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  • $50,000
  • Funded
  • Guatemala

Women’s Justice Initiative

Women’s Justice Initiative

The Women’s Justice Initiative (WJI) is a nonprofit organization that works to improve the lives of indigenous girls and women through education, legal services, and community-based interventions. For more than a decade, WJI has implemented programs to change harmful attitudes on issues such as gender-based violence and child marriage. These programs aim to enhance girls’ knowledge about their rights and available legal resources, as well as provide community-based interventions that engage parents and local leaders. 

Gender-based violence is a pressing issue in Guatemala. According to the World Bank, the country has one of the highest rates of femicide in the world. Girls Not Brides reports that the country also has the fifth highest rate of child marriages and early unions in Latin America and the Caribbean. Many incidents of violence and harmful practices go unreported, and girls are often unable to access the support they need. 

The Girls Opportunity Alliance Fund will support WJI’s Adolescent Girls Program. The program is a six-month educational course for girls focused on gender-based violence prevention. Girls will learn about their rights, how to define personal goals, and the importance of delaying early marriages. WJI will also implement workshops for parents so that they are better able to support their daughters. Additionally, WJI will work with local stakeholders to develop community action plans focused on preventing child marriages and early unions. Through this effort, WJI seeks to shift local norms which perpetuate violence against girls and implement more robust response strategies. 

To date, more than 1,300 girls from 25 communities have participated in WJI’s Adolescent Girls Program. A 2022 evaluation of the program showed that less than 3 percent of previous participants under the age of 18 were married or in unions, compared to the national average of 30 percent. With this project, WJI will reach an additional 360 girls and engage 420 parents and community leaders. In turn, these girls will gain access to vital support services and tools that will enable them to overcome the challenges they have faced. 

To learn more about Women’s Justice Initiative, please visit the organization’s website and social media pages:

See more projects: Latin America & the Caribbean, Child Marriage, Gender-based Violence, Leadership & Life Skills Development