MADRE: An Organization for Women Across the World
MADRE is an organization fighting for the rights and empowerment of women worldwide that has been around for more than 30 years. It began when a group of U.S. women from a variety of backgrounds returned from Nicaragua in the ’80s in the midst of the Contra War.

Upon arrival back in the U.S., their mission was to spread awareness about issues facing Nicaraguan women and to improve domestic policies regarding women’s rights.

There are two different strategies that MADRE uses: partnering with local organizations that stand for human rights and advocating for the international law to be held accountable.

The New York-based organization has projects and partners around the globe, in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Haiti, Colombia, Kenya, Palestine, Syria and Iraq. The work MADRE is doing in each country differs, but it all comes down to the same goals of raising women up and helping them find lasting solutions to whatever issues they may face.

MADRE was recently featured in an article on the United Nations Women website for one of its projects in Nicaragua in which women use talk radio to discuss gender violence. MADRE received a grant from the United Nations for the project. The radio station has the sole focus of women’s rights and is the first of its kind in the region.

MADRE stands strong as an organization that is advocating on the behalf of women to end violence and rape, maintain gender and sexual minority rights and increase access to emergency aid.

According to the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition (WHRDIC ), “MADRE works towards a world in which all people enjoy the fullest range of individual and collective human rights; in which resources are shared equitably and sustainably; in which women participate effectively in all aspects of society; and in which people have a meaningful say in decisions that affect their lives.”

Shannon Elder

Photo: Flickr