Instrumental collaboration with Atlas Network to advance women’s rights
July 21, 2022
Beneficiaries of our project with Atlas Network have secured access to financial resources, training opportunities, and continue to share their expertise on the global stage. Recipients of the Women’s Economic Freedom grants have achieved numerous successes, including discourse with policymakers, recognition from the media, virtual workshops, and proprietary research initiatives. The grants are supporting and facilitating projects that work to protect and improve women’s rights, oftentimes in regions where women do not have equal access to property, economic, and civil rights.
Some of the organizations supported by our partnership with Atlas Network include the IMANI Center for Policy and Education, which is doing a project in Ghana to increase women’s access to land. Despite Ghana’s New Lands Act, which guarantees equal access to land for women, patriarchal social norms prevent women from accessing or owning property. This is particularly a problem in the rural savannah of Africa, where poverty is increasing, and farming represents the main source of income for residents. By ensuring greater access and control of land, this organization hopes to improve economic opportunity for women in Ghana. To accomplish this, they will publish a policy paper, produce a corresponding video documentary, launch a media campaign, and engage with relevant local stakeholders.
In Burundi, Centre For Development and Enterprises (CDE) Great Lakes received $30,000 for its project “Why Women.” CDE Great Lakes conducted a research study on equality before the law on women’s inheritance in Burundi, to mobilize public opinion and parliamentary support on the passage of the proposed law on inheritance. They published 15 articles, produced 11 videos and organized 74 trainings with women in the midst of defending their land rights. As a result of CDE’s work, the government adopted three policy reforms. First, the government passed a Land code reform, securing access of wives to land titles. Second, the government passed a personal and family code reform, recognizing the existence of women in the management of land. Before, women did not have the right to manage income from the land. Now, they may freely cultivate and sell the product of their labor. Finally, they decentralized the inheritance settlement process by giving local communities the ability to settle land and inheritance disputes, which prioritizes equality before the law among men and women in Burundi. Previously, the Ministry of Justice was the sole responsible for such settlements.
Another project is looking to ease barriers for women’s factory employment in Kerala, India with the Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR). It aims to permit women to work at night in factories and undertake certain jobs that were deemed as hazardous for women centuries ago. Currently, women are prohibited by law from these employment opportunities. This effort will include a policy report and policy brief, both of which will be shared with the Kerala government to guide reforms that will expand women’s economic inclusion in Kerala. Similarly, Trayas Foundation is aiming to repeal and amend state laws that prevent women in India from fully participating in the workforce. Women are restricted by law from industrial work, construction, and mining work, all of which are substantial sectors in the Indian economy; this vastly limits female employment. Trayas Foundation estimates that women will grow India’s GDP by 27% in the country if permitted to enter the workforce where they are presently prohibited.
We are pleased to see the impact that our collaboration with Atlas Network is having and hope to continue advancing women’s economic rights around the world.