National women’s Movement- Suriname

Organization profile



The mission of the National Women’s Movement (NVB) is to be a flexible, innovative, resourceful and technologically advanced bureau for the provision of services of the highest quality in the sphere of sustainable community development and of gender and development.

The mission is based on a functional partnership between the NVB and the communities or organizations that it serves, ensuring improved quality of life, gender equality and gender equity throughout the communities of Suriname.


Short History

The NVB an independent non-governmental organization, founded on 16 June 1982 as a membership organization and operated as a voluntary organization during 13 years.

Since 1996 the NVB entered a stage of professionalism, establishing the NVB Bureau and providing services to NGO’s, CBO’s, government and individuals (women and men), which developed a successful methodology for sustainable (community) development, using participatory techniques.

Since 2001 NVB is an officially registered  foundation with an executive board (policy making) and a management team headed by a director.

The NVB established the Ilse Henar-Hewitt Bureau for Women’s Rights in 1997:

–          providing advice and guidance to individual women for their individual cases

–          providing information on the Surinamese legislation and international legal instruments in general,  especially the rights of women

–          production of several videos and booklets on women’s ad children’s rights

–          lobbying for the change of legislation

Since June 2002 the NVB handed over the responsibility of this Bureau to a Foundation which was established to give the Bureau the opportunity to develop independently.


Guiding principles

The NVB favors a society based on:

–      elimination of poverty

–          increase of productivity

–          development and strengthening of social justice

–          equal participation of all grups of society in decision-making

–          gender equality and equity

–          increase of autonomy, self-initiative and self-reliance of low- income communities.

Aims and objectives

The NVB aims at improving the position and quality of life of Surinamese women and at gender equity and gender equality in society.


Target groups

The NVB targets women in general but especially women and women’s groups belonging to disadvantaged socio-economic groups. Since the NVB is involved in many community and village development activities, men and children are as well targeted in NVB programs and activities. The main target group, however, is women.


Priority Areas

–          Economic empowerment

Based on the structural financial economic crisis in the country,  the NVB aims at expanding the possibilities of women and their families to deal with poverty in a sustainable way and increase their access to resources and incomes.

–          Capacity strengthening of women’s (community) groups

Given the fact that women’s participation in the decision-making process is low, it is necessary to increase the capacity of women’s organizations, women’s (community) groups.

–          Promotion of women’s rights.

It  is necessary to promote the rights of women in daily life, especially the elimination of violence against women.

Networking, lobby and advocacy

Networking with government agencies, NGO’s, CBO’s and other social actors, both national and international,  is considered a high priority and is important in order to successfully implement the NVB policy.


Sustainable development approach

Through participatory and asset based citizenship driven approach techniques the NVB  aims  at achieving that the target group (women, women’s groups, community group village groups)  in the long run will assume and exercise full responsibility and ownership for the developments initiated under a project or program.



1. Programme “Capacity Strengthening of Female (Micro)-Entrepreneurs”


The program aims at enabling small and micro women entrepreneurs, both individuals and groups, to operate their businesses in a professional manner in order to establish productive and sustainable enterprises and by doing so  help to push back and alleviate poverty.

2. Programme “Women and Sustainable Development in the Upper-Suriname River Area (interior of Suriname)”


The objective of the programme is to contribute to the sustainable social and economic development of the people, particularly women, in the villages of the interior, i.e. the Upper Suriname River Area.


3. Programme “Capacity Development of Women’s Community Groups”


To contribute to the strengthening of the capacities of  women’s organizations and women’s (community) groups, so that they can independently contribute to the sustainable development and gender equity of their target groups.

4. Programme Habitat and Women


To improve the living environment of poor communities, including access to adequate housing conditions and access to land.


5.  Women’s Documentation Center

The Johanna Schouten-Elsenhout Women’s Documentation Center was officially established in 1992

It is a service center in the field of documentation and information on gender and development, which is well attended by women, especially young women.


Networking with government and private agencies and NGO’s, both national and international,.in the following areas e.g.:

NGO Networking

–          NVB is one of the initiators of the National Network of NGO’s, consisting of 6 NGO Networks which are operating throughout the country,

–          NVB initiated the NGO Consortium for Safe Drinking Water and Hygienic Sanitation in 2006,

–          NVB coordinates the National Steering Group on Water, Sanitation and Waste Management.

–          NVB is a member of the international ,Women for Water Partnership, which is focused on gender, water and sanitation and waste water management within the context of sustainable development.

–          NVB participates in activities of the Caribbean Association for Feminst Research and Action , i.e.

CAFRA, Suriname Chapter.

–          NVB is participating in the Civil Society Mechanism to advise on the Interamerican Development Bank Suriname Programme.

The NVB Organization

The Board of Directors is the policy making body. Eline Graanoogst is Chair.

The NVB Bureau is headed by the Director, Eugenia Velland-Uiterloo, supported by program coordinators and program staff, the Secretariat and the Financial Department.


NVB Support Foundation, the Netherlands

A group of volunteers, all experts in the socio-economic field, has established the SONVBS foundation in the Netherlands. The foundation lobbies in the Netherlands for material , financial and technical  support to NVB programs and activities.


Verlengde Gemenelandsweg 132 B

Telephone             (597) 465626; 432921

Faxnumber           (597) 433167

E-mail           and