International Women’s Day 2019
Happy International Women’s Day! At Thare Machi Education, we are excited every 8th of March to celebrate the awesome and far-reaching power of women; our founder, Helen Taylor-Thompson, was a WWII spy and has been advocating for health rights ever since, and our Head Office is run by a team of talented and inspirational women. TME was founded to protect girls from HIV infection in East Africa, and we’ve been expanding our work ever since to empower women with knowledge and equip families with life-saving information.
Living safer lives
All over the world, women are learning from our lessons, and enabled to live safer lives as a result. They are sharing the knowledge that they gain with their families, neighbours and wider community. And crucially, even if they themselves have never had the benefit of a school education, the lessons are still accessible because they address women, men and children in their own language. The young ladies pictured above are recent beneficiaries, attending the library at the Peagie Woobay Scholarship Fund in Sierra Leone, where they are watching ‘when to have a baby’ and ‘safer sex for teenagers’. In the words of their co-ordinator, “knowledge is power”.
‘Balance For Better’ in DR Congo
The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day, #BalanceForBetter, links directly to the new lesson that the team at TME has been working on, entitled ‘Protecting Women and Girls’. We’ve been having in-depth, insightful conversations with our female beneficiaries in DR Congo, who have asked for TME lessons that tackle gendered issues in their community, such as rape, domestic violence, child marriage, forced marriage, and lack of girls’ access to education.
In DR Congo, 65% of women are victims of sexual violence, but these resilient women are taking a stand, and TME and our local partners COFAPRI are working together to tackle violence against women and girls head on.
New Lesson for Men and Boys
Focusing on Sustainable Development Goals 5 and 10, ‘Gender Equality’ and ‘Reduced Inequalities’, we’ve been researching and writing a lesson that can bring about positive behaviour change in communities all over the world. The unique feature of our lesson, however, is that the first version of the script is aimed at the men and boys in the community. Due to ongoing war, traditional gender roles and accepted levels of violence, male violence has become an everyday reality for some communities.
Our new lesson aims to include men in the conversation about female equality, encouraging them to see the value, the aspirations and the struggles of their wives, daughters and sisters. In order to achieve #BalanceForBetter, it is not enough to empower women and pay for girls’ education; we also need to educate men and boys on the harm of sexualised violence, and the real positive impact of treating women as equals.
You can see more of our work in DR Congo, by meeting our local partner Mugisho
To support our life-changing work, please donate here.