A significant growth in women’s leadership in community disaster preparedness and resilience was seen in 2015, specifically in Afghanistan, Vietnam, Myanmar and India. It took root in all of our emergency response work, with several countries actively linking up with local and national women’s forums – such as in the response to Ebola in Liberia.
We also worked increasingly on women’s protection and leadership in emergency responses, developing a niche approach and expertise in some contexts.
ActionAid Australia’s delegation on women’s rights and leadership brought countries and the emergencies and conflict team together to create ‘Defining our Difference: Women’s Leadership, Rights and Protection in Emergencies’, which commits ActionAid to targets on women’s leadership in emergencies.
2015: A year in review. During 2015 women and men living in poverty faced deep challenges. Disasters continue to be more frequent and more intense. Militarism and conflict has increased the vulnerability of the poor. Growing economic inequality has deepened the capture of state by local elites and powerful multinational corporations, with states consistently failing to protectrights and sometimes severely curtaining civil society. Women continued to experience deep exclusion and violation of their rights. Youth continues to be excluded due patterns of jobless growth and lack of participation. In this difficult context, we believe that more than never, we need to be committed, passionate, and agile to serve the communities and movements we work with.
To work with poor and excluded people to eradicate poverty and injustice.
OUR STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES
PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
A world without poverty and injustice in which every person enjoys their right to a life of dignity.
343,300 farmers are now practicing or have been trained to practice climate-resilient sustainable agriculture.
177,800 women have a greater understanding of their rights and entitlements to land and natural resources.
77,400 women report increased control over land or other natural resources.
3,750 women’s groups have been organised to claim rights and entitlements.
ActionAid supported the deepening of climate resilient sustainable agriculture (CRSA) through farmer to farmer exchange. More than 343,000 farmers are now practicing or have been trained to practice CRSA.
Schoolchildren in Nepal now study a curriculum developed by ActionAid and a local NGO, on sustainable agriculture. This is the first initiative of its kind in Nepal, and schoolchildren in 51 government schools are now learning about new and more efficient farming methods.
We launched four policy advocacy briefs targeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) process.
These emphasised the need for measurable security of tenure to land and natural resources.
We advocated for food security responses to be gender-sensitive and for women to be included in the monitoring and response process. We also successfully established and hosted the inaugural Agro-Ecology Working Group in The Gambia.
#LandFor Multi-Country Campaign
This year our multi-country campaign #LandFor continued to successfully challenge and reduce government and donor incentives fuelling land grabs – 108,700 supporters joined us in taking action against land grabs in 2015.
We also launched a bold report exposing a land grab in Bagamoyo, Tanzania – where 1,300 people are being pushed off their land for a sugar cane plantation run by a Swedish-owned company. Advocacy, including intensive policy work from ActionAid Sweden, contributed to the withdrawal of Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) funding of the Bagamoyo project.
Limit of land-based biofeuls in Europe, because of their detrimental social and environmental impacts on the Gloabl South --including land grabs
ADVANCE ECONOMIC JUSTICE
1,250 local governments took steps to increase accountability to communities, including consultation, planning and open information initiatives and monitoring.
ActionAid was active in 40 coalitions and campaigns on tax justice, providing capacity building and technical support, facilitating networking and lobbying.
In Mozambique, members from district platforms were included on local government councils, which led to citizens’ needs being incorporated into one local government’s plans. Around 3,300 people benefitted from the construction of a borehole and maternity wards
In Zimbabwe, one city council increased nurse-to-patient ratios by 15%, while 1,500 people were provided with safe drinking water by the drilling of two boreholes by another local council following our advocacy. Land was provided for a police post with the intention of preventing gender-based violence.
In Kenya, we developed basic health service delivery charters in three counties – and gender-responsive school improvement plans in a further 11 – which will enable communities to hold public service providers to account.
ActionAid Zambia worked with the Zambia Tax Platform. As a result, from 2016, the government has significantly increased funding for the Social Cash Transfer to 302 million Zambian kwacha (€46,000). It is expected that this funding will benefit 250,000 vulnerable people.
#TaxPower Multi-Country Campaign
This year, we continued to generate respected evidence on the tax problem and its alternatives.
ActionAid UK, Australia, the Netherlands, and Malawi contributed to the corporate exposé, ‘An Extractive Affair’, which revealed how the Australian mining company Paladin managed to cut its tax bill by US$43 million (€32 million) in Malawi – enough to pay the salaries of 39,000 teachers.
In November 2015, ActionAid published ‘Getting to Good’. This paper moves the tax debate forward – suggesting new ideas and setting out a vision for positive change. These reports received a significant media reception, and the Paladin report resulted in the Malawi government saying it would look into the company’s tax affairs.
ActionAid International played a pivotal role in the Financing for Development (FFD) conference this year – a key influencing moment for progressive global corporate tax reform to sustainably fund the world’s development aspirations.
IMPROVE QUALITY OF EDUCATION
This year saw our Promoting Rights in Schools framework (10 core education rights) yet more firmly embedded in communities, with results becoming ever-more visible in terms of community empowerment and communities’ capacity to mobilise and challenge decision-makers to address gaps in the education system.
295,500 people are aware of the 10 core education rights.
3,200 schools significantly progressed on two or more of the 10 core education rights in the Promoting Rights in Schools programme.
In Bangladesh, Reflection-Action members and girls clubs teamed up with local journalists to monitor teacher absenteeism in a government school – and this advocacy led to the improved attendance of teachers.
In Myanmar, child sponsorship programming has continued to focus on child rights and protection, including building child spaces, forming child groups/clubs, supporting Early Childhood Care and Development centres, forming night study groups, creating mini libraries, and holding handicraft and creative drawing trainings.
As part of the ‘Send My Friend to School’ campaign, ActionAid UK provided learning materials used by over 12,000 teachers, and reaching more than 500,000 children. Children sent messages to UK parliamentarians about the need for the UK government and world leaders to address the global education crisis.
ActionAid Ghana continued to mobilise and strengthen youth groups to become agents of change through a campaign for youth and women’s involvement in local-level decision making. As a result of the campaign, 16 women and 11 youth in Tain district were appointed to a local decision-making body and had the chance to assertively table concerns on poverty and injustice.
We created over 800 youth platforms & mobilised over 57,500 young people to take action on issues such tax justice, sexual and reproductive health rights, child marriage, girls’ safety in schools and public spaces, and the monitoring of public service delivery and anti-corruption.
We developed ‘Democracy Watchdogs’, a publication that led to the development of online training components utilised by our coalition partners, and also led to the selection of four young people from the Arab Regional Initiative, Bangladesh, Liberia, and Zambia to engage in dialogue on the goals & targets of the SDGs.
RESPOND TO DISASTERS
103 of ActionAid’s Local Rights Programmes have integrated risk reduction strategies and allocated budgets to address capacity gaps.
Over 700,000 people received humanitarian assistance in ways that respected their rights.
In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Nepal:
Over 9,000 educational kits distributed
PROMOTE WOMEN'S RIGHTS
43,700 women reported increased control over income and greater negotiating power.
1,360 community-driven initiatives were taken to protect women and girls from harmful traditional practices.
Those involved in our work in Brazil took part in the ‘March of the Daisies’, which brought together 25,000 women farmers from across the country to advocate for women’s rights. The march resulted in a government undertaking to construct 1,200 childcare centres in rural communities and settlements by 2018.
In the UK, ActionAid published the ‘Close the Gap’ report, which showed that unequal pay and participation in the labour force are costing women in poor countries US$9 trillion per year (€6.7 trillion) and US$17 trillion (€12.7 trillion) globally.
In India, 6,050 fisherwomen from two states were organised into 40 collectives and cooperatives, and provided with training on key issues such as fish processing, adding value through processing, leadership and accounting. They were also set up for 500 women farmers who were trained on organic farming methods, and for 4,000 informal sector workers who were provided with skills training.
Advocacy by ActionAid in Bangladesh resulted in the provision of separate women’s toilets and women-only transport to be added to the Dhaka City development plan. The number of CCTV cameras on the streets of Dhaka increased significantly.
ActionAid Pakistan formed 29 community vigilance groups, which focus on the issue of violence against women, and girl-child marriage. These groups have mobilised women and girls, linking them to relevant government departments to address the issue of girl-child marriages.
In Zimbabwe, over 3,500 young women and girls received comprehensive sexuality education, with 48 volunteer teachers being subsequently trained to disseminate the information to young people in their communities.
#SafeCities For Women Campaign
On International Women’s Day, we launched our Safe Cities for Women Campaign in 20 countries in 35 cities around the world
No. of people engaged through ActionAid Ireland with the campaign through a public exhibition, theatre event, and campaigner training.
No. of people in Brazil who attended 'Occupy Passarinho', a movement that communities mobilised for. Several social movements and NGOs were part of this crowd.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, ActionAid linked grassroots women of Kisenso with a national women’s rights network, and 600 community members were mobilised to draft a letter of demands to the National Ministry of Gender on International Women’s Day.
In Ethiopia, ActionAid organised over 700 women in self-help groups and formed two wider associations to explore their environment in relation to safe cities.
Communities in Bangladesh submitted demand charters to local government, through evidence gathered from watch groups looking into the causes of violence against women in slums. The campaign secured a full-page supplement on violence against women and safe cities in a daily newspaper, reaching approximately 1.5 million readers.
In the UK, over 60,000 people took action in support of the campaign – recruiting 30,000 new campaign supporters.
Activistas from Liberia and South Africa filmed testimonials for a documentary for the International Day against Homophobia, which linked the Safe Cities campaign with our partners’ work on LGBTI.
In Bangladesh, over 10,000 men are now aware of the value of unpaid care work, and over 60% of them were able to explain inequitable gender norms surrounding unpaid care work.
In Ghana, public awareness and sensitisation reshaped men's attitudes, leading them to support the demands of women smallholder farmers' to access extension services, childcare centres and redistribution of unpaid care work.
In Nigeria, there was increased recognition of the value of women’s unpaid care work. This was achieved through an EU-funded project that worked with 12 male ‘champions’ to promote the rights of women, children and young people.
In Uganda, men involved in work by ActionAid explained to their communities the various unjust gender norms, including unpaid care work. They also campaigned to encourage men to help relieve women of the burden of household chores.
Temporary shelters provided to more than 7,000 people