Keeping Our Women Safe: Here Are 7 Non-Profit Organizations Working To End Violence Against Women In The Middle East
TRIGGER WARNING: This article contains a discussion/material of domestic and sexual violence against women that may be disturbing to some.
Women are at the heart of our society. Not only that, but women also play a critical role in the development of communities and the upbringing of our future generations. They are the foundations of every community and their endurance and abilities continue to amaze the world. Women, from entrepreneurs to presidents to successful businesswomen, continue to make history and accomplish great things.
Women deserve to be celebrated for everything they do, but most importantly women deserve to be protected. Every year, on the 25th of November, the entire world unites to spread awareness and strive to end the violence against women.
On this is a day, we recognize the injustice and violence that women face all across the world. Violence against women must be eradicated, and governments around the world must take additional steps to issue strong penalties for those who use any form of violence and degrade women. It’s important to remind ourselves that violence against women is one of the world’s most widespread and chronic human rights violations!
Violence against women can take a variety of forms, including but not limited to:
- Intimate relationship violence (psychological abuse, marital rape)
- Sexual harassment and violence (rape, forced sexual acts, unwanted sexual advances, child sexual abuse, street harassment, stalking)
- Slavery and human trafficking (slavery, sexual exploitation)
- Female genital mutilation
- Forced Marriage
- Marriage of Minors
It’s worth noting that quite a lot is being done to combat and eliminate violence against women. In Egypt, for example, new laws have been put in place specifically tackling sexual harassment, in which harassers frequently end up getting away with their crimes.
Nonetheless, we have observed several ‘legal’ loopholes in many areas. Individuals can take advantage of women through these ‘legal’ loopholes, money and the power they believe they have just because of who they know.
According to a survey performed in Jordan, violence against women has increased since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic… just goes to show how important it is that we continue to push for these awful crimes to end.
Here are seven non-profit groups that are fighting to prevent gender violence and provide equal legal protection within the Arab world:
- KAFA: Since 2005, this Lebanese non-profit organization has campaigned to promote women’s rights and gender equality. The acronym KAFA stands for “enough,” and the organization’s mission is to stop all types of gender-based violence and patriarchal prejudice against women. As a result, the NGO fights for legal reform and the implementation of new policies that will impact public opinion and transform how we view women in our communities.
- Arab Women Organization of Jordan (AWO): The AWO, which was founded in 1970, is dedicated to achieving gender equality and ending discrimination and violence against women in the kingdom. AWO accomplishes this by empowering women and altering traditional gender roles and expectations in education, politics, economy, culture, and human rights.
- The Center of Arab Women for Training and Research: This Tunisian-based group was established in 1993 to promote gender equality in the Arab world through intensive research, training, networking, and campaigning. This NGO’s major goal is to provide appropriate education for women in order to encourage their empowerment and growth.
- The Dubai Foundation for Women and Children: This NGO is the UAE’s first certified non-profit organization that was founded in 2007. The main aim of this institution is dedicated to the protection of women. Domestic violence victims are protected by the Dubai Foundation, which provides them with secure homes and rehabilitation programs. In addition, the group offers community education programs in the UAE to prevent violence.
- Association Democratique des Femmes du Marocaines: The Moroccan Democratic Association of Women is a non-governmental organization that promotes and advocates for women’s rights, as well as equality, gender justice, and environmental conservation. It also serves as a platform and a hub for members to exchange information regarding issues facing women within the Arab community.
- The Association for the Development and Enhancement of Women: This non-profit organization, which works directly with women, was created in 1987 in Egypt as an autonomous non-profit organization. The goal of this group is to advocate for women and teach them how to advocate for themselves and be empowered in their communities.
It is critical that women know that these initiatives are available for them. We all have a duty to spread this information and work to increase their status within Arab communities, as they have a lot to give. They are the lifeblood of many communities, and these NGOs are willing to help women acquire independence and control over their lives by providing aid and training. They should be able to steer their own course in society and battle for their rightful place with significant contributions to today’s world.
Women’s violence remains a barrier to attaining equality, development, and peace, as well as the realization of women’s and girls’ human rights. It is clear that the emergence of COVID-19 has put many women at a higher risk of both verbal and physical abuse.
It is our responsibility to recognize that this is both a global and regional problem and to begin addressing it with additional measures that would put an end to it.