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Our work in Eswatini

Since 2019 ABA ROLI has been implementing two programs focusing on the furtherance of women’s rights, deduction of GBV, and improved women’s economic empowerment, an USAID-funded Women’s Employment for Economic Recovery (WEER) project and an initiative under the Women and Girls Empowered (WAGE) Consortium.

Assisting Women Entrepreneurs

The goal of the Women’s Employment for Economic Recovery (WEER) project is to increase women’s participation in the Eswatini economy. Women in Eswatini face multiple legal, social, and economic challenges which prevent them from participating in, or earning adequate incomes from economic activities in the informal and formal sectors. ABA ROLI, with generous funding from USAID, is implementing this innovative 3-year project aimed at addressing regulatory shortfalls, increasing access to finance for women, and addressing gender inequality in Eswatini. In partnership with Grameen Foundation, Kwakha Indvodza and key private sector, civil society, and government stakeholders, the project strengthens partnerships and integrated approaches to addressing the needs of women entrepreneurs and workers.

Through this project, ABA ROLI:

  • Conducts gender and power dynamics training sessions and workshops with CSOs and private sector companies to help organizations and institutions address entrenched gender discriminatory practices.  
  • Analyzes legislation and international indicators to determine opportunities for legislative reform that would improve women’s workplace protection and limit sexual harassment.  
  • Through a partnership with Grameen Foundation, work with local FinTech companies to develop financial inclusion products specifically targeting women entrepreneurs to build up credit and a credit history to enable them to unlock financing and other products.  
  • Conducts workshops and seminars with private sector companies and CSOs to increase knowledge and understanding of the importance of gender sensitive hiring practices and to reduce harmful gender norms in the workplace. 

Responding to Gender-based Violence and Women’s Economic Empowerment

Please see the WAGE website for more information on the Integrating the Response to GBV, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), and Economic Marginalization of Swati Women initiative.

Under this initiative, ABA ROLI:

  • Supports the government and CSO to change the Legal Practitioners Act which effectively bans legal aid in Eswatini. By amending the Act, ABA ROLI will contribute to the availability of qualified legal assistance to women and children’s victims of violence, and other indigent citizens unable to afford private legal representation.  
  • Partnered with CSOs and community members to envelop a “GBV Charter” of commitments for citizens and leaders in politics and industry to sign on to raise awareness about the high instance and high cost of GBV in Eswatini.  
  • Targets the youth (high school and college-age participants) through relevant and engaging online and social media discussions and events around important issues relating to relationships, GBV, respect and gender norms.  
  • Trains young fathers and communities on the notion of “positive fatherhood” and the importance of equality in the household through fatherhood workshops and a national letter writing campaign and photography competition on fatherhood.