Oxfam Strengthens Five Partners’ Capacity in Advocacy for Women’s Rights

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Ms. Musu Kamara, who was supported by the Oxfam Hong Kong Enough Campaign, chats with some of the international partners.

Oxfam in Liberia and the global Enough Campaign delight in sharing the experiences of five partners drawn from women’s rights groups in Liberia who participated in regional and international Enough Campaign convening.

The goal of the Enough campaign is to change widely accepted and harmful social norms that justify violence against women and girls to ones that promote gender equality and non-violence.

Hawa Wilson, Program Officer at Paramount Young Women Initiative (PAYOWI) attended a three-day Digital Feminist Convening, from November 2-4, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa, a trip supported by Oxfam International – Enough Africa Platform and the Association for Progressive Communication (APC) Women’s Rights Program.

The convening, focused on harmful social norms and masculinity, aimed at enhancing collaboration between young digital feminists and identify joint actions for collaboration and young feminist movement building in Africa.

“As I return home, and part of my back to country initiative is to actively engage the public on during the 16 days of activism through my institutional page and that of the OXFAM Liberia Enough Campaign page,” said Hawa.

She continued, “This online campaign will help to educate the public on negative impact of rigid gender norms and how can we work to help eradicate all forms of stereotyping, violence, abuses, and harassment against women and will be implemented through my organization, Paramount Young Women Initiative.”

Participants were gathered from implementing countries of The Enough Campaign (Benin, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Mali, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, DR Congo, Morocco, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tunisia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe).

Enough campaigners Ora Barclay Keller, executive director of Girls for Change Organization, and Sataah Fayiah, executive director of Hygiene for Girls, represented Liberia in Accra, Ghana first Enough West African Youth Forum sponsored by Oxfam in Liberia and Benin.

The two shared experiences of young people in shifting social norms that normalize, and reinforce violence against women and girls and share learning from national Enough campaigns in the WAF region.

Ora said, “The program was very interesting, I had the opportunity to network with other Enough Campaign members from 7 other African countries. We had the opportunity to share our experiences as campaigners and the impact of our work across different sectors from CSO’s partners around Liberia.”

“We learned about new ways to identify and engage with our targets and formulate messages to amplify our advocacy. One thing that stood out is that in most countries the issues around Sexual and Gender Based Violence remains a paramount concern and a call for action to stakeholders; I had a memorable experience and a lot of take away that I can use in our Enough Excuses Campaign and my Organization, said Ora.

The Forum creates a space for young people to share their experiences and stories, connect these experiences to the systemic causes of violence against women (patriarchy and unequal power relations), identifying and recognizing their power and developing action plans that they can collectively take forward to make positive changes.

The Forum encouraged young participants to build a common vision on social norms that reproduce violence against women and girls, what they are, why we must change them and what role young people are playing in shifting these norms.

Musu Kamara, who was supported by the Oxfam Hong Kong Enough Campaign, learned about the Social Norms (Early Child Marriage, the Objectification/ Ownership of Women, Sexist Oppression of Women by intimate partners, and Violence Against women in all forms).

Participants included Enough Campaign leads from different countries, including representatives from women’s rights organizations; young people’s organizations and young feminist organizers.

Beneficiaries express thanks and appreciations to Oxfam in Liberia and the Enough Campaign for the learning opportunity and promised to share experiences with respective organizations.

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