Angola: Social inclusion and protection
PIN has been encouraging local women’s groups and non-government organisations in the fight against poverty and domestic violence in Angola since 2013. The focus is on improving the quality of advisory services for victims of domestic violence and violence against children, and on the awareness campaign concerning these issues. We also assist local women to build their ability to complete projects related to gender in the communities where they live.
Empowering women and civil society
PIN’s programme FOCO is aimed at strengthening the capacities of civil society organizations and improving their dialogue with local authorities. Within a gender perspective, all activities also foster gender equality and women’s empowerment.
The programme on gender and civil society has been developed in Angola since 2013, when FOCO I project was first implemented in Bié province. The initiative has created and implemented income-generating activities for the women, in hopes of overall social and economic empowerment.
As part of the efforts of the Angolan Government in fulfilling its international commitments towards the protection of women and promotion of gender equality, the country has enacted in 2011 a law on domestic violence (Law 25/11). The programme also focuses on fostering networks of governmental and non-governmental institutions that deals with domestic violence; on developing awareness raising activities amongst women, young students and men, and to promote and disseminate the Law 25/11.
The efforts to promote gender equality continued as FOCO II, in Bié and Huíla provinces. The initiative supported the Social Protection Network for Victims of Domestic Violence of Bié and also intended to improve the response of the Children’s Network of Huíla in specific cases of domestic violence.
The empowerment of young women is the main goal of the follow-up project FOCO III, which is also implemented in both provinces (Bié and Huíla) and is targeted to develop technical capacity of two youth female-only associations, apart from promoting female leadership. The activities will reach directly more than 2 800 young women and over 100 civil society organizations.
Supporting the community initiatives in combating Gender based violence and enhancing the economic status of women
Economic dependency and the lack of knowledge of basic rights and freedoms are among the main causes of high levels of violence towards women in Angola, where civil war often leaves more women dependent on men. As a result, we focus on raising awareness about domestic violence, violence against women in general, and on legislation and services available for victims and vulnerable women.
We support local community initiatives, mostly women’s groups, to disseminate basic information on the issue, provide them essential assistance and refer them to relevant institutions. We also work with the local police, judges, medical personnel, the local Directorate for Women and Family Matters, and other organizations or groups that deal with the issue. They receive training and we link them to a social protection network that helps to manage individual cases in a consolidated and efficient process.
Additionally, we train local initiatives on how to carry out income generation projects whose aim is to increase the economic self-sufficiency for vulnerable women. The best from these groups then receive a financial grant to implement their smaller projects, allowing vulnerable women to establish and manage their own small business (canteen, shop etc.).