“All of us have an opportunity to invest in the untapped potential that resides in women, who too often have their strength and potential overlooked. They are the strong businesswomen, the coffee growers, the basket weavers, the farmers and artisans. They are the women saving money and working in a cooperative. Our challenge is to link them to market opportunities where they can add value.” –Afshan Khan, former President & CEO, Women for Women International
There is no doubt that in modern conflicts, women are increasingly vulnerable, generally being targeted as civilians. In many cases, women are used in sexual violence situations as a method of warfare to replace the sons lost in conflict. Although it is incorrect to make the assumption that men are less vulnerable than women, women are generally more susceptible to poverty, exclusion and suffering as a result of armed conflict.
Violence Isolates Women Into the Shadow of War
With magnifying inequality and social networks break down, women and girls become much more vulnerable to acts of sexual violence and exploitation.
Sexual violence acts are not just a brutal act of violence in war. Sexual violence expressed as rape violates deeply held social values within the community. In many instances, these women are also raped as a means of sending out a message of torture to the rest of the community. Many women who are victims of sexual violence tend to be raped and humiliated in front of the whole community they belong to.
Sexual violence leaves women feeling humiliated and isolated from the communities they belong in. Sexual assault robs these women of their confidence, self-esteem and overall, their self-worth. In many cases, these women feel like they are nothing and they have no value in the world.
In other cases, these women are still affected by poverty, widowhood, discrimination, gender inequality and increased insecurity. All of these issues affect these women even further and plunge them deeper into feeling isolated and disconnected from their communities.
How Women For Women International Is Inspiring Change
For these women who feel forgotten in the shadow of war, Women for Women International empowers women in war-ridden areas to form communities of peace. Since 1993, Women for Women International has offered support to women in 8 different countries worldwide by providing them with the tools to access life-changing skills.
There is a wonderful resilience in the spirits of these women who have been broken time and time again by the shadow of war and conflict. These women carry with them a sense a hope, even though they have lived through hopeless situations. These women have faced struggle to its very core and still continue fighting courageously to keep their families together.
Women for Women International prepares the most marginalized women by making them aware of their power and knowledge to improve the community and society they live in. They bring in women together into a safe space where they can learn about their legal rights, health and nutrition, as well as learn vocational skills to help them in life.
By supporting Women for Women International, you are inspiring change in these women who have lost hope. Your support helps these women fosters hope in themselves. Your support helps empower these women into forging a new path for themselves and their families. Your support helps these women overcome the traumas caused by the violence of war to create a sustainable change to themselves, their families and their communities.
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