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Program Women, Health and Violence 2013: 'Women’s health in women’s hands' (Unofficial translation)

Geographic Area



Municipality of Bilbao



Type of Information

  • Case studies
  • Media coverage
  • Campaign


Área de Igualdad, Cooperación y Ciudadanía - Bilboko Udala - Ayuntamiento de Bilbao

Contact Person

Begoña Cortazar (Login to send email)

Contact Person Function

Chief of the Bureau of Immigration

Project Start


Ongoing Project


Project End



This project promotes the prevention of situations of vulnerability and/or violence against women through empowering them. The focus is set on the empowerment of Bilbao's women, preferably of Bilbao's immigrant women since they are the ones who suffer to a greater extent from multiple discrimination, not only due to the structural inequality originating from being women, but also because of the vulnerabilities that originate from initiating a migration project. This program has various lines of intervention for the prevention of gender-based and domestic violence and promotes the overall health of women (understood as a state of physical and emotional well-being).

Issue/Challenge and Goal/Assumption

Based on the premise that immigrant women face multiple discrimination fronts, which are universal and transversal to all of them, this program attempts to empower them through the distribution of information and training. The main focus is on the promotion of women’s health and the prevention of Gender Violence. There are three cross-cutting axes in the entire program: the intercultural diversity of women under the program, the preferential targeting of the hardest to reach communities, such as sub-Saharan and North African communities, the fostering and promoting self-esteem of women, especially for young women.

How does it work

The program has four main intervention approaches:

  1. The training of Agents of Empowerment through a 5 week, 10 hour training program;
  2. The information and awareness of stakeholders through personalized workshops;
  3. The pilot intervention on female genital mutilation (FGM) matters through small group workshops to inform and prevent further FGM; and
  4. By creating a ‘Guide for all women’ as a work and reference tool to inform and sensitize on matters of gender violence and health for all women, it has been published in Arabic, Chinese, English, Euskera, French, Portuguese, Romanian, and Spanish.  


During the past five years, 167 empowerment agents have been trained, there have been over 758 women informed and sensitized and more than 280 organizations have been reached through the multiplier effect. Furthermore around 5000 ‘guides for all women’ have been distributed.


The program has been selected as a Good Practice by the Ministry of Labour and Immigration of the Government of Spain, in the Compendium of successful cases in the implementation of local awareness plans on equal treatment and non-discrimination in 2010. It received a European Mention as a Best Practices in the Selected Case Studies from the OPENCities European Network in 2011. It received international recognition for improving social cohesion in immigrant integration by the Cities of Migration project sponsored by the Bertelsmann Foundation and the Maytree Foundation in 2012. And it has been selected among 160 projects as an initiative of international training which will happen in February 2014 in Turin by the EU-MIA (European Migrant Integration Academy).

Who will benefit?

Immigrant women will be the main beneficiaries. Particular focus has been given to the women of two main collectives: the focal collective (the hardest to reach and thus most vulnerable) and the strategic collective (the communities with largest number of people).

Source of funding and Resources used

The budget for the year 2013 is 34.884,98€*: 50% financed by the State Administration - European Fund for Integration**, and 50% financed by the Bilbao City Hall Municipal Budget. The resources used were:

  • A strategic organization of bio-psych-social attention: Módulo Auzo-Lan, which has a multidisciplinary team of professionals
  • Immigrant associations and immigrant support organisations
  • Immigrant women collectives linked to the Area of Equality, Cooperation and Citizenship of the Bilbao City Hall
  • Immigration technicians from the Area of Equality, Cooperation and Citizenship of the Bilbao City Hall.

The workers are from the socio-sanitary and the psycho-social field.

*Inclusion of a new line of preventive intervention in FGM and of the new edition of the Guide for All Women.

** Includes part of the personnel costs.