The K. M. Hunter Foundation is proud to support the work of Crossroads International (www.cintl.org) who support women who have experienced violence and rape as well as helping impoverished women to establish income-generating activities to support their families. As women develop skills and confidence they are increasingly raising their voices to demand equal rights.
Current research shows that of the 26 per cent of Swazi adults infected with HIV/AIDS, 60 per cent are women. There is a critical link between excessively high levels of HIV/AIDS infection among women and gender based violence, lack of awareness of women’s rights, and inadequate support services for survivors of violence. Girls’ empowerment clubs respond to these harsh realities by providing a safe space where girls meet on a weekly basis to participate in discussions and activities guided by teachers and mentors focused on human rights, identifying and reporting abuse, and developing awareness of HIV/AIDS and its transmission. Empowerment clubs are a place where girls can speak their minds and develop the courage and determination necessary to build a brighter future for themselves and their communities. In short, girls who attend empowerment clubs know that they have the power to change their world.