Not For Profit Organizations Revolutionizing Life for Women in Colombia - Mags Tanev
The landscape of women’s rights, education, and empowerment in Colombia has progressed significantly over recent decades. The country has ratified all current international treaties on human and women’s rights, as well as made decisive moves towards enacting laws that promote gender equality and prevent violence against women. For many women in Colombia, their current situation is a far cry from the one they experienced only a few decades ago when the country was deep in the throes of its most violent and corrupt era. Just one indicator of this is the increase in educational participation of Colombian girls – between 1989 and 2011, the amount of girls finishing secondary school rose from 37% to 94%.
However, that’s not to say that there still isn’t much work to do or gaps to close. While government initiatives and national laws are essential in the move towards gender equality in Colombia, there are also a number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) doing vital work to promote women’s rights and provide them with newfound opportunities.
Here are our top not-for-profit organizations revolutionizing life for women in Colombia right now.
Casa de la Mujer
Founded in 1982, Casa de la Mujer has been working to defend, protect, and promote women’s rights in Colombia. The feminist organization works across 20 of the country’s regions to bring together and empower women who have been impacted by conflict, creating strengthening spaces for them on a national level.
The organization works to make visible the stories of women who have been affected by Colombia’s violent past, and include them in narratives of historical memory and the peacebuilding initiatives of today.
Casa de la Mujer has contributed to the organizational strengthening and collective power of approximately 1,000 organizations in different regions across the country. The NGO has trained and advised around 9,000 Colombian women from different ethnic, geographical, sexual, and cultural backgrounds, allowing them to recognize and exert their rights and autonomy.
Fundación WWB Colombia
Fundación WWB Colombia works to economically empower women through comprehensive business and personal training programs, investing in commercial projects that deliver social impact and close the gaps of inequality, as well as conducting research and analysis on entrepreneurship led by or for women.
The organization’s 2020 vision is to help 20,000 women entrepreneurs in Valle del Cauca raise their sales revenue by an average of 50%, while decreasing the risk of them facing violence in their homes.
Liga Internacional de Mujeres por la Paz y Libertad (LIMPAL)
LIMPAL Colombia is a feminist, pacifist, and antimilitarist organization that works for peacebuilding and the recognition, defence, and protection of women’s and children’s rights in Colombia. The non-profit is part of the Women’s International League For Peace and Freedom (WILPF), which is known as the oldest women’s peace organization in the world.
LIMPAL Colombia believes that peace depends on improving women’s rights and quality of life in Colombia, and that women’s participation in the peace process is integral to be able to form a more inclusive, equitable, and democratic society. The NGO also supports grassroots projects that provide economic empowerment for women through fair trade.
Sisma Mujer, founded in 1998, is a feminist NGO which works with victims of gender violence and discrimination, providing individual and collective empowerment to help them transform their own reality and bring an end to violence against women and girls in Colombia.
Since its conception, Sisma Mujer has directly impacted more than 25,474 women, girls, and child victims of violence from across the country, spanning ethnic and political backgrounds. Sisma Mujer has contributed towards the implementation of legislation and public policy in favor of women’s justice and putting an end to women’s violence.
Fundación de la Mujer
Fundación de la Mujer is a Colombian microfinance organization which targets women from low-income backgrounds, aiming to improve their quality of life through support for their businesses. The organization has been supporting women’s business initiatives for 31 years by providing microfinance solutions which allow them to acquire raw materials or the equipment necessary to expand.
Fundación de la Mujer also offers financial education to its community of women business owners to help them take control of their finances through workshops on areas such as savings and emergency planning, market knowledge, and financial protection.
Another not-for-profit organization doing vital work for women in Colombia is Proyecto Florecer. The organization supports Latin American females in the country by offering grassroots programmes that aim to empower women and give them the opportunities to break cycles of poverty, under-employment, sex trafficking, gender discrimination, drug abuse, early pregnancy, under-education and abusive relationships. Proyecto Florecer hopes to enable young women to reach their potential and become confident, socially-conscious leaders of their communities.