Today marks the beginning of two important global campaigns, 16 Days of Activism (Nov 25-Dec 10) and the White Ribbon Campaign (Nov. 25). Both global campaigns advocate for the eradication of gender-based violence and, broadly, the empowerment of women.
At MEDA, our projects focus on promoting and supporting the empowerment of both women and men toward full participation in the economic processes which shape their lives. While we do not focus on the issue of gender-based violence in our activities, we reject any physical, mental, social, or economic abuse directed at an individual based on her or his biological sex. We also work to mitigate discrimination- and gender-based violence by starting all of our activities with gender sensitivity training for staff and key facilitating partners. During these trainings, we encourage our staff and partners to not assume gender roles, but to investigate them. We discuss how gender equality is a state or condition, where women and men experience equal access to human rights, socially valued goods, opportunities, and resources, and in order to reach this state, we need to implement gender equity strategies. Gender equity is a means to level the playing field and empower women. We also stress the importance of including diverse perspectives, particularly in relation to gender, in our economic development projects — whether they are strengthening value chains in agriculture, extractives, construction, financial services, or manufacturing.
In 1999, MEDA established its gender equality policy. Since that day, we have worked hard to integrate this policy into action in the field. For the next 16 days, we will share tweets on how we are working to empower women and male gender activists, who are working to promote gender equality, in our projects. Feel free to join the conversation by following: @Meda_women, @Medadotorg and the hashtag #16days.