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#WOMENCLINICS, Where Women Help Other Women Thrive

May 14, 2017

Michael Ahabwe Mugerwa writes:
Five small rural communities in Africa that operate solely on the kindness of others are pitching their ideas such as handmade sanitary towels for girls, organic coffee farming, basket-making and promoting maternal health, thereby changing their communities. This amazing team of 500 women donate 10 hours a week each, to help other women thrive through community #WomenClinics.

#WomenClinics aren’t the ordinary clinics we all know. #WomenClinics are centers of innovation to women’s most pressing problems.  Every #WomenClinic works with 100 women to address a specific problem affecting women.

“Just like how we go to a clinic to get solutions to our health issues, women go to #WomenClinics to seek solutions to their most pressing challenges”  
says Michael Ahabwe Mugerwa, Executive Director – ICOD Action Network.
“We call them #WomenClinics because they address specific problems affecting women.”

WHAT DO THE FIVE WOMEN CLINICS DO?

From women in finance to organic food, to promoting women health rights, #WomenClinics are creating change that their communities need.

–          WomenClinic #1 is helping girls stay in school. It’s a common thing in Africa for a girl to drop out or miss school during days they are menstruating. Through their small tailoring businesses, Clinic #1 give sanitary towels to 1000 school going girls so that they can stay in school.

–          WomenClinic #2 brings together a group of 100 women with passion for women’s health. They are working to eradicate Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in 23 villages.

–          WomenClinic #3 is innovating Alternative Livelihood Sources for women. This #WomenClinic is also leading women to innovate small start ups like crafts and basket making business to improve women livelihoods so that they can be able to support their families and children. To promote women’s participation in leadership, this Clinic gives a goat to every woman who shows extraordinary dedication to serve their communities.

–          WomenClinic #4 is training women a sustainable agriculture system called Permaculture. Permaculture combines development of agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient. WomenClinic #4 is leading training of women farmers to grow food in an ecologically sound manner and use the newly acquired skill to advocate for women’s issues when men come to their farms for training. Men want the food grown by women, and they want the skills so they can be able to grow their own food. Women of Clinic #4 discuss women rights issues and the dangers of Female Genital Mutilation with men whenever they come to be trained by women.

–          WomenClinic #5 is implementing Alternative Rites of Passage. Female Genital Mutilation has for long been seen as a rite of passage. Promoters of the practice argue that when a girl undergoes  Genital Mutilation, she is ready for marriage because she is a woman, even when she is as young as 10.   #WomenClinic #5 is helping end this rite of passage tradition. They are leading communities to brainstorm and develop alternative rite of passage.  A full day of traditional music, dance, drama and celebration is slowly being appreciated as an alternative rite of passage. Why cut girls and women when just a full day of drama is enough to show they are grown up? Women of Clinic #5 ask communities to describe what it means to grow. Through these discussions, the women are helping communities understand how horrific Female Genital Mutilation is and are working to end child marriages.

East Africa based nonprofit, ICOD Action Network has worked with some of the #WomenClinics since 2008 and is running a campaign on Indiegogo to support them. Will you help bring these women’s small-ideas to life?

Please support #WomenClinics 30 days Indiegogo campaign through this link.

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We also want the voices of our women to be heard by the most influential women  of our time, and with your help we hope they will be. So tell the world about the #WomenClinics – share, like, tweet, blog, basically spread the word about their story in any way you can. It costs you zero but can have a big impact on these women!

Michael Ahabwe Mugerwa

Founder and Executive Director , ICOD Action Network

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ABOUT ICOD ACTION NETWORK

We started out as a grass-roots volunteer organization in 2008 and grew into a vibrant national nonprofit.  We have continued to inspire individuals and communities to find innovative and sustainable local solutions to end extreme poverty, hunger and diseases. We believe that lasting solutions lie within communities and we remain committed to working with communities to create permanent solutions.  Since 2008, ICOD Action Network has been implementing projects aimed at reducing the incidence of HIV transmission, promote Reproductive Health and build community’s capacity to respond to their most pressing challenges like food insecurity. By 2020, our projects will have impacted millions of people in Uganda and across East Africa.  For more information about ICOD Action Network, visit their website www.icodan.org

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This NoFGM website is owned and edited by Hilary Burrage, an authority on female genital mutilation (FGM).  Hilary’s introduction and general information about FGM can be found here, or for a more detailed, referenced discussion of FGM, you may like also to read her post Female Genital Mutilation: An Introduction To The Issues, And Suggested Reading and see her two books on this subject:

Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation: A UK Perspective (Hilary Burrage, Ashgate / Routledge 2015).   Contents and reviews  here.
FEMALE MUTILATION: The truth behind the horrifying global practice of female genital mutilation  (Hilary Burrage, New Holland Publishers 2016).   Contents and reviews  here.

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