Role of Women NGO’s in Women’s Empowerment

“Don’t Limit Yourself” is the message from Tomorrow’s Youth Organization to every women. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do, but we believe that women are “the power” boosting the society. The low percentage (30.3%) of the female economically active population is not due to the lack of women’s capabilities; however, this has a lot to do with social, economical and legal barriers; such as the limited career options; legal and institutional discrimination against women.

Rural women, women living in different Lebanese villages and towns outside medium and big cities, suffer from multiple problems which form an integral part of the problems that women in Lebanon suffer from in terms of discrimination, stereotypical trends, and family suffering in general.

Among the main problems are:

- High rate of illiteracy- compared to men

- A complete or partial lack of social activities for women

- Lack of a methodological manner in the framework of a clear governmental plan to solve these above-mentioned problems. Civil society associations tend to solve these problems, without planning as well.

- Lack of any government policies relevant to micro and small credits.

These are offered by a wide variety of civil organizations, with assistance from abroad. There are no published reports to determine the number that annually benefit from these credits, especially the numbers of women, as loans are given to males and females. In addition, the required economic opportunities are not available for women because they are few in the first place.

TYO among many women NGOs have oriented their projects of economic empowerment towards low-skilled women belonging to disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. This group tends to have low access to waged and formal sector employment. Main interventions focused on upgrading their technical and vocational skills and insertion in waged and self employment. Activities typically included a limited set of vocations such as handicrafts and agro-food production. Later interventions tried to provide access to financial services, enhancing entrepreneurship skills and providing marketing channels.

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