CEDPA equips and mobilizes women to achieve equality. Their equality is essential to building stronger families, communities, and societies. We envision a world in which women and girls are able to fulfill their dreams free from the constraints of poverty and inequality and their full worth is realized and valued. Women control more resources and contribute meaningfully in decision making at all levels.
Values and Beliefs
Achieving gender equality is essential for development, democracy and global progress. Poverty and discrimination are major barriers to equality and must be addressed in every aspect of programming. Newborns and infants should have equal opportunities to survive, boys and girls should be equally nourished and educated, women’s work and contributions should be valued on par with men’s, and women and men should participate fully and equally in social, economic, and political processes. Gender equality helps to build equitable, secure and sustainable societies.
Creating a better future for women starts with girls. There are nearly three billion people under the age of 25 in developing countries—the largest generation of youth ever. Young girls must be prepared to navigate the challenges they will face that include sexual exploitation and coercion, gender-based violence and limited educational opportunity. CEDPA’s emphasis on youth development includes literacy training and expanded access to formal schooling, vocational skills leading to income-generation activities and reproductive health education and services. We start with girls to build the foundation for improved outcomes for women throughout their lives.
For solutions to be sustainable and effective, they must be fashioned with an understanding of the integrated nature of the human condition, particularly in resource-poor contexts. Keeping girls in school, for example, requires that they have a safe learning environment and do not become pregnant or married before they have the opportunity to complete their education. CEDPA’s approach strives to maximize linkages and synergies across sectors.
Engaging men and boys as partners is critical. While CEDPA works towards the empowerment of women and gender equality, we seek to do so in ways that also empower men and promote full partnership. Working with boys and girls on issues of justice, opportunity and equality builds a better future for all. This approach is essential to mitigate the effects of conflict and violence on women and to provide greater freedom and choices for boys and men.
Working with and through strong local partners ensures sustainability. CEDPA believes that local partners are best equipped to determine community needs and provide culturally appropriate responses and solutions. For more than 30 years, CEDPA has held high quality and participatory training workshops to build confidence among women to lead, to direct successful organizations, and to change the social and cultural context that impedes their opportunity. CEDPA works with and through these local organizations based on the principles of accountability and trust.