Groups we support
Mama Cash was conceived around a kitchen table in Amsterdam in 1983. Since then, we have grown from a group of five feminist activists into an international fund that supports women’s, girls’, trans and intersex people’s movements around the world. Here you find some examples of groups we support.
Young Armenian women in black
In 2001 a group of young Armenian women started the Society Without Violence (SWV). Their goal? Raise awareness of women's rights among young women and girls in remote regions of Armenia, who face discrimination and violence on a daily basis. In 2012, SWV took a new step with the establishment of a group called "Women in Black", led by girls and young women. SWV organized two-day meetings in various regions along the border with Iran and Azerbaijan. Here she informed girls and young women about the international peace movement "Women in Black" (WiB) and the role that women can play in conflict mediation and peace processes. Participants were also trained in practical organisational skills.
For example, SWV created a platform of young activists who raise their voice against war and violence. WiB Armenia, like other WiB groups, regularly holds vigils for the victims of violence. But the activists, ranging in age from 16 to 27 years, also organise other activities. Flash mobs, for example, and an open air show about violence in relationships that they use to expose the lack of legislation against domestic violence. SWV therefore not only gives girls and young women in Armenia a public voice and a face. The global WiB movement, which is often supported by older women, also receives a new, rejuvenating boost.
Teenage girls in Kenya
In the Somalian pastoralists’ communities in Northeastern Kenya, women are not expected to participate in public spaces and rarely hold decision-making positions within local government, schools, or health facilities. Girls can face female genital mutilation and sexual violence, they are often denied the right to education, and are married early, often to boost family incomes. A little over ten percent of girls go to school.
‘In our community people strongly believe that a girl’s place is in the home, not in school. All girls need to know is how to take care of a husband. So as soon as girls are circumcised, and this happens when they are still very young, they are ready to get married. This usually means the end of their education’, says Fatuma Kinsi Abbas, founder and director of the Pastoralist Girls Initiative. The organisation uses a variety of methods to keep girls in school. Fatuma: ‘Education is key. Women’s health, leadership and reproductive rights, they all hinge on education. If you neglect education, women’s health suffers and leadership is not developed’.
One of PGI’s biggest successes is its school club programme, called Girls Forum. The Girls Forum provides a friendly environment to girls to meet, learn their rights and build their self confidence. They are encouraged to speak up and express themselves. They also receive support in overcoming both personal and collective obstacles. They talk about issues like sexuality, reproductive health rights and what leadership means. The Girl’s Forum started as a small scale, local initiative, but now it reaches out to approximately 7,000 girls in primary schools throughout the region.