ActionAid is a global movement of people working together to further human rights and defeat poverty for all.

Women and Girls Rights

Women around the world are more likely to live in poverty - just because they are women. They have less access to land, education, income and decision-making – all of which keeps them poor.

ActionAid puts women and women’s rights at the centre of all our work because we believe this inequality is an injustice we must fight. And we believe that gender is critical to understanding the causes of poverty and injustice.

We work with women across the world to identify the changes they want to see and to empower them to claim their rights.

ActionAid also defends the rights of women and girls to live free from gender-based violence; to secure a fairer division of care work and to control their own sexuality.

We believe that women are powerful forces for change. In everything we do, ActionAid believes the best way to end poverty is to strengthen women in their own struggles, helping them to unleash their own potential to change the world.

Our women’s rights work focuses on five key areas:

Violence against women 
Women and girls around the world face widespread violence, sexual harassment and abuse in many of the spaces that they populate – their homes, workplaces, on the streets and on public transport. Women’s fear of violence is an attack on their basic rights and prevents them from living full and equal lives.

Economic rights 
ActionAid campaigns with women for decent jobs, fair taxes to reduce inequalities, and to see a fairer division of unpaid care work - including public services to reduce drudgery and ensure better quality care provision for people living in poverty.

Women’s control over their own bodies 
Throughout the world women and girls are forced to endure harmful practices that cause them great suffering . ActionAid works with women to stop female genital mutilation, early or forced marriage, sex selective abortion, dowry-related crimes, honour crimes and many other harmful practices.

Mobilising women 
Every year we work with partners and women’s rights organisations to mobilise communities, connect women, men, girls and boys to demand further change to ensure women and girls around the world can enjoy their rights.

Women farmers 
ActionAid supports women producers to start up and lead collectives so that they can enjoy their economic rights.

Women and girls are systematically marginalised and discriminated against through patriarchal power relations that combine with other systems of subordinating and exploitative social relations to place them in even more constrained positions than men and boys in the same class, ethnic, age or other relations.

During the conflict, thousands of women were raped or subjected to gender-based violence. Many lost spouses or other family members, leaving them as household heads and primary wage earners in an unstable economy. Not surprisingly, socio-economic indicators reflect the unequal status of women and girls in comparison to men and boys.

Liberia’s constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex (cf. Articles 8, 11, 18).  However, statutory laws sometimes discriminate against women and, more frequently, there is a lack of specific laws as well as a lack of enforcement to ensure women’s rights are protected. In addition, the Constitution also recognises customary laws “in accordance with the standards enacted by the Legislature” (Article 65). Through the Revised Regulations Governing the Hinterland of Liberia (Customary Law), people in rural areas may be governed by the customary laws of any of the 16 ethnic groups. Whilst they are not identical, they frequently discriminate against women. Article 2 of the Constitution authorises the Supreme Court to declare all laws, customs etc., inconsistent with the constitution to be null and void, and the adjudication of customary laws to be supervised by the regional administration (Revised Regulations), however, these provisions have not frequently been exercised, especially during the war. 

The program involves promotion of full recognition, realization and protection of Women and Girls. Actionaid Liberia has worked on broad Policy issues providing resources to the Ministry of Gender and Development whilst also supporting the participation of women and Girls in all spheres of development.

The campaigns involve advocating for Safe Cities, Sexual Reproductive rights, Girls Education Rights, Access to Justice and Coalition Buliding.

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