Violence against women is one of the most pervasive human rights violations of the 21st century and the biggest cause of injury and death to women worldwide.
It is a major constraint to economic development, poverty alleviation and improving health standards in communities across the globe. And it is one of the greatest barriers preventing women from realising their full potential.
But communities around the world are beginning to take notice. In 2012, the shooting of then 15-year old Malala Yousafzai on her way home on a school bus by the Taliban in Pakistan brought worldwide condemnation. And the gang rape and death of a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern on a bus in Delhi later that same year sparked protests across India and the globe.
Despite the milestones achieved in progressing women’s rights by organisations who have worked on the issue for decades, the continuing impunity of perpetrators and failure of states to exercise due diligence in preventing violence against women and girls stand as stark reminders that the world community is continuing to fail to take the necessary steps to end this global crisis.
We need urgent and sustained action to generate systemic change in how governments combat violence against women and to create social change by mobilising communities to put an end to its social acceptance.
Our Theory of Change
Sisters For Change has developed a theory of change that integrates three key components – holding states accountable, informing and mobilising communities to act, and connecting grassroots organisations and activists – to deliver this change.
We will launch these programmes, working with local partners, in India, Indonesia and the UK in 2014-15.
Local partnership & community ownership
Sisters For Change works with local grassroots partners across the world and we are constantly widening our community of practice and expanding the reach and power of our network.
We believe local partners best understand local culture and social systems and can develop the best solutions for how to generate positive change to end violence against women. The result of our collaborative approach is a stronger movement for change, an improved understanding and application of international and domestic law, and a smarter use of data and technology to gather and analyse evidence and co-ordinate advocacy.
As important as working with local partners is ensuring community ownership of each project and campaign that we launch. In the end it is communities – not organisations or government – that will end social acceptance of violence against women and girls. It is communities that will provide leadership and demand results from their governments. And it is communities that have the most to gain – from economic development and improvements in health, to better criminal justice systems and access to justice – from ending violence and discrimination against women.
Measuring our progress
Sisters For Change carefully monitors and evaluates each of its projects. Targets, milestones and evaluation methodologies are agreed with partners before project launch and involve in-depth data collection to define our baseline, mid-term and end-line surveys, focus groups and interviews to assess impact and results.