Gender and Female Empowerment: NGOs Fighting the Fight for Women’s Rights in the Arab World

By Banah Khamis

Given the worsening refugee crises throughout the Middle East and North Africa, economic recessions, and social limitations placed upon them, Arab women struggle every day as they make their way through the world. Whether it be at the workforce, education, or on the social sphere, there are a plethora of organizations and initiatives that work around the clock to support women in our region.

Here’s a list of organizations taking different approaches to empowering Arab women and girls on a day-to-day basis. 

Reclaim Childhood-empower refugee girls through sports

Reclaim Childhood (RC) is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2008, it’s sole goal is to empower refugees and local girls that are at-risk communities in Jordan using sports.

RC initially started as a four-weeks of summer sports camp to originally serve the displaced Iraqi community in Jordan. Since then, RC has rebuilt itself into a year-round after school sports practices, teen leadership development, and coach training. Currently, the organization is providing programming for refugees from seven different countries as well as the host Jordanian community. 

Empowering girls through sports is an approach that is even more marvelous when witnessed first hand. Reclaim Childhood creates a magical space that is both safe and inclusive; where girls can thrive by playing the sports they like, work with coaches, and learn how to be an efficient part of their community.

The Center of Arab Women for Training and Research – empowering women through skill-building

Another organization that works towards the empowerment of women in the Arab region is The Center of Arab Woman for Training and Research (CAWTAR). 

CAWTAR was created back in 1993 in response to the dire need for such an institution regionally. The Center’s goal is to foster a civil society where women and men are equal in rights and practices and where gender is no longer is the determining factor of merit. Through promoting research, education, training, and advocacy CAWTAR work towards their mission of eradicating discrimination against Arab women.  

Their main objectives are: to empower women and promote gender equality and to reduce gender gaps as a means of achieving sustainable development in the Arab Region.

The Dubai Foundation for Women and Children

The Dubai Foundation for Women and Children (DFWAC) is the first licensed non-profit shelter in the UAE for women and children victims of domestic violence, child abuse, and human trafficking.

It was established in 2007 to offer victims immediate protection and support services in accordance with international human rights obligations. Their mission is to end violence and abuse against women and children through prevention and rehabilitation; which means providing safe shelter and after-care and support for the victims.

Arab Women Organization of Jordan

The Arab Women Organization of Jordan (AWO) is a non-governmental and non-profit human rights organization which is dedicated to empowering women and attaining gender equality since 1970.

The Organization preaches community mobilization of women in order to promote values of equality, social justice, and inclusive democracy so that violence against women is not tolerated within society and that discrimination against women does not remain accepted in the constitution, laws, or even in policies and practices.

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