Lifting Women's Voices, Lifting Our Communities (2017-2018)

Madagascar

Summary

Through this project, participants formed three new women’s associations—one in each of the rural communities where the project took place. These associations have advocated successfully for community needs not only in consultations with Madagascar Oil, but also with government representatives and local security forces. The associations have also improved communication and work-sharing among women and men within communities, and created new cooperative economic development projects led by women. At the close of the project, the women’s associations were continuing to meet regularly to manage communal projects and plan their advocacy.

About the Program

Oil extraction is still in the early stages in the Ankondromena region of Madagascar, a rural area where poverty and banditry are on the rise. In 2017 Karuna Center began a year-long program, funded by the Energy and Natural Resources bureau at the US Department of State, to increase women’s participation in community consultation with the hydrocarbons private sector. Working with local Malagasy partners, the project strengthened the skills and confidence of women and adolescent girls across three communities to advocate for themselves and for community interests related to oil extraction. At the same time, we increased acceptance among men in the communities to ensure that women are welcome in the local decision-making bodies and in the company-community consultation process. Equally important, we engaged directly with the oil company to encourage a collaborative approach to working with women in the local communities.

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