Panel 2: Female Empowerment & Gender Equality: FHI 360 Voices from the Field

The second panel showcased a selection of FHI 360 projects that prioritize gender equality and female empowerment through addressing gender-based violence, strengthening economic development and livelihoods, empowering girls to pursue careers in science and math, and providing care and treatment for people who are HIV positive.

Key Messages

The four FHI 360 projects had three connecting themes:

  • Engagement with communities, community leaders, and parents is critical to changing perceptions of gender norms. Educating and informing these stakeholders of the benefits to gender equality diminishes doubt about an intervention and strengthens commitment to its outcomes.
  • Increasing female empowerment and self-confidence is critical to transformational change. Support systems for women and girls encourage improved self-esteem and reinforce messages of gender equality. Parents have an enormous impact on the lives of girls and boys, both internationally and in the United States.
  • Gender-based violence obstructs all development outcomes. To work effectively to address gender-based violence (GBV), we must acknowledge that it is gender inequality. We must work to support and educate women, men, girls, and boys about how to prevent and seek services for GBV so that advancements in economic livelihoods, health, and education can be achieved.


Benjamin Rinehart, Chief of Party, Community-Based Livelihood Development for Women & Children in Swaziland, USAID-funded

Benjamin Rinehart, Chief of Party, Community-Based Livelihoods Development for Women and Children in Swaziland (CBLD), FHI 360 leads the multidisciplinary USAID/PEPFAR-funded project, which aims to improve the social, economic, and physical well-being of women and children in the communities where they live by strengthening the capacity of community and public institutions and delivering programs in economic strengthening, child protection, behavior change communication, and human and legal rights.

He served as a food security early warning specialist on the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) at Chemonics, which combined livelihoods and market data, field surveys, and remote-sensing imagery to provide decision makers in the U.S. government, UN, national governments, and humanitarian agencies with early warning about food security conditions in over 20 countries. The CBLD project emerged from the findings of a LIFT field assessment in Swaziland that Mr. Rinehart led in 2010. He holds a MSc from London School of Economics and a B.A. from McGill University.

Mirriam Dogimab, Senior Technical Advisor, Komuniti Lukautim Meri Project (KLOM): Addressing Violence Against Women in Papua New Guinea, Australia DFAT-funded

Mirriam Dogimab, Senior Technical Advisor, FHI 360 is one of the leading gender and health practitioners in Papua New Guinea. Ms. Dogimab has been working on the issues related to HIV/AIDS, environment, reproductive and sexual health, women’s empowerment and gender-based violence for past 12 years. At the national level, Ms. Dogimab has provided her expert technical assistance to various national technical working groups, including Garamut – National HIV/AIDS Communication Group and Gender Violence and Research Advisory Committee (RAC) of NACS.

She has co-written and peer-reviewed national and international abstracts/ papers on the issues related to HIV/AIDS and GBV. Ms. Dogimab has worked with multiple agencies including European Union Sexual Health Project, World Wildlife Funds for Nature, and FHI 360. As a Program Manager at FHI 360, she developed a state of art MARPs program funded through USAID. The program was considered a best practice and cited in the Global AIDS Report 2010. Currently, Ms. Dogimab is FHI 360 Associate Country Director of Papua New Guinea, where she is responsible for the ‘komuniti lukautim ol meri project’ (KLOM) focused on ending violence against women and girls in Sandaun and Western Highlands Province. Ms. Dogimab holds an M.A. in Philosophy from Massey University, New Zealand.

Josephine Musamba, Senior Gender Advisor, Zambia Prevention, Care & Treatment Partnership (ZPCT II), USAID-funded

Josephine Musamba, Gender Specialist, FHI 360 Zambia has over 19 years of experience in providing technical assistance in health, water and sanitation, agriculture and rural livelihoods, education, HIV/AIDS, enterprise development, and social protection programs. She has expertise in gender integration, gender mainstreaming, gender audits, and gender-based violence, with skills in program leadership and management, NGO management, community mobilization, communications, negotiation, and capacity building. Ms. Musamba has held management positions with five international NGOs and two Zambian NGOs – FHI 360, Irish Aid, UK DFID, Netherlands Development Organization (SNV); Lutheran World Federation, Young Women Christian Association and Village Industry Services. Ms. Musamba holds a B.A. in social science.

Maryann Stimmer, Senior Manager, Girls & STEM programs in the US, National Science Foundation-funded

Maryann Stimmer, Senior Manager, FHI 360 has extensive experience in formal and informal STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education. Since 1994 she has conducted professional development for teachers, parents, administrators and after-school educators and she participates in the development of programs and materials that address equity issues around gender, race/ethnicity, disability, and level of family income. She was the science advisor for Playtime is Science: An Equity-Based Parent/Child Science Program which was recognized by the US Department of Education as an exemplary program and is co-author of Playtime is Science for Students with Disabilities.

Ms. Stimmer's publications include After-School Science PLUS and After-School Math PLUS, both widely used in informal education settings. She has conducted professional development nationally on STEM education and was the architect and implementer for the FUSE model used by The AfterSchool Corporation (TASC) and replicated within the Collaboration for Building After School Systems (CBASS) and other jurisdictions attempting to institutionalize STEM programming in a variety of settings nationally. Ms. Stimmer is the chairperson of the Math Special Interest Group (SIG) at the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC). She serves on the US Department of Education’s STEM Technical Working Group and the National Science Teacher Association’s Informal Science Committee and the Committee on Disability. Ms. Stimmer is the recipient of the 2008 National Science Teachers Association’s Distinguished Informal Educator Award, the 2009 After School Experience Excellence Award and the New York City Reliance Award for Education.

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