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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 31 Aug 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Females Between Fostering And Success

By Ghayda Al-Ariqi

27 August 2012

Maiada Nabeel Noor has never thought about having her own business to help and support her family. However, because of her disabled father, life pressure and the difficult economic situation the family underwent during the past few years, she had to do so.

Noor is a 19-year-old single woman. Poverty put pressure on her, making her life a miserable life with her family.

She lives with her parents and her four siblings in a room in her grandfather’s house. Her uncles live in the other rooms. Her younger brother is unemployed, and her youngest brother is only two years old.

Living a difficult life

Due to an illness, Noor’s father was forced to retire. Moreover, her parents were on the brink of divorce. Noor felt sorry for her mother, who tolerated her difficult situation and tried to think of alternative solutions so that the family didn’t have to break apart and break away. She hoped to make her family happy.

Seeing her family suffer, Noor tried to do something in order to help them. She wanted to make a positive contribution. There was a feminist association in her neighborhood that supported women and trained them in several fields.

She came to know about a new program in the association entitled Victims of Violence Program, which provides services for women in order to help them change their life for the better. She was enthusiastic to join it and knew it would be a way to help her improve her situation.

“My father’s psychological state and poverty worsened our sufferings,” Noor said. “Our situation was getting worse day by day. I was the victim of arguments that happened among the family from time to time. I was forced to be silent because I have siblings who need several increasing requirements, and they have no one to care for them.”

“I felt that I became aloof and that I was isolated from the world. I had few social relations. I suffered a lot and wanted to live a better life with my family. Therefore, I made up my mind and decided to join that program and any other programs that would help me start my own business.”

Ambition for a better life

“I heard about the training program at the Al-Aidroos Association in my area and decided to join it in order to change my life for the better,” she said. “After the course, I decided to start working. I worked in a photo studio and supported my family with the salary I made.”

After putting in her dues at the photo studio, she was promoted to a trainer position.

“Now I’m a trainer in the same program. Moreover, I teach Photoshop courses at the Al-Aidroos Association. I feel happy when I find out that several girls benefitted from these courses and changed their lives for the better.”

Training changes life

Somaia Al-Qaremi, head of Al-Aidroos Association in Aden, said, “I met Noor and knew that she was a highly ambitious girl who wanted to have a source of income in order to support her family.”

“She has benefited from the training program and then she started her own business to have a better life and to improve her situation, particularly with her large family,” she added.

Ahmed Al-Zamzami, Coordinator of Microfinance program in the GIZ, said, “The Victims of Violence Program targeted women and supported them to benefit from a microfinance services program, held by the GIZ in cooperation with civil society organizations in Yemen.”

Many Yemeni women are still living below the poverty line and living under the influence of domestic violence, according to international reports issued by Yemeni civil society organizations.

Women in Yemen suffer from poverty, violence and several other obstacles, which prevent them of being effective members of society. Training courses and programs help them become involved with developing their society.