(Participation of Women’s Empowerment)
Teach a man to fish and he can feed himself and his family; teach a woman the law and she can play an active role in promoting gender equality and reducing poverty in her community.
The underlying goals of all HSCVs activities are to increase gender equality while reducing poverty. Nowhere is that clearer than in our new Community POWER project which is being implemented outside of Ha Noi city and funded by South Korean donor Babonanum. 100 women and girls have been selected for the project which is specifically aimed at female-headed households and adolescents. Why this target group? Simple, it is adolescent girls and families that lack a strong male figure who are most vulnerable to economic and legal exploitation. The goal of this project is to empower women economically, legally and physically. Community POWER will accomplish this through several key activities.
First, the local government and Civil Society groups are engaged with to identify the needs of the community and are equipped with the knowledge and tools to cultivate and implement sustainable community-driven development.
Second, a safe space is provided through the reactivation of a Community Learning Centre (CLC) which is equipped to enable the participants to collectively engage in community-level training, community meetings and income generating activities training. It also provides a space where women seeking personalized support can have their needs met in a safe environment.
Third, all participants are provided with legal training. The women and girls are provided with knowledge on Marriage and Family Law and Land Ownership Laws. Ensuring women’s increased awareness and a better understanding of gender equality, women’s rights and Gender-Based Violence within the community better empowers women to prevent or report on obstructions of the law, e.g. assault, when it occurs.
Last, economic obstacles are removed. Participants are provided with vocational training which allows them to get jobs and recognize their own economic capabilities. Healthcare is also being addressed with the aim of improving women’s healthcare and well-being for all the participants. Healthcare is incredibly expensive and often in itself poses one of the greatest economic obstacles for women seeking to be active and useful in their community.
All these actions work together to provide a holistic approach to improving women’s lives; there is no component of this program which is more or less important. It is only by tackling all aspects which constitute barriers to women’s empowerment concurrently that real change can hope to be affected.