Background, About Us

Background: The Eastern African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women, EASSI was formed in 1996 after the Beijing conference to monitor the commitments of Eastern African governments towards gender equality. The 1995 Beijing Conference represents an important landmark for the African Women’s movement. Before the Beijing conference, there were few regional women’s organizations in Africa. The process set up prior to Beijing  enabled the emergence of many organizations and networks and led to a dynamic African Women’s movement organizing for peace, equality and development. However, there wasn’t an East African sub-regional women’s network that specifically focuses on the implementation of the Beijing platform for Action, this led to the formation of EASSI. The Beijing and African Platforms for Action are the main international agreements that frame EASSI’s programmes/ causes.  The Eastern African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI), is a registered sub-regional civil society organization working across nine countries through member organizations in the Eastern African sub region, namely; Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Somalia. For more About Us, check Our Herstory.

EASSI Vision:

A society where all enjoy gender equality, access to justice and peaceful coexistence.

EASSI Mission:

To contribute to the attainment of the Beijing and African Platforms for Action through policy engagement and demonstration of best practices for the advancement of women.


To catalyze national, regional and international processes on critical areas of concern in order to make concrete and meaningful changes for women.



We are committed to upholding human rights, gender equality standards and ethics while fulfilling our mandate.


We maintain high standards in our work and are constantly learning from new challenges and each other’s experiences.


We recognize strength in diversity among partners and honor dignity and human rights of all people, no matter the race, sex, gender, religion or other affiliates.


We believe in achieving the best results in our work through cooperation and solidarity among ourselves and with our partners.


We pledge, believe and are dedicated to realizing our mandate and mutually impacting all our partners.


We believe that unity of purpose is the core link that strengthens the network to increase its impact.


The Eastern African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women, EASSI advocates for the advancement of women in the Eastern and Horn of Africa, through various projects with different implementing and development partners. Through the different projects in our background, we embed and enforce our strategies and approaches thus making a positive impact in many people’s lives. For the 22 years of our existence, we have developed strengths and capabilities which include; Working on the Beijing and African Platforms for Action, Promoting Women’s Rights and Gender equality, Enhancing capacity on issues of women, peace and security and Participation on Regional and International Bodies.


Policy research, analysis and documentation
Policy advocacy to influence impacts
Demonstration of best practices such as Capacity building, Training, Dialogue, among others
Monitoring and Evaluation
Communication, Information sharing and networking
Strengthening institutional structures for gender equality
Strengthening links with regional, national and international bodies such as East African Community (EAC), African Union (AU), and so many more

EASSI is a member of international and global initiatives such as the International Action Network on Small Arms, (IANSA), NGO/United Nations Commission on the Status of Women/ Africa (NGO/CSW/Africa), Commonwealth Gender Plan of Action Monitoring Group (CGPMG), Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) and the East African Women in Business Platform (EAWiBP). It is also in special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC) which is a central forum for discussing international economic background and social issues, and for formulating policy recommendations addressed to Member States and the United Nations System.


The EASSI team has a strong background and comprises of the Board of Directors and the Secretariat staff. The Board provides policy oversight, approves annual plans and budgets and advises the Secretariat accordingly. Secretariat staff promote EASSI’s mission and vision, oversee the daily operation and implementation of programmes. They interpret and spearhead implementation of the strategic plan, link national, regional and global processes and promote networking within the women’s movement in the Eastern and Horn of Africa sub region.

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