The AHA Foundation was founded in 2007 to help protect and defend the rights of women in the US from religiously and culturally instigated oppression. Inspired by the experiences of its founder, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Foundation has focused on issues around violence against women and girls (VAWG) including honor violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM). Since 2010, the Foundation has been involved in the following key activities:
- Compiling data on these crimes, which are not currently tracked by US law enforcement or government agencies,
- Publishing reports and articles and organizing conferences about the continued oppression of women and girls in the US committed in the name of religion and culture,
- Lobbying and outreach to expand and strengthen state and national legislation for the protection of women and girls,
- Training of law enforcement and service providers, and
- Connecting women and girls in crisis to appropriate services.
Focus on Violence Against Women and Girls
Reflecting on the Foundation’s experience in combatting VAWG and the pervasiveness of the problem in the US, we have expanded our focus towards the most central dream of our founder: a society where the rights of women and girls are promoted and protected, so that they can live free of violence or the threat of violence.
The AHA Foundation’s Innovation and Research Fund
Violence against women is a concern that is still hidden. Accurate and comprehensive data are crucial to increase societal awareness of VAWG and its unacceptability, to guide legislative and policy reforms, to ensure adequate provision of targeted and effective services, to monitor trends and progress in addressing and eliminating violence against women and to assess the impact of measures taken.
The AHA Foundation has established an Innovation and Research Fund to generate high quality and policy relevant data and evidence on what works for the prevention of VAWG and support innovative prevention and response programs that have the potential for impact at scale.
The Foundation works with leading grassroots community based organizations with proven experience and effective models as implementing partners. Our programs have a focus on the following targeted interventions:
- Empower women and girls with a focus on those most vulnerable to or those who have already experienced violence
- Transform social and cultural norms around gender violence to prevent violence by engaging men, boys and community leaders
- Support the building of an evidence base through research as a way to influence policy-makers and key stakeholders
- Inform policy and legal frameworks and raise awareness about the impact of violence on individuals and communities
- Bolster communication and community-organizing efforts
- Develop scalable and replicable models for effective interventions and policies and share best practices and lessons learned with key stakeholders