Women's Empowerment

The Forgotten Girls

Today’s news cycle is dominated by three international crises: the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, the ongoing conflict in Gaza and the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Yet there is one international crisis that seems to have gone missing from the headlines. In the world’s youngest country of South Sudan, tens of thousands people have been killed by war, hunger and disease, and more than 1.8 million have fled their homes and villages in what the United Nations has called ‘the world’s worst food crisis’.

Rasha Breaks her Silence

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In the governorate of Minya, lives Rasha Ismail of 25 years with her family. She describes her life in the past as a neglected family member, who nobody cared to ask about her opinion on any matter, even if it was of relevant to her.

She did all household chores required without any objection. She felt that she is forgotten from her own family and had no impact on any family decisions. “I never expressed my opinion. I didn't communicate with anyone. Actually, I didn't talk with my father or siblings,” Rasha explains.

Martin Gains Confidence and His Family’s Love

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Martin Kamel, is a young man in his early twenties who grew up in Minya. He, as many youth living in Upper Egypt, started to take family responsibilities at an early age. He was forced by his father to drop out of school at an early age and start earning his own bread and butter. “My father didn't realize that he deprived me from living my age,” Martin explains.

The son grew up feeling oppressed, and found himself impulsively oppressing his sisters and treating them violently. Being females, he started to think of them as less worthy and admits to have been aggressive with them.

Women's Empowerment Framework

At CARE, we view women’s empowerment through the lens of poor women’s struggles to achieve their full and equal human rights. In these struggles, women strive to balance practical, daily, individual achievements with strategic, collective, long-term work to challenge biased social rules and institutions.
Therefore, CARE defines women’s empowerment as the sum total of changes needed for a woman to realize her full human rights – the interplay of changes in: