Girls and Women’s Empowerment Network (GWEN) Trust Profile

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Vision

“An equal society where adolescent girls and young women thrive through social, economic, political and environmental transformation and empowerment”.

Assignment

Provide support to vulnerable adolescent girls and young women by ensuring they are empowered in all spheres of life.

Goals

  • Empower adolescent girls and young women in all spheres of life.
  • Provide safe spaces for girls and young women to assert their rights at home, in school and in the community.
  • Promote the civic education of girls and young women in community development processes.
  • Facilitate and support AGYW livelihoods.

Region in which we work: Chitungwiza and Mashonaland East

Beneficiaries: Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW)

About GWEN

Girls and Women Empowerment Network Trust is a grassroots organization established in 2015 that seeks to support vulnerable adolescent girls and young women by ensuring that they are empowered in all spheres of life in ways that enable peace, health, access to resources and spaces that advance their social and economic well-being. GWEN is focused on breaking down the barriers AGYW faces by working to eliminate biases and ensuring that women and girls are engaged citizens and leaders in all industries and sectors. The organization has made progress in promoting the rights of adolescent girls and young women through capacity building and knowledge transfer at AGYW in Mashonaland East and Chitungwiza. The organization has worked to advance AGYW’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR). Alarmed by rising rates of drug abuse among young people in Zimbabwe, GWEN has also worked to raise awareness of the negative effects of drug and substance abuse, gender-based sexual violence and promote education civics in communities. Through these initiatives, the organization has reached over 3,000 young people through roadshows, community cinemas, community dialogues and psychosocial support for victims. GWEN envisions a Zimbabwe where girls and young women have access to resources and opportunities for personal and professional development without fear or discrimination and are free to express themselves in public and private spheres.

GWEN has also worked with AGYW to train their agents to advocate and speak out about their own issues in the community. Over the past 5 years, the organization has reached over 5,000 girls and young women, including people with disabilities, with information and services that empower them in different aspects of life, including access to SRHR, information on contraception, STIs, HIV and pregnancy. In this process, the organization gave AGYW the information needed to resist negative peer pressure and access relevant services. On the other hand, understanding that gender equality can only be achieved if we include men in the solutions. The organization ran a “HeForShe” campaign. The campaign aimed to include men in delivering solutions hindering the achievement of SGD 5 calling on men to support women in leadership positions and work for a society free of SGBV.

GWEN is committed to ending all forms of violence, including but not limited to Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV), Honor Violence, Emotional Abuse, Domestic Violence, economic and sexual exploitation of women and girls and physical violence. GWEN provides and facilitates safe platforms for community dialogues to empower communities with knowledge about safeguard laws/policies, places of safety and responsive pathways available to survivors of violence. Apart from this, Gwen also provides socio-psycho support to survivors and victims of gender-based violence and helps them to cope after traumatic events. For a positive impact in society, GWEN partners with relevant Ministries and Departments, namely the Victim Care Unit, the Ministry of Youth Sports, Arts and Recreation and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, the community, small and medium enterprises, as they coordinate work to end sexual and gender-based violence and empower young people. GWEN also supports young women in carrying out income-generating projects to promote Sustainable Development Goals One and Two by providing access to sustainable income-generating projects, including training young women in detergent manufacturing, rabbit breeding, poultry and other vocational training. To date, more than 500 young women have been trained in Seke and Chitungwiza.

GWEN works to empower adolescent girls and young women (AGWY) through civic education. The organization views education as a key factor in empowering women and strongly believes that education enhances women’s development in areas related to economic and health outcomes and reduces the likelihood that women and girls will are victims of sexual and gender-based violence. GWEN is focused on breaking down barriers for AGYW, striving to eliminate biases and ensuring they are empowered to become engaged citizens and leaders in all industries and all sectors. The organization further works with the community to educate the AGYW on the constitution so that it can actively participate in key decision-making processes such as budget consultation and the amendment bill hearing through the constitution. To date, the number of AGYWs participating in key decision-making processes in areas covered by the organization has improved significantly.

As part of awareness raising and capacity building, GWEN also runs community cinemas showing films and documentaries, which are contextually related to the targeted communities. This goes a long way in raising awareness and disseminating information on cases of drug abuse, SRHR, GBV, teenage pregnancy and child marriage. Young people from some communities are invited to watch a film and then engage in dialogue about issues related to the film. It has a positive impact on participants’ awareness, understanding of the situations they face and their visualization. To celebrate International Women’s Day in March 2022, the organization released the film ‘SHAINA’. The young people through the film managed to identify the prejudices surrounding justice for AGYW and the obstacles to their economic independence. Through community cinema, young people identify challenges and face their own practical solutions to end sexual exploitation and child marriage. Reaching young people through community cinemas is an effective way to strengthen youth participation in the global fight against SGBV.

Aware of the importance of girls’ education (SDG4) and alarmed at the number of young girls in Mashonaland East who drop out of school due to financial constraints and early marriages, the organization provides support to school girls in paying the school fees of those who are in school. the point of dropping out. In Zimbabwe, young girls in rural communities miss at least two days of school a month because they do not have access to hygienic clothing, understanding the need to promote girls’ access to SRHR services, organization provides dignity packs to young girls. The dignity pack consisted of reusable towels, wash soap and pants.

Contact Details

  • Social media platforms: Facebook – Girls and Women Empowerment Network, Twitter – @GWEN Trust, Website: www.gwen.org.zw
  • Contact details: +263 242121, +263 715064521
  • Email: [email protected]/ [email protected]

Source: Trust GWEN

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