Women’s Rights Education Program
Eighty Women Graduate from WJI’s Education Program
In the past two months, eighty women graduated from WJI’s Women’s Rights Education Program, a six-month legal literacy course. Through the program, women receive training on issues affecting many of them, including domestic violence, reproductive rights, and property and inheritance rights. The program also provides skills-building workshops, focusing on leadership, decision-making, and communication skills.
Women who have participated in the Women’s Rights Education Program not only significantly increase their knowledge of their rights, but also report increased self confidence, better communication in their families, and greater willingness to participate in community meetings.
“After participating in the trainings, I am able to communicate better with my husband. I am not afraid to tell him how I feel and think because I know that I also have rights. There is now better communication and trust between us. As a result, I have talked to him about family planning and we have decided how many children we want to have and are planning when we will have our first baby.”
–Dora Alicia, Women’s Rights Education Program participant
With WJI’s assistance, the first group of graduates initiated a Women’s Committee in their community. Through this committee, the women will take on leadership roles and will ensure that women are better represented in community decisions. The committee will work with local leadership to assess women’s needs, to recommend programs that serve women, and to be a voice for women among community leaders.
“I had always planned to leave my land to my sons. Through the trainings I realized that that isn’t right, that I should divide it between all of my children, both my sons and daughters. One of my sons told me that his sisters don’t need the land because they are married. I told him that they all have a right to the land and I will leave equal parts to each of them.”
–Alfonsa, Women’s Rights Education Program participant
From the outset WJI has engaged local leadership, working directly with authorities to develop and plan our work. As a result, the Women’s Rights Education Program has enjoyed strong support from community leadership. In every community, the mayor and town council have spoken about the importance of WJI’s work in community-wide meetings. With visible buy-in from local leaders, WJI has been able to build broad support for our work.
In 2013, WJI will expand the Women’s Rights Education Program to ten communities reaching over 500 women and their families with our work.