Community Advocates Program
Fostering Community-based Leadership
WJI selects graduates of its education program to serve in leadership positions as Community Advocates. The program trains these women to be leaders, human rights educators, and mentors to their peers. As they educate and advise women on their rights, Community Advocates become voices for change in their communities, combating gender inequality and violence against women.
In August, WJI selected the first round of ten Community Advocates who will participate in the year-long program. In preparation for their leadership roles, Advocates participate in an in-depth training program on women’s rights, gender violence, reproductive and property rights, and public participation. Through the course, the women strengthen their knowledge and leadership skills, preparing them to serve as educators and peer mentors in their communities.
Community Advocates are responsible for running the Women’s Rights Education Program in their communities. Through workshop facilitation the Advocates gain valuable experience leading a group of their peers. Additionally, Community Advocates conduct regular meetings with women with legal needs. By providing a trusted individual from their community who can accompany and advise them through the process, WJI is improving women’s ability to successfully navigate the legal system.
The University of Virginia School of Law’s Human Rights Law Clinic continues to assist with the development and implementation of the Community Advocates training program. In August, a representative from UVA Law attended WJI’s first two trainings for the Community Advocates. UVA Law students will return toGuatemalain November to participate in additional trainings.