In Kenya, 23% of young women are married by the age of 18, and an estimated 21% of girls and women have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM). With support from the Cummins Foundation, Rise Up partnered with the Center for the Study of Adolescence (CSA) in Kenya to implement the Girls Voices Initiative (GVI) to enable Kajiado Girl Leaders to raise their voices against early marriage and FGM and advocate for their rights. CSA selected 24 girls between the ages of 12-14, along with 11 teachers and chaperones, to participate in the GVI Kenya program.
“My Heart Is With This Program” – Rise Up Leaders Gather in Central America
Last month, Rise Up hosted in-country convenings for our Latin American network of Guatemala and Honduras Fellows. Bringing together Rise Up leaders from all previous cohorts since 2009 across the two countries, Rise Up’s leadership and knowledge-sharing convenings strengthen the advocacy of Fellows and foster new alliances and strategic opportunities for them to work together.
Rise Up’s Program Manager Claudia Romeu reflected on her inspiring experience in Honduras with the Fellows and gives us a look into the convening…
by Loretta Stagnitto, Rise Up Leadership Council member
This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the United State of Women (USOW) summit in Los Angeles as a member of the leadership council of Rise Up. Not only was I open to the invitation to attend because I was curious and interested after my great experience at the United Nations State of Women Summit in New York, also through Rise Up, in 2017; I was even more excited because my 25-year-old daughter, who lives and works in Los Angeles, attended part of the Summit with me. Neither one of us knew what to expect (except traffic, crowds, and no parking), but we knew the promise of hearing from Jane Fonda and Michelle Obama were enough to get me on a plane to Southern Cal and a commitment from my daughter to join me.
by April Benavidez King, Rise Up Leadership Council member
I have to admit that when I first received Rise Up’s invitation to the United State of Women (USOW) summit–other than the draw of seeing Michelle Obama and Jane Fonda speak–I really had no idea what was in store for me.
I made the trek down to Los Angeles with great anticipation of what I could learn and walked away with renewed energy and hope.
There were common themes throughout the day, which included the following:
By Kaitlin Chandler
In Nigeria, 20 leaders representing civil society organizations, communities, and companies across Lagos and Abuja, are tackling some of the toughest challenges women and girls face in their country. Often grappling with resource constraints and obstacles like corruption and ingrained gender stereotypes, they are doing the hard work because they have a vision for a more just and equitable Nigeria.
Launched with the support of Cummins, the Leadership Accelerator opened in Nigeria with an intensive first week. Between discussing complex issues and diving deep on advocacy, gender, and leadership, I witnessed leaders experience several “aha” moments to push their work forward.
By Marta Tsehay Sewasew
The United Nations 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62) took place at the United Nations headquarters in New York City from March 12-23, 2018. According to UN Women, more than 4,300 representatives from over 600 civil society organizations and 170 Member States attended. The CSW62 theme was “Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls.” With the recent adoption of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs), the meeting drew experiences from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to address the strategic role of women and girls in achieving the SDGs by 2030.
Rise Up Youth Champion Marta Tsehay attended the event for the first time as a young emerging leader from Ethiopia representing Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership and Rozaria Memorial Trust.
In February, Rise Up Youth Champions shared their voices and expertise as emerging leaders in sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) at the Implementing Best Practices (IBP) Initiative Asia Regional Partners Meeting, a three-day convening held in New Delhi.
The semi-annual IBP event gathered participants from more than 7 countries and 45 organizations to strengthen partnerships, share resources, and activate key initiatives to advance family planning in India and greater Asia.
OAKLAND, CA: Some of the world’s most effective and engaged gender equality organizations will harness their individual expertise into an innovative collective impact project that aims to increase the economic power of women and girls in India. The three-year project, “Collective Impact Partners: Women’s and Girl’s Economic Empowerment Advocacy in India,” will be led by the Global Fund for Women, Global Women’s Leadership Network, Public Health Institute, Rise Up, and World Pulse.
Rise Up uses an externally validated model to enable local leaders to improve health outcomes through leadership and organizational strengthening, funding, and advocacy. Through this work, the Champions for Change Initiative aims to build a better future by improving laws, policies, funding, and programs for girls, youth and women. It is an initiative of Rise Up’s, a flagship global programme of the Public Health Institute that works to advance health, education and equity for girls, youth and women.
Guatemala has taken a huge step forward for girls, officially outlawing child marriage following years of advocacy by activists and girl leaders.
New legislation closes a major loophole in the law, a major victory for girls in a country that has one of the highest rates of child marriage in Latin America. According to Unicef, 30 percent of girls are married by 18 years of age in Guatemala. Most common among Mayan indigenous communities, child marriage is driven by poverty, tradition and lack of education and economic opportunities.