News from the trustees
Grateful thanks to all of our 4x4 Bayan vehicle supporters, whether you held coffee mornings to raise awareness of the programme or donated funds. Various contributions including a grant of £2500 from the Pignatelli Foundation ensured that we easily surpassed our target of £10,000. Together with accumulated savings of US$8000 from the sale of old vehicles, Bayan Association will be able to afford a reliable second hand vehicle to reach less accessible communities.
Last month the UK Government launched its 'International Women and Girls Strategy 2023-2030' to celebrate International Women's Day.
Our policy update focuses on the UK Government's recent initiative in the area of women & girls development. Those familiar with our partner programmes understand the importance placed, for example by the Bayan Association's Community Banks Programme on training and encouraging women to take greater responsibility in managing savings and investing in micro-enterprises; and the training & employment opportunities afforded to young women by the SSF's Community Pre-School Programme, thereby empowering them with an independent source of income and potential career path in Eswatini.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), which implements the Strategy, states it will be guided by 5 principles:
- stand up for women’s and girls’ rights and freedoms on the global stage and in bilateral relationships
- amplify the work and voices of diverse grassroots women’s organisations and movements, championing their role as important agents for change
- target investment towards the main life stages for women and girls eg pregnancy and childbirth, early childhood, adolescence
- act for and with women and girls impacted by crises and shocks, including conflict, global health, climate change, violence, food insecurity and malnutrition
- strengthen political, economic and social systems that play an important role in protecting and empowering women and girls
And the FCDO will focus on the 3 priorities of:
- educating girls
- empowering women and girls, championing their health and rights, and
- ending gender-based violence
On the international stage, the UK appears to lag behind in instituting 'feminist foreign policies'. While there is no agreed definition of what constitutes a feminist foreign policy, the number of countries embracing this banner is growing. By July 2022, this list included Sweden (2014), Canada (2017), France (2019), Mexico (2020), Spain (2021), Luxembourg (2021), Germany (2021) and Chile (2022). The Netherlands and Belgium are in the process of developing their respective feminist foreign policies.
Rising Sun pre-school, Eswatini where women are the driving force in providing a moral & academic education to the next generations from rural areas.