Gender inequality was identified by We Effect as one of the main causes of poverty and injustice in the world. For this reason, gender equality is one of We Effect’s four priority areas working towards a world free from poverty and injustice. As a result, the Gender Equality Programme (GEP) was established in Southern Africa in 2013 on the based order policy to mainstream gender in mixed partner organizations and work with women’s rights organizations in the four Southern African countries of We Effect operation. GEP’s objective is to ‘empower partner organizations to contribute towards gender equality and the fulfillment of women’s rights in Southern Africa.’ The target group is rural and urban populations with high poverty levels. Impoverished women, principally, are supported, but the program also works with mixed-membership organizations to eliminate the causes of gender inequality. The main strategies aimed at overcoming some of the significant causes for this inequality. Specific program clusters (focus areas of work) are organizational development, lobby, advocacy, economic empowerment of women and training as well as HIV and environment/climate change mainstreaming.
WLSA Lesotho is implementing the GEP program in Lesotho. WLSA organizes, coordinates, and supports evidence-based interventions to promote and protect women’s and girls’ rights through legal and policy reform, and changes to discriminatory socio-cultural practices. The direct target group (primary beneficiaries) for WLSA are marginalized women and girls in rural, peri-urban and urban areas. Secondary beneficiaries include men, boys, law and policymakers, journalists/media, Community leaders/members, civil society and the public in general, and communities at large. WLSA aims to contribute to gender equality and fulfillment of women’s rights through its vision of a society where justice is equitably accessed, claimed, and enjoyed by women and girls in all spheres of life.