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National women’s Movement
History and Background

Short History

The NVB an independent non-governmental organization, founded on 16 June 1982 as a membership organization and operated as a voluntary organization during 13 years.

Since 1996 the NVB entered a stage of professionalism, establishing the NVB Bureau and providing services to NGO’s, CBO’s, government and individuals (women and men), which developed a successful methodology for sustainable (community) development, using participatory techniques.

Since 2001 NVB is an officially registered  foundation with an executive board (policy making) and a management team headed by a director.

The NVB established the Ilse Henar-Hewitt Bureau for Women’s Rights in 1997:

  • providing advice and guidance to individual women for their individual cases
  • providing information on the Surinamese legislation and international legal instruments in general,  especially the rights of women
  • production of several videos and booklets on women’s ad children’s rights
  • lobbying for the change of legislation

Since June 2002 the NVB handed over the responsibility of this Bureau to a Foundation which was established to give the Bureau the opportunity to develop independently.

Guiding principles
The NVB favors a society based on:

  • elimination of poverty
  • increase of productivity
  • development and strengthening of social justice
  • equal participation of all grups of society in decision-making
  • gender equality and equity
  • increase of autonomy, self-initiative and self-reliance of low- income communities.

Aims and objectives
The NVB aims at improving the position and quality of life of Surinamese women and at gender equity and gender equality in society.

Target groups
The NVB targets women in general but especially women and women’s groups belonging to disadvantaged socio-economic groups. Since the NVB is involved in many community and village development activities, men and children are as well targeted in NVB programs and activities. The main target group, however, is women.

Priority Areas

-Economic empowerment
Based on the structural financial economic crisis in the country,  the NVB aims at expanding the possibilities of women and their families to deal with poverty in a sustainable way and increase their access to resources and incomes.

-Capacity strengthening of women’s (community) groups
Given the fact that women’s participation in the decision-making process is low, it is necessary to increase the capacity of women’s organizations, women’s (community) groups.

-Promotion of women’s rights.
It  is necessary to promote the rights of women in daily life, especially the elimination of violence against women.

-Networking, lobby and advocacy
Networking with government agencies, NGO’s, CBO’s and other social actors, both national and international,  is considered a high priority and is important in order to successfully implement the NVB policy.

-Sustainable development approach
Through participatory and asset based citizenship driven approach techniques the NVB  aims  at achieving that the target group (women, women’s groups, community group village groups)  in the long run will assume and exercise full responsibility and ownership for the developments initiated under a project or program.

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