Two women hold signs and look at the camera.

Grantee stories

Addressing FGM/C from the heart of the community

Grantee Partner: Djibouti Women Rights Initiative

Grant type: Strengthening

Priorities: Violence, Access

Country: Djibouti

Djibouti Women Rights Initiative (DWRI) is a women-led non-governmental organisation based in Djibouti, founded in 2013 for and by women and girls who have undergone FGM/C. They aim to empower women and girls through awareness raising, human rights promotion and gender empowerment.

Although the practice is illegal in Djibouti, over 90% of women and girls have undergone FGM/C. Through their project, DWRI implement community-led approaches to reducing the practice. In 2022, they trained 30 women to become community leaders to share SRHR information and advocate for improved access to services. The leaders oversee SRHR discussion groups which enable accurate information about SRHR to be disseminated across the community. By training women who are respected and known in their communities, DWRI ensures sustainable advocacy and knowledge sharing through the project and beyond. This in turn drives locally-led strategies and solutions to addressing GBV and FGM/C.

A group of women sit, smiling, on a couch. All are holding different signs that say things like 'Stop gender-based violence' and 'Stop Female Genital Mutilation'.

While community organising is a crucial tool for social norm change, DWRI also implemented activities to directly support improved access and accountability. They set up a whistleblowing system to ensure that cases of FGM/C and other forms of gender-based violence (GBV) are identified and reported. A referral system in partnership with local health clinics further improved access to services for community members. These networks connect those who need medical or legal services and support to the right resources. In the latter half of 2022 alone, DWRI supported 109 referrals.

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Priorities: Stigma, Youth

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