WPHF, in partnership with the Spotlight Initiative, is supporting women in Liberia to contribute to peace by financing a range of local CSO projects that aim to end gender-based violence, promote women’s rights, and advance gender equality in conflict settings.
In Liberia, the WPHF and Spotlight Initiative partnership is channeling rapid financing to grassroots women’s organizations working to end violence against women and promote human rights and gender equality in peace and security contexts.
We’re supporting local actors working to protect the safety, security and fundamental rights of Liberian women and girls.
This financing is strengthening the capacity of women’s rights groups and social movements — including those representing youth and groups facing intersecting forms of discrimination — to advance progress on women’s empowerment, gender equality and women’s contributions to peace across the country.
WPHF is actively supporting 20 local projects implemented by 46 women’s civil society organizations in Liberia:
Humanitarian and Crisis Response & Peacebuilding and Recovery
- Sister’s Hand Liberia, Inc. (SHL) — together with Center of Security Study and Development — on a project to enhance women’s role in Liberia’s COVID-19 decision-making and counter their COVID-19-related marginalization through different initiatives, including an assessment of the areas most hit by COVID-19 in the lives of women and girls, townhall meetings, the establishment of local platforms, and the development of a policy report on women and COVID-19.
- Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD) — together with Women NGO Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL) — on a project to increase women’s and girls’ political participation and reduce their vulnerabilities through leadership training, economic empowerment, and psychological support.
- Community Development and Research Agency (CODRA) on a project to strengthen the participation of women and girls in humanitarian crisis response through enhancing the planning and programming capacity of disaster management committees, developing gender-responsive humanitarian crisis response plans, livelihoods skills building, and creating Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA schemes.
- Platform for Dialogue and Peace (P4DP) — together with Traditional Women United for Peace, Liberia Albino Society, Mandate for Positive Change, Young African Gender Equality N’Initiative, Women Education and Development Organization of Liberia and Positive Change Women and Girls Initiatives — on a project to increase the socio-economic status of marginalized women and girls through the establishment of or support to VSLAs — using the Kuu system for solidarity and other innovative approaches to enhance the visibility of social and cultural norms against GBV, marginalization, and other forms of discrimination against women and girls through media awareness campaigns.
- Women for Positive Action (WOPA) — together with Action for Girls & Women Survival (AGWOMSUR) and Disabled Children and Female Empowerment Network, Inc. — on a project to i) enhance women’s socio-economic empowerment through VSLA mechanisms, access to finance knowledge, and the provision of small loans; ii) increase women’s political participation through political advocacy coaching and consultations for the development of a strategic plan to increase women’s political participation in the 2023 national elections; and iii) amplify the sensitization of communities on the importance of women’s involvement.
- Community Sustainable Development Organization (COSDO) on a project to mitigate the socio-economic and humanitarian impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on women and girls by providing food assistance to female-headed households and women with disabilities, building the capacity of women’s rights groups, broadcasting public health messages on the radio, and monitoring of the pandemic and related humanitarian crises in three counties.
- Africa Children Initiative for Self-Empowerment (ACISE) — together with Women and Children Development Secretariat (WOCDES), Grand Gedeh County Freedom of Information Network (GEFOINET) and United Family for Reconstruction (UFAR) — on a project to economically empower women to recover from COVID-19 and strengthen their businesses through cash stimulus business packages, as well as to increase women’s political participation in local governance through participatory conventions, advocacy, and trainings in six districts of Grand Gedeh County.
- CARE FOUND LIBERIA on a project to prevent violence and abuse against women and girls across 40 communities in Bomi and Rivercess counties through sensitization, targeted advocacy and capacity training.
- Community Sustainable Development Organization (COSDO) on a project to enhance the capacity of a network of five women’s rights groups working in 10 rural communities in the counties of Maryland, River Gee and Grand Kru to combat economic violence against women and strengthen their rights to inheritance and land.
- PASD on a project to end violence against women and girls and advance gender equality and women’s empowerment across three counties – Gbarpolu, Grandbassa and Margibi – through advocacy, policy development and capacity building.
- FCI, Girls for Change, and Liberia and Youth Coalition for Education (YOCEL) on a joint project to develop self-sustained safety nets, local community action plans and a mobile application for women and girls to report on three categories of violence against women.
- Gbowee Peace Foundation on a project to develop and train women peace brigades that will mentor 5,000 young women as peace advocates in the counties of Montserrado, Grand Gadeh and Lofa.
- HOPE on a project to engage local authorities and community leaders in Bomi and Bong counties as gender champions to help prevent sexual and gender-based violence and advance gender equality and women’s empowerment.
- Platform for Dialogue and Peace (P4DP) on a project called “Mobile4Women” that engages women and girls in the counties of Montserrado and GrandBassa utilizing audio-visual tools to conduct research and design strategies to address the marginalization of women and combat sexual and gender-based violence.
- Women Empowerment Network (WEN) on a project to train women and girls in four counties on measures to address violence against women through the establishment of a series of awareness-raising initiatives, such as Palava Hut discussions and community radio dialogues.
In 2013, Liberia celebrated 10 years of uninterrupted peace. These years of peace and virtual stability provided an opportunity for Liberia to begin to focus on its long-term development strategies and priorities. While progress has been made in improving the country’s capacity to respond to development issues, grave challenges remain, particularly for the country’s women and youth. In 2014, Liberia was struck by the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak, which rapidly devolved into a full blown humanitarian crisis.
The EVD crisis overwhelmed Liberia’s health system and further splintered the social and economic gains made since the end of the conflict. Deep-seated insecurity and entrenched stigma associated by the Ebola outbreak further reinforced gender inequities across the country, putting women and girls at risk of sexual and gender based violence and further compromising their health, dignity, safety and autonomy.
In Liberia, the WPHF and Spotlight Initiative partnership is fostering the effective implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda, deepening grassroots women’s contributions to the restoration of peace through tangible results in local CSO efforts to protect human rights and combat sexual and gender-based violence.