Voix de Femmes is an association whose membership consists of over a hundred women and men who have volunteered to fight for women’s rights in the legal, economic, socio-cultural and political fields. It is made up of professionals and non-professionals who have come together to disseminate information aimed at sensitising women in Burkina Faso on their rights so that they can effectively take part in decision-making forums and participate in all institutions in society. Voix de Femmes intervenes mostly in their active members areas of expertise. These include, creating awareness of legal instruments, reproductive health rights and HIV/AIDS, and female genital mutilation.
The objectives of the association are to:
- Popularise women’s human rights
- Contribute to civic education for women
- Fight the violence against women scourge
- Simplify legal instruments relating to women’s rights so that they can be better understood by women
- Work towards the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women
- Sensitise women on matters relating to HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections (STI’s)
- Fight against the poverty of women.
In line with the activities of the association, Voix de Femmes’ projects include those geared towards translating legal instruments on women’s rights into national languages with a view to disseminating them to as wide an audience as possible. It also works towards seeking the harmonisation of national legislation with international instruments to ensure that they adequately address the rights of women. Voix de Femmes organises workshops, seminars and campaigns modelled around its core themes and objectives and trains women in the development of micro-economic projects. It also offers consultation services on other matters such as harmful traditional practices like female genital mutilation, inheritance rights and reproductive health rights.
Besides directing their activities towards women, Voix de Femmes also educates chiefs, local councillors, senior police officers, magistrates, religious leaders, young girls and the community at large on issues of women’s rights. It has organised radio broadcasts on topics such as marriage, divorce, succession, affiliation, etc, and has sensitised women in three provinces on the rights of women in prison. It has built a rehabilitation centre that will help women recover from the effects of female genital mutilation as well as work to prevent the practice.