Voice, decision-making and leadership are vital factors for the empowerment of women. These factors ensure that women can express their preferences, demands, views and interests, and that they can gain access to decision-making positions. Only when women and girls are empowered and supported to actively participate in decision-making processes can effective policies, based on their concrete experiences, which take into account gender differences and cultural sensitivities, be developed and implemented.
Voix EssentiELLES aims to strengthen women and girls, in all of their diversity, by meaningfully engaging them in decision-making processes and spaces that influence health policies and programmes.
Managed by the Dakar-based policy and advocacy tank Speak Up Africa, and strategically supported and co-funded by Fondation CHANEL and The Global Fund, Voix EssentiELLES was launched in July 2021 to support the efforts of various women-led community-based organisations with a fund and capacity-building programme, through the University of ExcELLEnce, in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal.
24 civil society and community-based organisations were chosen from across these three countries. Particular attention has been paid to the issues of gender-based violence, reproductive health and the fight against tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria.
Organisations taking part in the initiative
In Burkina Faso
- Association pour l’Intégration Économique et Sociale des Femmes dans le développement, IES FEMMES
- Les Héroines du Faso
- AGMS, Association aucune Grossesse en Milieu Scolaire
- Association Soutien aux Enfants et Femmes Vulnérables
- Association Bétouré des femmes
- Association pour la Défense des Droits des Aides ménagères et domestique, ADDAD
- Association des Femmes Handicapées Battantes, AFHBB
In Côte d’Ivoire
- Organisation pour la Santé de l’Enfant, de la Femme et de la Famille, OSEFF
- Mouvement pour l’Indépendance et l’Épanouissement de la Femme, MIEF
- Union Nationale des Femmes Handicapées de Côte d’Ivoire, UNAFEH-CI
- Conscience et Vie, COVIE
- Jeunes Engagées pour une Sexualité Saine, JESS
- Association des Femmes Unies de Gbougbô 2, AFUG2
- JGEN Femme Partenariat mondial
- Femmes de diamant
- Association Sénégalaise pour l’Avenir de la Femme et de l’Enfant, ASAFE
- Réseau des Jeunes pour l’abandon des Mutilations Génitales Féminines
- Fass Diom
- Association pour le Maintien des Filles à l’École, AMFE
- Le Club des jeunes filles de Kolda
Voix EssentiELLES Advisory Committee
Made up of experts, this committee was established in September 2021 to guide Speak Up Africa in the implementation of the Voix EssentiELLES initiative, including the development and implementation of engagement strategies and a capacity building programme.
Members of the committee in Senegal:
- Pr. Ndioro Ndiaye, Coordinator of the Francophone Network for Gender Equality at the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie
- Ndeye Mingue N’Diaye Gackou, Coordinator of the Gender Unit at the Ministry of Health and Social Action of Senegal
- Nogaye Sow, « Badiénou Gokh » President of the Thienaba health mutual, Member of the local cereal processing unit of GIE Fass Diom
- Rajah Sy, National Director of Special Olympics Senegal
Members of the committee in Côte d’Ivoire:
- Aissata Sidibé N’Dia, Journalist
- Ms Sylla Awa, Technical Advisor to the Minister for Women, Family and Children
- Mr Arthur Athea, Head of the NGO Association Anonyme (LGBTQ)
- Sister Emmanuelle, Founder and Head of the NGO Y-Voir et Sourire
Members of the committee in Burkina Faso:
- Pr. Nicolas Méda, Special Advisor to the President of Burkina Faso on Human Capital Development
- IDO B Joseph, National Executive Secretary of the African Youth Health Network (AYHN)
- Simon Kaboré, Executive Director RAME (Access to Essential Medicines Network)
- Cécile THIOMBANO, Head of Advocacy Médecin du Monde France
- Kadoua ABEM, Secretary General of the Djouatiina Association and of the Network of Associations for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in Nahouri.
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