Strengthen the collective capacity of CSOs, first responders, service providers, and lawyers to improve legal protections for women affected by or at risk of GBV and HIV.
About Women and Girls Empowered (WAGE)
OUR WORK IN ESWATINI
Phase I (2020 – 2021): WAGE engaged with local stakeholders on legal reform priorities and advocated for improved access to legal aid for Swati women at risk of or affected by GBV and HIV. WAGE also prioritized support to local partners through training on harmful gender norms and the provision of small grants to conduct community outreach and education on gender equality. Additionally, WAGE established facilitated connections between gender-focused CSOs to improve GBV service coordination.
Phase II (2021-2022): Building on lessons learned and momentum from Phase I, WAGE is continuing to advocate for improved laws to protect Swati women and educate lawyers, CSOs, government actors, and the private sector about the importance of legal reform and legal aid in Eswatini. WAGE is also continuing to build CSO capacity on GBV and WEE integration, raise community awareness on gender equality, and improve care for GBV survivors.
Women and Girls Empowered (WAGE) is a global consortium to advance the status of women and girls, led by the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) in close partnership with the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), Grameen Foundation, and Search for Common Ground (Search). WAGE works to strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations (CSOs) and private sector organizations in target countries to improve the prevention of and response to gender-based violence (GBV); advance the women, peace, and security (WPS) agenda; and support women’s economic empowerment (WEE). In this context, WAGE provides direct assistance to women and girls, including information, resources, and services they need to succeed as active and equal participants in the global economy and public life. WAGE also engages in collaborative research and learning to build a body of evidence of relevant promising practices in these thematic areas. To account for the deeply interconnected nature of women’s and girls’ experiences, WAGE’s initiatives employ approaches that are highly collaborative, integrated, and inclusive. WAGE is funded by the U.S. Department of State Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues.
Beginning in 2020, Integrating the Response to GBV, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), and Economic Marginalization of Swati Women is a multi-phased program working at the intersection of GBV and WEE in Eswatini. WAGE works strategically with CSO, government, and private sector partners across three core pillars: access to justice, prevention, and protection, with a focus on legal reform, holistic service provision, and addressing harmful gender norms with key populations. The program ensures that economic strengthening (ES) programs do not result in GBV or other unintended consequences for women beneficiaries. WAGE Eswatini is led by ABA ROLI with WEE technical expertise from Grameen Foundation.
Our vision is a world in which women and girls enjoy equality, freedom from violence and poverty, and meaningful inclusion in the processes that shape their communities, nations, and international affairs.
Promote effective GBV prevention strategies.
Provide holistic services to economically active women, including referrals to GBV survivors.
WAGE seeks to establish meaningful partnerships with and among government, lawyers, CSOs, and the private sector to ensure a holistic approach to supporting Swati women at the intersection of GBV/HIV and economic empowerment. By engaging with established entities, WAGE takes a locally relevant and sustainable approach to addressing key development challenges in Eswatini. WAGE's local partners house some of the best experts on gender-related issues and advocacy in Eswatini, including Kwakha Indvodza (KI), Lulote, and Small Enterprises Development Company Limited (SEDCO), among others.
WAGE collaborates closely with local CSOs through civic education and gender awareness raising campaigns. WAGE harnesses community learning groups to continue legal education on citizens’ rights under legislation related to women’s access to justice and participation in the economy. WAGE also supports local partners to implement social media campaigns that address harmful gender norms and highlight positive notions of fatherhood.
In addition, WAGE provides financial and technical support to ES CSOs to help mitigate GBV risks in their work. WAGE will establish a national GBV/ES community of practice to facilitate information sharing and improved response to GBV.
Strengthen the capacity of CSO to prevent GBV
Integrating the Response to GBV, HIV, and Economic Marginalization of Swati Women
COVID-19 has resulted in an increase in GBV and the need for more accessible and integrated survivor-centered services. WAGE facilitates linkages between ES and GBV CSOs to help foster knowledge of their respective roles. WAGE capitalizes on these networks to cement an overall commitment to minimum prevention and response standards. WAGE is also creating a service directory to be distributed to relevant providers and in communities.
Advocate for better laws to protect women
WAGE works with stakeholders across the Eswatini government, civil society, and
the legal profession to advocate for better laws protecting women through legal
analysis, roundtable dialogues, and the development and implementation of a legal advocacy strategy.
Addressing the intersection of HIV, GBV and economic marginalization
WAGE believes if lawyers, CSOs, and government have enhanced collective capacity to advocate for better laws protecting women affected by GBV, HIV, and economic marginalization, and if service providers are able to promote more holistic and gender-sensitive services to women facing discrimination and violence, then Swati women will have greater power to lead more resilient, independent, economically sustainable, and violence-free lives.
Improve GBV service coordination
Grameen's ACTIVITIES in partnership with local cso's