Driving the Revolution

chechnya_webWomen driving cars is not a common sight in Chechnya. Grantee partner, Women’s Dignity, challenged this gender prejudice by organizing a campaign to help women to learn how to drive. Fifty-six women received driving lessons, access to automobiles and with the group’s help, obtained their licenses. Because of the group's campaign, the number of women-drivers in the Republic has noticeably increased.

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The driving campaign is one of a few strategies that Women’s Dignity uses to promote and advance the rights of women. Two Chechen wars in the past 15 years left many women widows and children orphans. Many are still experiencing psychological trauma and are financially dependent on their extended families. Women are subject to bride kidnapping and forced marriages, often into multi-wife families. Sometimes they are denied their inheritance, and experience physical, psychological and sexual abuse. Women’s Dignity responded with psychological services and group trainings on healthy living and family planning to over 1,400 women.

Women’s Dignity also organizes seminars about civil rights for Chechen youth. They lobby for laws against women’s rights violations, and provide legal counseling and education. And to help women get jobs, the group offers computer and sewing courses.


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