced persons and humanitarian aid, to peace and security, gender equity, and agricultural matters.

People throughout Africa are invited to join the Shared Values conversations. The African Shared Values website, shares resource documents, videos, and images, and offers an interactive forum. People can also interact and join discussions via the African Shared Values Facebook page.

The organisers explain that shared Values provide a lens through which to operate, making clear that certain principles apply to Member State dealings with its own citizens within its own borders. A focus on Shared Values can also be a useful aid in how Member States interact across borders. The concept is based on the idea that there are Shared Values that may be unique to African conditions that will help countries and citizens move forward and prosper.

Development Issues: 

Governance

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Partner Text: 

Political Affairs Department (DPA) of the African Union (AU)

Source: 

Emal from Mikias Sissay on December 5 2012 and African Shared Values website on December 8 2012.

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Democracy and the Challenge of Change: A Guide to Increasing Women's Political Participation

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Author: 
Kristin Haffert
Shannon O’Connell
Holly Ruthrauff
Elizabeth Powley
Publication Date
Publication Date: 
January 1, 2011
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Based om 25 years of working towards women’s political participation, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) produced this guide for democracy practitioners to help them develop and carry out effective programmes to bring more women into government and politics. The guide focuses on programmes in the areas of citizen participation, elections, political parties, and governance. It presents the case for increasing women's participation and provides information on best practices and strategies to move that goal forward.

Cost: 
Free to download
Languages: 

English Arabic French Spanish Urdu

Number of Pages: 

138

Source: 

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Women and Girls Empowerment (WOGE)

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Launched in May 2012, Women and Girls Empowerment (WOGE) is a four-year joint project designated to contribute to poverty reduction by strengthening women and girls’ voices for economic self-reliance in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia. This includes fostering individual skills through training and the establishment of resource centres, building collective strength through advocacy and civic education, and creating a more favourable business policy environment for women.

Communication Strategies: 

The WOGE project is focusing on rural women between the ages of 16 - 55 years who are in the informal sector and are not in school or employment, and intends to equip 6000 women and young girls with skills to influence decisions related to their economic self-reliance. The multi-sectoral approach is designed to empower women and girls who have been marginalised from decision-making and economic opportunities, and addresses several livelihood challenges faced by women and girls. These include access to finance and trade, access to information on the existing legislations and policies and the working environment.

 

On the individual level, women and girls will develop knowledge, skills and confidence in life planning, with an emphasis on food security, property rights, water, employment, and trade. Resource centers will be set up in selected locations and awareness campaigns conducted to ensure that women access information they need to become economically self-reliant. The programme is introducing trade fairs so that women traders in the informal sector can access markets for their goods, while also working with women media associations to highlight women and girls' trade issues.

 

On the collective level, women's groups will be formed to conduct participatory rural appraisals and map out the impediments to economic self-reliance. Women's groups will be supported to carry out advocacy and civic education to hold decision-makers accountable and eliminate these barriers. At the structural level, activities will be designed to improve regulatory frameworks and business services that impact women and girls.

 

The WOGE project was launched in 15 selected districts of operation in the four implementing countries. Inception meetings were attended by district leaders, community leaders, change agents, youth leaders, women representatives, members of district technical teams, selected civil society representatives of organisations that work with youth and women, women leaders, and youth leaders. The purpose of the inception meetings was to introduce the WOGE project to the district leadership to ensure ownership, successful project implementation and sustainability. Key in the discussion was to agree on the space for the resource centre and the demonstration garden, which are among the major project outputs in each of the districts.

 

The project also has a WOGE newsletter and a WOGE Facebook page.

Development Issues: 

Economic empowerment

Key Points: 

According to WOGE, women and girls suffer disproportionately from the burden of extreme poverty and therefore need specific programmes designed to empower them and improve their socio-economic status. Research in the region shows that investments in girls have a great impact on economic growth and the health and well-being of communities. When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90% of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40% for a man. This means proactive measures that empower women and girls are urgently needed in order to make progress towards overall development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Eastern Africa.

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Partner Text: 

The Eastern African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI), Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevoelkerung (DSW).

Source: 

EASSI website and WOGE newsletter, on December 5 2012.

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Dawaran Shoubra (Shoubra Roundabout)

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Broadcast in Egypt in 2011, the Dawaran Shoubra (Shoubra Roundabout) television drama portrayed the lives of people living in Cairo's inner-city neighbourhood of Shoubra, exploring issues such as poverty and lack of opportunity, corruption and social injustice, and radicalisation and youth alienation. Produced by Egypt's Misr International Films with support from BBC Media Action, the television series is part of a wider project, Socially Responsible Media Platforms for the Arab World, which was launched in 2009.

Communication Strategies: 

Shoubra is a neighbourhood of both rich and poor, Muslims and Coptic Christians, providing a rich source of issues to explore through the drama's storylines. According to scriptwriter Amr A-Daly, inspiration for the stories came from the people of his own neighbourhood and their life stories. As well as being broadcast in Egypt, Dawaran Shoubra was subsequently broadcast on many pan-Arab channels worldwide. It is also available via web platforms, such as YouTube.

According to BBC Media Action, social drama is highly influential in the Arab world. Research shows that Egyptians watch on average four hours a day of television, with drama at the centre of their viewing schedule. Egyptians look to social drama for inspiration to resolve problems and dilemmas in their daily lives. It also offers them the opportunity to explore issues that are often considered taboo.

Click here to view a BBC video about the drama series.

Development Issues: 

Conflict, Tolerance, Rights

Key Points: 

Dawaran Shoubra was recognised by Egypt's media industry and voted one of three best series in 2011 by TV critics. According to BBC Media Action research:

  • 62% (of respondents who had seen all or some of the series) said that the programme tackled issues that resonate with them personally.
  • Almost 70% said the show dealt with issues that other series do not.
  • 55% said the series had prompted them to talk about a number of issues among friends or family.
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Partner Text: 

BBC Media Action, Misr International Films

Source: 

BBC Media Action website on December 7 2012.

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Sports for Adolescent Girls

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Interagency Youth Working Group YouthLens

Author: 
Kerry Aradhya
Publication Date
February 1, 2011

This 4-page brief summarises discussions at a meeting of the Interagency Youth Working Group (IYWG), where sports programming was highlighted as an innovative approach to protecting and empowering girls. According to the brief, sports can help build social networks for girls in developing countries, allowing them to challenge gender norms that contribute to their vulnerability.

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Source: 

FHI260 website on December 5 2012.

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FEMSCRIPT Participatory Video Project

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Running from February 2010 to February 2011, the FEMSCRIPT project was designed to empower women in the Niger Delta to make their voices heard in the public arena and highlight women's human rights issues through participatory video. The FEMSCRIPT project included training, the provision of camera equipment, and facilitating access to mass media platforms.

Communication Strategies: 

Nine young women from Bayelsa State, Delta State, and Rivers State were selected to participate in an intensive long-term Action Learning Trajectory programme. The women were familiarised with human rights concepts, acquired basic research skills, and learned how to make small video documentaries. The training used a learning-by-doing approach, combining in-depth training workshops with hands-on fieldwork in the trainees’ home communities guided by professional researchers and video-makers. In the process, the women were encouraged to critically reflect on their own human rights and conflict experiences.

 

The participating women conducted research and produced their own videos - giving them full control over the information and images produced about them and empowering them to express in their own words what matters to them. The project resulted in nine Video Case Studies featuring examples of women in the Niger Delta who are managing to make ends meet despite the many challenges they face.

 

Participants also collaborated to produce Daughters of the Niger Delta, a portrait of three ordinary women in the Niger Delta. As their personal stories unfold, viewers see that the environmental pollution in their community is not the only human rights violation affecting their lives. According to the producers, rather than repeating the usual media stories about oil outputs, conflict, and kidnapping, Daughters of the Niger Delta focuses on the strength and resilience of three everyday heroines who overcome hardship and give their children hope for a better future. MIND states that along with empowering the women film makers, equipping local women with research and video skills also is useful in view of the need for more first-hand, reliable information from the crisis zones. Many news reports about the Niger Delta are insufficiently backed by data as even local journalists refrain from entering the area.

Development Issues: 

Women’s Empowerment, Conflict

Key Points: 

In the future, MIND intends to use the project outputs as local awareness raising tools in collaboration with local non-governmental organisations and community based organisations. MIND and its training partner FLL - which helped facilitating the video workshops - also hope to find resources for translating the video footage gathered by the FEMSCRIPT trainees into a condensed 30-minute documentary reaching out to a wider audience (including film festivals and TV channels in Nigeria and abroad). MIND currently has a 55mins documentary, inspired by the FEMSCRIPT project.

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Partner Text: 

Media Information Narrative Development (MIND), FLL, CORDAID, Netherlands Embassy in Nigeria

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The Communication for Social Change Award

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The Communication for Social Change Award was established in 2006 to recognise outstanding contributions made by individuals and organisations to the theory and practice of Communication for Social Change (CSC); specifically those that have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to using communication to transform and empower marginalised communities.

Deadline Date
Deadline Date: 
January 18, 2013

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