Strengthening Individuals & Communities

Supporting non-governmental organizations in their use of international mechanisms to press government for change

The United Nations (UN) Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is a powerful legal instrument for articulating, advocating for, and monitoring women’s human rights. International Women’s Rights Action Watch (IWRAW) offers assistance to women’s rights NGOs in order to help them better advocate at the international level.

Rewriting traditional stories to gain a gender-sensitive perspective

The Women and Memory Forum (WMF) in Egypt started the Women’s Stories project to allow women to rewrite traditional stories from their own perspectives, giving women an opportunity to challenge traditional texts, redefine their role in society, and develop writing skills by rewriting these stories to show an egalitarian or woman-centric perspective. 

Reframing poverty as a human rights issue to maintain government assistance

The Kensington Welfare Rights Union (KWRU) reframes the welfare debate as part of a larger fight for human rights in order to advocate for the maintenance of welfare services.

In 1991, welfare cuts threatened the livelihoods of poor families and communities in the most impoverished district of Pennsylvania. A group of women from this area came together and organized KWRU in order to present welfare as a human rights issue, rather than an issue of personal responsibility for poverty or charity-based government responses.

Providing free legal services to victims of police torture

Founded by a group of 4-5 attorneys, the project initially included 45 attorneys willing to prosecute torturers. The group has grown to include 234 people providing direct or support services for human rights cases.

In the year and a half since the project's implantation, 304 cases had been brought to the Association. They have developed a reputation among the police stations which likely has a strong preventative effect. The project has also heightened judges' awareness of the problem of police torture.



Promoting discussions on disability to generate a holistic and inclusive human rights dialogue

Currently many groups working in the disability rights movement, and even the broader human rights movement, compete among each other in political debates and institutions in order to gain recognition, funding and policy changes.  Instead of recognizing their common goals and challenges, human rights groups often isolate themselves along victim hierarchies where, for example, someone living in poverty may be better off than someone who is physically disabled, experiences politically-motivated torture or lacks access to clean water.

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