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Compassion In Kenya

Compassion-CBO

Compassion CBO

Safe World Field Partner in Kenya - Compassion CBO, was formed to eradicate poverty through education and sustainable development among women living in the slums and rural areas and to rehabilitate orphans and vulnerable children.

Survivors In DR Congo

Bahati-with-group

COFAPRI

COFAPRI is based in Bukavu in the eastern Democratic Rupublic of Congo The organisation empowers women through encouraging income-generating activities such as the rearing of livestock.

Field Partner News

Safe World Field Partner, work directly with issues such as poverty, health-care, marginalisation, FGM, child marriage, and education.

Asha Leresh

How Asha Survived the Unnecessary Cut

Asha’s luck came when Samuel Siriria Leadismo, the Director of Pastoralist Child Foundation and his team visited her village, creating awareness about female genital mutilation (FGM) and sexual reproductive health....
Handwashing

Washing Hands to Improve Health in Rural DR Congo

COFAPRI organised handwashing sessions for school children and mothers in rural villages, with the aid of educational DVDs kindly supplied by Thare Machi Education. The word has begun to spread as neighbours are now prompting each other to wash their hands.
Safe Spaces

Safe Spaces Crucial for Women's Self-Reliance in Rural DR Congo

Increased security helps women become self-reliant and less financially dependent on their husbands. This improves the situation for the whole family and also means the women are less vulnerable to abuse.
Towards womens empowerment

DR Congo: Men's Inclusion in Women's Empowerment Benefits Everyone

It remains very important within communities for men and boys to be educated regarding the rights of women and girls, including their proper, fair and respectful treatment. When the women and girls become empowered, it is the whole community that benefits.
Margaret from Kiambu Support Group

Nairobi cancer survivor has hope at last

Margaret is among many women Compassion CBO trained in 2015. She has survived breast Cancer 2 times.

New Womens Magazine for Cameroon

The first edition of the Women for a Change Magazine is now available.

News, Interviews and Blogs

Under-reported issues affecting women and children. Exclusive interviews, articles and blogs by Safe World Correspondents and Content Partners

Compensation Claims Board 2

The Need for Victim Compensation Programmes - Pakistan and Globally

Globally, victim compensation programmes play a significant role in providing assistance to the victims of violence... however, in Pakistan we are lacking any such programme. It is high time to take serious note of the issue and develop a strong referral…
Lizzy and Victoria

Peace, Dialogue & the Ripple Effect: #RISING16 Global Peace Forum

Perhaps the most inspiring session for me came towards the end of the two days and was entitled ‘Bring back our girls – the forgotten victims of conflict’... We heard the CEO of International Alert, Harriet Lamb, and Victoria Nyanjura - who was kidnapped by…
Olutosin 2

Olutosin Adebowale: To America With Love

Once upon a time in my country, Nigeria, there was a ruler who was dreaded by many... We resisted and said No to every oppressive action or word to any weak or voiceless Nigerian... This is the time to stand firm on what has held the world together - Love.
Berlyne Ngwalem Ngwentah

Berlyne Ngwentah: 'The Biggest Cheerleaders of Women are Women'

All the most prominent, biggest community and feminist movements to alleviate the sufferings of women and girls and support women’s involvement in education and leadership have been championed mostly by women...
Jen 9

Promoting Misogyny, Zenophobia, and Bullying... is.... Nasty

I cannot ever vote for anyone who promotes misogyny, racism, Islamophobia, zenophobia, homophobia... It would be a mockery of my life... dishonoring my elders who have endured the many injustices of racial animosity, my friends who've experienced the same...
Women united

Women United for a Better Community in High Andean of Peru

“Women United for a Better Community” is a new group of grassroots women in the Ayacucho Region at the South High Andean of Peru, recently created by Estrategia, a National Grassroots women's organization. The grassroots women require to be heard and get the…

Noorjahan-Akbar-2Noorjahan Akbar is fighting for girls' rights.

By Alyse Walsh | The Daily Beast

Interview with Noorjahan Akbar - Afghanistan Correspondent for Safeworld.

October 2012

Twenty-one-year-old Afghan activist Noorjahan Akbar says the Taliban’s shooting of schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai only strengthens the fight for girls’ rights.

The news that the Taliban gunned down a schoolgirl last week shocked the world, but not a young woman named Noorjahan Akbar. The 21-year-old Akbar has been leading a fight for women’s rights in Afghanistan—and she’s quite familiar with seeing women in her region get targeted for “crimes” such as seeking an education, refusing a forced marriage, or fleeing an abusive husband. Akbar, the cofounder of a nonprofit group called Young Women for Change, has been instrumental in organizing trailblazing efforts such as the first Afghan march against street harassment, radio campaigns about gender equality, and street posters against child marriage and abuse. This year, her group opened a women’s Internet cafe in Kabul, providing a place for women to gather and share ideas.

Akbar, currently studying at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, is quick to admit that her activism puts her at risk. Still, she soldiers on. This past spring, she joined Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on stage at Newsweek and The Daily Beast’s Women in the World Summit, and she blogs for Afghan websites, boldly speaking up for women.

What’s the reaction among young women in Afghanistan and Pakistan to the shooting?

Many of the young girls I know and their friends are scared, especially activists. Parents are scared that the same thing could happen to their daughters. But the amount of support through media and protests in Afghanistan and Pakistan is a sign of how powerful Malala is and how powerful other women can be. It is a horrible situation for her and scary for all of us, but given how much attention has been paid to it—even local people have defended her—I think it’s a hopeful message.

Is this tragedy a shock or has violence been increasing against girls and women?

I don’t think it comes as a shock. It happens too often. Just this summer, the women’s rights activist in Afghanistan Hanifa Safi was killed. We’ve had 50 honor killings since March. It’s becoming less shocking or terrifying because it happens very, very often.

Malala’s case was more horrifying because she was so young and because nobody would look at her as a threat, as a 14-year-old girl promoting education. [When someone older is attacked], people don’t think of it as news—nobody heard when Hanifa Safi was killed this summer. Everyone’s talking about Malala, which is good because it happens all the time. Afghanistan created a program to pray for her in schools. Fifteen girls had acid thrown on their face a couple of years ago, but nobody held a public protest. More than 300 girls were poisoned in Afghan schools this summer specifically because they want an education. And that’s a big deal, but nobody wants to talk about that. Malala’s case has created such a buzz and it deserves it, but so many of these cases go completely ignored.

I try to stay updated as much as I can about world news, but I hadn’t heard of her before the shooting. The media doesn’t focus on these women who are making everyday accomplishments. I am connected to these women everywhere, but the media doesn’t cover the stories of these heroic women until something happens to them, which is really sad.

What is effect of an event like this on the work that you and other activists do?

Maybe 10 to 12 years ago, people wouldn’t have held a protest because a young girl was attacked. But now it is happening and people are speaking up against it, fighting, and protesting. That gives me a lot of hope for the future. Not just for me and my work, but for other women.

When Hanifa Safi was killed, for weeks everybody was terrified. [This time], we will have the ability to be empowered through the support Malala is being given. It will give [activists] the ability to work harder and the ability to know so many people are willing to stand up for them. It will give them more courage. But many, many people do think that the fact that this could happen will prevent people from activism.

The fact that people are holding protests, rallies, vigils and candlelight events is definitely a sign of progress … As extremists and terrorists gain more political and military power, atrocities like this will increase. I hope that this will be a wake-up call for our people and our governments about what ideologies they should support or negotiate with.

Do you and the young women you work with get threatened with violence?

Noorjahan-Akbar-3Akbar says Malala's experience will only strengthen the fight. (David Gill courtesy Dickinson Magazine)We get threats about this all the time, threats of being killed, threats for being women activists. It’s normal to get threats. But seeing it actually happen, the threat actually taking reality, gives us [reason to pause]. The next time I see a threat, I will probably be more careful.

She was asking for a very, very basic thing that even our society should accept. If a young woman promoting education for girls can be shot in this way, an older woman who talks about more controversial issues, like women’s rights to political action, women’s rights to assemble, women’s rights to participate in the economy, well that could feel even more threatening.

Malala was promoting girls’ education, something you have campaigned for as well. Why is this such a serious threat to the Taliban?

Anything that empowers women to be mobilized is scary to the Taliban because of their definitions of Islam, of culture, of how the society should be led. One of the most important factors in controlling the family is the lack of women’s participation. If you have an enlightened mother at home, she’s much less likely to support you going to war or to prevent your sister from going to school. Women are viewed in our culture and everywhere to some extent as the protectors. So women’s freedom is scary for any organization that wants to keep things the way they are.

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