Our expertise lies in our comprehensive and all-inclusive approach to addressing poverty and injustice. While the Africa Community Impact Organization works with people of all ages, backgrounds, and genders, women make up 70% of the world’s poor. Women and girls experience poverty, hardship, climate change, conflict, and health emergencies in very different ways than men, necessitating specialized responses.

Acknowledging specific needs

While gender inequality is a major cause of poverty and one of the most prevalent forms of injustice, our evidence shows that when women are empowered, they bring their entire communities with them.

True gender equality includes intersectional issues like race and disability, which can further disadvantage certain groups of women, but once achieved, leads to more scalable and sustainable prosperity.

Africa Community Impact Organization prioritizes the needs and rights of women and girls in all that we do. It reflects our practical approach to poverty alleviation, the specific technical expertise we’ve gained as a diverse global network, and it’s an important part of our identity as an organization founded on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

How does Africa Community Impact Organization focus on women and girls?

Gender equality pervades all of our developmental initiatives. Africa Community Impact Organization has developed tools and methods to ensure that we address the rights and needs of women and girls in all areas of our work over the course of our eight years of experience since we began working in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Gender Marker for Africa Community Impact Organization

The Gender Marker developed by Africa Community Impact Organization is a self-assessment program quality and learning tool. It assesses the level of gender integration in programming, ranging from harmful to “transformative. The Gender Marker allows Africa Community Impact Organization to monitor, improve, and support more effective gender-integrated programming. It is intended to be used in conjunction with Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning systems to assist our teams in reflecting on and learning from their work’s gendered approach.

Fast guide gender analysis 

Women and girls face unique risks during times of crisis due to gender inequities that can be exacerbated by insecurity.

The quick guide Gender Analysis is used in times of crisis when time is of the essence and resources are limited. They are built up gradually, using a variety of primary and secondary data to comprehend gender roles and relationships and how they may change during a crisis. It informs practical programming and operational recommendations aimed at meeting the various needs of women, girls, and other vulnerable groups.

Working toward gender equality necessitates a shift in gender norms and structures. This cannot be accomplished without the participation of men and boys. We bring together men and boys to reflect on gender relations and to empower them to be active participants in promoting gender equality. The approach of Africa Community Impact Organization to working with men and boys for gender equality is deeply rooted in local contexts and rights-based approaches. In order to deconstruct the social and gendered norms that reinforce patriarchy and inequality, meaningful engagement with men and boys is essential.

Micro savings clubs in the community

The Village Savings and Loans Association is a successful practice used in Africa Community Impact Organization programs to encourage the formation of savings groups within communities. Savings groups are self-managed groups of 15 to 25 people who meet on a regular basis to save money in a secure environment, obtain small loans, and obtain emergency insurance. The Village Savings and Loan Association model can also be adapted for emergencies, which, when combined with cash and voucher assistance, can help crisis-affected populations achieve better outcomes.

Stories about how we are focusing on women and girls

  1. In Democratic Republic of Congo

With the DRC’s drought worsening, the protection of women and girls is more at risk than ever. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been hit hard by natural disasters such as drought. While the country is cooler and drier in the southern highlands and cooler but wetter in the eastern highlands, dry spells have occurred in recent years due to below-average seasonal rainfall. Protection is one of the least funded clusters, receiving only 14.3% of the $ 569 million required, with only $ 32 million allocated. According to recent reports, as gender inequality increases, so does food security. Women eat last and eat the least. Women were not eating any meals in some areas where men reported eating fewer meals.

The DRC’s worsening drought has forced women to walk further to access water and basic services, making them vulnerable to sexual violence. Girls are dropping out of school in greater numbers, putting them at risk of early marriage. Parents who can no longer afford to pay for school are favoring boys over girls. Gender-based violence is a major concern for females. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an increase in gender-based violence because girls were absent from school. Early marriages become possible as a result of GBV. As the drought worsens, many girls are dropping out of school to help their parents find food. Beatrice, 12, had to drop out of school to help her parents.

Millions of people have been displaced, resulting in high levels of family separation, which has unintentionally exposed women and girls to Gender-Based Violence (GBV). As families struggle to cope with the current drought, women are taking on more responsibilities as the number of female-headed households rises. 90% of food preparation and purchasing is done by women. Women’s businesses have suffered as a result of the drought, causing many to lose their sources of income. Beatrice is one of many Congolese women who have experienced emotional and psychological abuse. Beatrice, a divorced mother and sole breadwinner for her nine children, was stigmatized and ostracized at the Kitasha – Minembwe camp where she fled due to her Gender Based Violence.

” The ethnical fights and destruction in my life terrified me. I had lost all of my possessions, and even though I had settled in this camp, finding food and providing for my family remained difficult. I had no choice but to go out and beg for food. Millions of people have been displaced, leading to high levels of ethnic conflict”.

“The erosion of women’s and girls’ rights is detrimental to the progress made over the years,” said Alexis, President and Executive Director of Africa Community Impact Organization. Drought-displaced people report a 65% increase in GBV cases, particularly intimate partner violence and rape, compared to the same period in 2021. Girls’ early marriage increased by 7% between October 2021 and March 2022. This is linked to the risks of harmful traditional practices such as female cultural injustice and GBV. This calls for increased support for the protection sector, especially on International Women’s Day. Currently, Africa Community Impact Organization is working in the Democratic Republic of Congo, South-Kivu to offer not only psychosocial support to affect women and girls but also health and education support. 

written by Jenet RUBIRIZI