By: Nadia El Hannari
We are excited to announce our new affiliate organization: WomenStrong International, with whom The Kota Alliance shares similar goals and values. WomenStrong International is a consortium of non-profit organizations that have the goal of empowering women and girls to change their lives, families and communities, with the aim to eradicate extreme urban poverty.
WomenStrong International operates in 5 countries: Ghana, Haiti, India, Kenya and the United States. The Consortium members are focused on meeting the 6 essential needs of women and girls – health, safety, shelter, education, economic empowerment, and a functioning urban environment – in their locations of operation. WomenStrong International works to provide resources for their members to help the women and girls with whom they work meet these needs.
During their Annual Retreat earlier this month, WomenStrong International invited members of The Kota Alliance for a training session, where we met with WomenStrong staff and Project Directors from all five Consortium member sites. The training session, led by Karen Robinson of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, focused on essential tools for human rights educators.
Attendees were divided into groups to list the essential needs their programs would ideally address in their work. Despite each Consortium member’s different region, culture and economic and political situation, there were many similarities in the specific areas that each site wanted to tackle, including reproductive health education, nutrition, accessibility of education to all children, and improving financial literacy and the capacity to earn and save.
The teams matched their areas of work to Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Articles that seemed most often aligned with WomenStrong’s Consortium members’ programs were Articles 3, 21, 23, 25, and 26, including the rights to life and liberty, civic participation, an education and an adequate standard of living. Reading through the Universal Declaration prompted the teams to think about their programs in a new light and to recognize the work they do as fundamental human rights work.
We would like to warmly welcome WomenStrong International to our expanding network of like-minded organizations, and we are excited to see what the future brings – hopefully, more fruitful discussions and great collaboration to promote women’s empowerment and gender equality both locally and globally.