The recently concluded UNIFEM- FNV supported project entitled “Strengthening Home Based Networks in South and Southeast Asia – Phase” has successfully promoted women’s empowerment, as manifested in HBWs’ changes in attitudes, values, personal self-image, and confidence. While this has resulted in a number of notable achievements, the present challenge now is one of sustainability – at the institutional and financial levels, and in terms of a sustainable policy environment.
For Phase 2, UNIFEM will address the ‘sustainability nexus’ utilizing a multi-pronged, rights based approach for the achievement of the goal ‘Ensuring the full realization of human rights of women home-based workers (HBWs) in Asia.’ The project’s successful implementation will yield the following outcomes: existence of sustainable organizations of HBWs and their networks at national and sub-regional levels in South and Southeast Asia; existence of enabling policy environment for women HBWs / informal sector workers in South and Southeast Asia; and improved response from government and private sector on social protection measures and schemes for HBWs.
The increase in institutional and financial sustainability of HBW networks in South and Southeast Asia will be achieved through the following strategies: advocacy and policy dialogue, for stronger implementation of commitments to issues of women HBWs; building sustainable knowledge and action networks, that bring women HBWs, and other actors together to affect policies and programmes affecting HBWs; capacity-building of women HBWs, their networks and relevant key actors to influence the priorities, policies and programmes; disseminating knowledge on emerging issues and innovative solutions with regards to women HBWs, through effective use of new and traditional information and communications; and experimentation on the ‘how to’ of improving the lives and livelihoods of women HBWs, through strategic piloting.
The transition towards formalized, viable, home worker-driven networks with their own capabilities for resource generation, visible and recognized by governing institutions, and strong in their advocacy for policies will be supported by UNIFEM and FNV.
The direct beneficiaries of the project are the home worker members of the various national HomeNets. In Southeast Asia there are over 31,000 of them. Indirect beneficiaries are the families of the home worker members and the communities where HomeNet-initiated projects have had an impact.