Purposeful supports girls and their allies to advocate for change, in their own words and on their own terms. Our work takes different forms in different places. For example, working with girls to influence philanthropy, lobbying governments for policy change, or petitioning traditional authorities in their own communities. We also facilitate and publish research that centres the stories and experiences of the girls most removed from power. We use these insights to advocate for girls locally, nationally and globally – from Sierra Leone’s national parliament, to the African Union, United Nations and many places in between.
Purposeful has been conducting a major piece of research into the socio-cultural drivers of child marriage in Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nicaragua and Indonesia. The project combines expert engagements and semiotic analysis of cultural texts and codes, with interviews with many hundreds of girls, their families and communities.Rooted in a feminist analysis of power, we bring to life the ways in which patriarchal control and the fear of the adolescent female reproductive body have birthed cultural norms and behaviours about child marriage. Findings from the research have been used to drive policy, advocacy and funding strategies across 3 continents. SIERRA LEONE & GUINEA - GLOBAL SUMMARYFULL REPORTCHILD MARRIAGE IN NICARAGUA - ENGLISHCHILD MARRIAGE IN NICARAGUA - SPANISH
Download the reports below:
Journeys on the Margins is a collection of stories shared by migrant girls across Ivory Coast, Myanmar and Nepal, as well as Thai and Indian border towns. We met girls at home in their natal villages, in transit stops and rescue centres, in factories, tea shops and gold mine brothels. Some of these stories are deeply harrowing, others hopeful, but they are all moving accounts of the hidden lives of girls living and journeying at the margins of society. By listening to and learning from their experiences, we hope to identify interventions that could improve conditions for migrant girls — at departure, during transit, and upon arrival — as they seek factory work, domestic work, or refuge in a different country altogether. Download the reports in English
With and For Girls award winners from Palestine,Kyrgyzstan, U.S.A, Poland, Kenya, Nepal, Barbados, Guatemala, Israel, Romania and Nicaragua made a powerful call to funders, included in a new report by theUN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights. The pledges came together at the end of a powerful week, where girl activists shared stories, built relationships and developed strategies with each other at the Human Rights Funders Network in Mexico City. As part of a moving and compelling closing plenary at the conference, over 500 international human rights funder’s stood to pledge support for the strategies the girls had developed, committing to embed girls’ rights into their funding practices.
Check out this powerful video from the conference on what girls want us all to know.
Purposeful has convened a coalition for girls’ education in Sierra Leone, launching apolitical advocacy campaign underpinned by media outreach to bring attention to the deep injustice of Sierra Leone’s ban on pregnant girls’ school attendance.We are coordinating the media strategy for a major case to overturn the ban brought by Purposeful partners to the ECOWAS court for Human Rights, and are soon to launch a Girls Assembly to hear testimony from those directly impacted by the ban, along with national and international experts. < GO BACK