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Methodology for psychosocial well-being within women’s rights organizations

Vulnerable groups, such as indigenous peoples, refugees and migrants, women and LGBTQI people, are increasingly having their rights infringed in many countries around the world. The scope for civil society to operate has diminished in many places and hatred, threats and violence are used in order to silence those who defend or represent these groups. The Postcode Foundation therefore, together with Freedom House, wants to carry out a pilot project to develop a sustainable methodology for women’s rights organizations’ work with psychosocial well-being in order to strengthen civil society’s capacity to operate.

Organizations and human rights defenders who represent a vulnerable group, for example women, often face threats and attacks which creates a great negative emotional, mental and psychological impact. Women are often employed by these organizations and their vulnerability is doubled as they are threatened both for their line of work and for their gender identity. Pursuing women’s rights issues as a woman can be very psychologically stressful, as threats can come both from resourceful actors such as governments but also from one’s own society and family. Studies show that women’s rights defenders suffer greatly from stress, burnout, depression and trauma. There is currently a lack of continuity in women’s rights organizations to ensure psychosocial well-being for their staff, members and volunteers. Working preventively so that they can continue their work is important for achieving long-term change for women’s rights and Agenda 2030.

The Postcode Foundation supports the project with SEK 5,460,000.

What the program delivers

In the first part of the project, Freedom House will carry out a solid selection process to identify three women’s rights organizations to partner with for the pilot project. In the second part of the project, the partner organizations will teach the methodology to four other women’s rights organizations in the country and assist them with one year of targeted support. The third part of the project includes two seminars to exchange experiences between the three networks of women’s rights organizations created within the project. Following the project, Freedom House will explore opportunities for replication or upscaling of this pilot project to other countries.

Why we support this project

This project contributes to fulfilling the Postcode Foundation’s statutes to provide support to children and adults in vulnerable situations or disasters.

Project time status


This project started in June 2021 and ended in May 2023

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