Fellows 2012


Febe Victor Gomez (Mozambique)

Empowerment in Mozambique
: Conceptual framework and implications of implementations

This essay aims to discuss and explore how the concept of empowerment is used in the Mozambican context. The focus is on the combination of the internal policies of the government and the actions of some of the Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), in particular UN Agencies in the field. Their role is of great importance as they have the funds to implement the projects.

Empowerment is understood as a process that gives women the opportunity and freedom to decide, choose and have opinion about their lives, communities and societies. Consequently, empowerment will decrease the gap between men and women. As Mozambique is still an underdeveloped country, the focus is on economic empowerment of women that is used by the government and the NGOs to eradicate poverty and improve the life of the majority of the population, women.

The essay will critically examine the expected benefits to the target group, the rural women who live in poverty. It is based on case studies, on success and failure. It will analyze and speculate on what necessary changes are needed in the country’s approach in order to improve the delivery of the NGOs projects of economic based empowerment. Although, the NGOs claim that their actions have had positive results, especially in terms of economic empowerment, with marked improvement and visible changes in lives of the population’s beneficiaries some of the cases contradict their claims.

It is concluded that it is of great importance to survey and /or listen to the real needs of the beneficiaries before designing the project. Moreover, to create a local database at district and provincial levels and to clarify at institutional level how empowerment is understood. This should contribute to better implementation and positive evaluations of economic based empowerment projects in Mozambique.



Ahmed Y. M. Abunahla (Palestine)

Empowering Women Leaders to Advocate for Women’s Rights in the Buffer Zone areas in Gaza strip

The proposed project is a three year project that is to be implemented in the following six buffer zone (B/Z) areas in the Gaza strip: Khuza’a and Al Shuka in the South, Juhor Al Deek, Heker Al Jame’e and Al Mughraka in the Middle, and Biet Hanoun neighbourhood in the North of the Gaza Strip.

The project will be implemented in the B/Z because of the disadvantages women face in these areas. Women do not have access to services such as literacy centers, there are no secondary schools for girls and women do not have enough knowledge of their rights with regards to family law or their social, economic and political rights. The aim of the project is to empower rural women and raise community awareness of women’s rights through sensitizing the society towards gender issues and narrowing the gap between women and men. The project will include empowerment, awareness raising activities, training, advocacy and utilization, and local committee’s initiatives to support women’s rights and issues.

120 women will be selected from the six locations to be trained in gender equality issues and women`s rights. The participants will be trained to be advocates for women`s rights in their local communities and to implement local initiatives to enhance women’s position in the public sphere.



Ruth Agatha Nambi (Uganda)

Domestic violence: Attitudes, Bride Price and Poverty as Contributory Factors to Domestic Violence in Uganda.

Domestic violence in Uganda is a major problem amongst various families and couples irrespective of age, ethnicity, education level, status, and religion. This essay focuses on how, attitudes, bride price and poverty are major contributory factors to, or triggers domestic violence against women in Uganda. Consequences of domestic violence are discussed and recommendations made to minimise, prevent and eliminate the problem.








Amany M. El Gharib (Palestine)

Palestinian Women’s Role in Conflict Management and Peace Building during the Arab Spring Revolution (2010-2011).

The core of democracy is summarized in the legitimacy in the power of taking decisions which direct people‘s lives, their society policies and their country strategies should come from all the people who live in the country, including the women. Because of that October 31st 2001 was an historic day in the lives of women all over the world; when the United Nations adopted Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1325 on women, peace and security.
UNSCR 1325 calls for the adoption of a gender perspective and addresses the women‘s needs to take an important role in the national, regional and international institutions and for them to be involved as a basic part of conflict management, prevention and resolution beside the peace building, negotiations and processes. (Claire Pierson, Lior Finkel March 2012)
This paper will reflect Palestinian women‘s opinion and recommendations about their political participation in peace building and conflicts management during the Arab Spring Revolution in 2010-2011. 




Mohammed Sinokrot (Palestine)

Empowering Palestinian Women through Income Generating Projects in West Bank Refugee Camps.

The Palestinian community is irrespective of the pivotal role of the Palestinian women that they play as producers, especially in term of participation in the labor work.
Access to resources- land, labour, capital, credit etc. is often gendered in the Palestinian community. This project promoting for empowering the Palestinian women to participate economically equally; which is a process of awareness and capacity-building leading greater participation and access to resources and greater decision making power by ‘’ expansion of freedom of choice and action’’ (World Bank ,2005) based on that, the main objective of this project proposal is to transform working with women as victims of poverty to economically empowering the refugee poor women to change the context in which they live; through offering guidance, capacity building and trainings and micro grants to be more stronger and able to enter to the work market and to participate economically equally beside the men. 




Homaira Nomani (Afghanistan)

Resistance Against Women’s Education in Afghanistan

Education is an important factor for the development of a country, and an effective tool to reduce poverty, to improve health, gender equality, peace, and stability in a country. Based on Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS), everyone has the right to get the primary education, which will give them the skills to continue learning throughout their life, according to article 43 of the Constitution of Afghanistan: all citizens have the right to an education and it is offered by State institutions without charging any fees. Also, the State is responsible for preparing and implementing effective educational programs equally all over the country. Add to this  "The government aims to increase literacy, improve quality of education, expand the capacity of the education system to absorb more students, increase equal access to education for all, improve opportunities for and quality of higher education, and expand the capacity and improve the quality of vocational education and skills building." (ANDS, 14)

Unfortunately, most Afghans cannot use this right, especially women and girls and this did not change throughout the Afghan history in the 20th century. Beginning from the period of King Amanullah Khan from 1919 to 1929, the King Zahir Shah from1933 to 1973, the period of M. Daoud Khan from1973 to 1978, the Communist period from 1978 to 1991, the Mujahedeen time from 1992 to 1997, and at last the Taliban regime from 1997 to 2001 women were support and emancipated as a component of the state modernization, and at time reversed by conservative religious leaders. Afghan women were banded completely from education more recently by organized religious movements which have gained control of the apparatus of state, which is the Taliban regime.