The African-Spanish Women’s Network for a Better World is celebrating its fourth anniversary in November. A partnership between UN Women, the Government of Spain and civil society, the network now has nearly 1,500 members, including individuals and organizations from 51 countries in Africa and Spain.
Through the network, women’s groups share knowledge and experiences from the global South and North. Training helps build capacities to advocate for empowerment and gender equality in five areas: women’s rights, economic development, health, education and violence against women.
Several joint ventures and partnerships between African and Spanish women’s businesses have resulted, aiding their access to larger markets. The network has also facilitated access to key sources of funding for women’s NGOs, including from the European Union.
Other achievements have come with the formation of a coalition of NGOs to champion women’s sexual and reproductive rights in Africa. Over the last six months, the network has assisted them in mapping achievements and challenges in 11 African countries, and identifying actors, mechanisms and instruments to defend women’s rights. The map will be broadly disseminated and used as a resource for both advocacy and capacity building, starting in 2012.
With its first phase ending in December 2011, the network is gearing up calls for support to continue and scale up its work.