Being a woman in the Third World is a challenge in itself; her status been molded over time by various patriarchal systems. Women are viewed as weak and dependent, incomplete on their own, submissive and subordinate. Although no family can survive without a woman's contribution to its creation and overall well-being, her role is dictated by a greater power: the man.
Over the decades, a number of organized and spontaneous liberation movement, or perhaps more aptly described as "battles", have been launched by women and their sympathizers to improve their conditions as well as defy social roles designed patriarchies in power. This was a natural evolution of the women's awareness of their greater mission within the rising democratic lifestyle where individuals seek utmost equality and respect for their personal freedom. However, the results did not benefit all women. While some women are working to apply the "final touches" to their hard-won equality, many others are still struggling to throw off outdated social expectations that leave little or even no space for their quest for independence and inspiration. In Gaza, 'different' is synonymous with 'bad'.
Many believe, and rightly so, that a smart woman can be a dangerous creature simply because she seriously threatens the very foundations of the kingdom of male dominance. Proper education gives women strength to break free from the chains designed to defeat her will to change. It is not new institution, policies or advanced mechanism that are most important determinants of change. Rather, it is the human soul and mindset that we must influence to see the desired effects. A people cannot achieve its dream of liberation until it also liberates each soul. This can only happen in a democratic society in which each individual enjoys the same amount of freedom regardless of his or her gender or religious belief, if any.
How will this work?
The Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor is keen to equip vulnerable women with the proper education and awareness to allow them to stand in the face of rigid and unfair social traditions that are holding them back from expressing their will and achieving their dreams. The empowerment of women is the key to implementing the long-waited change in the Third World. The change that will lead them to genuine liberty and independence because no social change is done over the oppression of human beings, especially women. Many women, however, were able to challenge those impediments and managed to step out of the shadows to prove that unfair ancient rules are breakable.
Our job is to highlight those success stories in order to give hope to those still trying as well as those who gave up trying. We are targeting even the ones who are not considering to take up the challenge; either out of fear or despair.
This will also serve as a base for our mission to break the overgeneralized stereotypes formed in the Western media and public discourse about the women of the Third Word, especially the Middle East.
We are not claiming, though, that the hunt for such success stories is an easy task. Therefore, we shall need the help of the different concerned bodies to provide us with the necessary technical, informational and financial support that will allow us to include as many stories as possible and efficiently reflect all aspects of overcoming hardships and celebrating triumph.
This project will be the beacon of hope for all the women still stumbling in the shadows and all the people still falling into the trap of overgeneralized stereotyping of Third World women.
Our Action Plan
Objective: Highlighting Success Stories
Duration: Two Months
In this phase we will aim at accomplishing the first objective of our project: breaking stereotypes surrounding Middle Eastern women. This will be done through tracking 5 success stories of 5 women managed to fight for 5 basic human rights. The human values/rights we are seeking will mainly evolve around education, political participation, inheritance rights, social equality and marriage issues.
We will prepare a series of short documentaries around these issues focusing on the practical factors and contexts that helped those women succeed in their battle for their basic human rights.
Objective: Helping women start their own battles
Duration: 6 months
In this phase we will attempt to hunt for 5 more women who are striving to get their lives together and move forwards as equal individual human beings.
Those women could be individuals affected by any of the following:
· Lost a husband or a child during the war.
· Prevented from continuing higher education due to financial or social problems.
· Prevented from getting their share of inheritance.
· Abused by family or husband.
· Facing financial difficulty and seeking financial independence.
· Suffering from a disability hindering them from marriage or starting a career.
Our mission is to follow these women and provide them with the necessary tools and create the needed context to help them achieve their goals and acquire their basic rights as equal human beings. Our part involves more than mere financial help as we will provide them with legal consultation and services, connect them with the concerned authorities and organizations; and document their journey in a short film to give hope to other women who are scared to take the first step.
To read more about the project and help make it happen, click here