Further focus on empowering women in souther Africa

Star for Life, Hand in Hand, Daughters of Africa, Specialprojekt, PostkodLotteriet

Yesterday, during the Swedish Post Code Lottery Beneficiary Evening, Star for Life had the great honor of receiving 7 million SEK in organisational support to continue running the daily operations as well as another 12 million SEK to realise the project “Daughters of Africa”. The project spans over 3 years and its overall purpose is to promote gender equality between girls and boys in South Africa and Namibia. The more concrete purpose is to increase the opportunities for girls aged 13-18 to complete their schooling with the best possible grades and through this have opportunities to study further or to start small-scale entrepreneurial projects that generate an income and thus a certain financial independence. With us on the road to realising these ambitious project goals, we have three knowledgeable project partners, each contributing with a unique and important part of the project:
1. Hand in Hand, responsible for the entrepreneurial training
2. Flowcup, contributing with sustainable menstrual hygiene products
3. Velux, providing solar powered light sources, and through them create business opportunities for small businesses.

South Africa and Namibia both belong to the world’s most unequal societies economically speaking. Girls and young women in southern Africa suffer from a particularly problematic combination of prejudice and poverty. Their vulnerability can be measured in diseases, unwanted pregnancies and them becoming victims of violence and sexual exploitation. This reality stands in stark contrast to the constitutions of the countries which guarantee equality between women and men. Our project will help the authorities in their work to democratize the culture of the local communities still characterized by and promoting patriarchal structures and female oppressions. This coherence with the government’s ambition reinforces the project’s sustainability beyond a first project phase.

The project is based on three themes:
1. Gender equality work
2. Sexual and Reproductive Health
3. Entrepreneurship

The three types of activities form a whole which in the discourse of HIV prevention and
health promotion efforts is called “combined prevention”, i.e. a combination of
information of rights and health as well as practical opportunities to realize an economic
independence that allows the girls to live their rights in a way that strengthens their
chances of health and freedom from violence and oppression. 100,000 girls and boys in their teens, school leaders and parent representatives in all Star for Lifes schools in both South Africa and Namibia will be involved in the project with the overall purpose to contribute to the fulfillment of goal 5 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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