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The War Against Women

7th March, 2016

They say that behind every successful man is a strong woman, yet women are universally stereotyped as the weaker gender. Perhaps this is due to the perceived fragility of a woman, which is commonly seen as feeble, but this is not the case and women should not be underestimated in any way whatsoever.

Where the male gender may typically have more physical power, the emotions within a woman can awaken the motivation to strengthen herself and others; there is not a considerable amount each gender can do without the other.

For decades, many women have been the victims of abuse; having been deprived of the right to an education or the freedom of speech, amongst other forms of injustice. During wars, women and children can easily become targets for attack as they are perceived to be less able to defend themselves. The stereotypical view of gender inequality has been taken advantage of, and Islamic Help needs your help to change this.

There are many common issues worldwide where women are solely the target of crime. Historically, Islamic Help has been involved in many campaigns to support the empowerment of women, some of which are highlighted below.

Acid Attacks

Surprisingly, many women are the primary victims of acid attacks, in many cases by none other than their own families. Such attacks  are largely undertaken to subject the victim to a life sentence of disfigurement and pain, should they manage to survive. Some attacks are purely an act of revenge in between families; some are acts of jealousy so as to ensure no other man will find the victim attractive and some are just disturbed acts of pure hatred. Victims are often left with extreme feature deformation, resulting in restricted movement of those parts affected by the initial attack; usually the face.

Islamic Help initially introduced a campaign with an aim to providing support, assistance and surgical intervention to many victims of acid burns, back in 2009. The project featured in a well-known documentary called “Saving Face”; winner of an Oscar award for highlighting the rapidly growing issue of acid attacks as a commonly recurring act of violence.

Not only do the victims suffer extreme pain and have to readjust their lives to this, but the emotional impact and confidence loss suffered as a result is colossal. Not only this, Islamic Help aims to deliver the prospect of independence for these victims, to enable them to earn a living and support themselves within their community.

Reaching Out to Those in Need

Alongside acid attacks, there are many other acts of violence that women have become subject to, internationally. Violations such as female genital mutilation (FGM), education deprivation, child marriages and more treat women as weak and easy targets. These issues are deep-rooted within certain sectors of Yemen. In a bid to raise awareness and combat gender-based violence in Yemen society, Islamic Help delivered an Activism project to highlight social and health issues, create workshops and deliver relevant emotional support for surviving victims.

Introducing Sustainable Living for Women

In some poverty ridden countries, the privilege of an education or learning is simply not an option. Due to increased famine, many women, along with their children have no choice but to sacrifice education in a struggling bid to work. For many, it’s a matter of survival.

It’s all well and good providing a meal for someone in need of nourishment, but where will their meal come from tomorrow? Better to deliver a solution to enable them to source their own food every day. Self-sufficiency goes a much further than one meal. The opportunity and ability to provide for themselves is the ultimate gift that will keep on giving.

So Islamic Help introduced a sustainable development programme to provide equal opportunities for these women and empower them to be able to work and learn for themselves.

This meant liberating them with the relevant training and tools required, to independently earn a living and support their families, with dignity and pride.

See here for some of Islamic Help’s successfully implemented projects.

The Birth Campaign

For the majority of you reading this, the various stages and dealings of an expectant mother are most likely to be streamlined and controlled depending where you’re from. Vital support is widely provided to both pre- and post-birth to mothers, with the opportunity for pre- and post-natal classes and support as well.

A wealth of advice and information is conveniently at hand almost immediately, as well as advice on aftercare, sanitary products, sustenance, well-being, etc.

However, just as it is widely accessible for expectant mothers in some countries to reach out for help and support, it is just as lacking in other countries, where even a safe birth cannot be guaranteed.

Islamic Help recognised this lack of support to mothers in certain countries, such as Syria, where many expectant mothers are now surviving in refugee camps, enduring a severe lack of hygiene, food, shelter and water. Along with this was the harsh reality of a complete lack of medical expertise, which only amplifies the risk of danger to both mother and baby intensely.

And, with the added financial implications for a hospital delivery, these mothers have been left with no choice but to risk their lives and the lives of their babies by going it alone.

With your support, Islamic Help aims to help and support these expectant refugee Syrian mothers who are now in Jordan in every way possible to ascertain a safe delivery for both mother and child. In some cases, aftercare needs to be provided following the giving of birth; from the distribution of infant clothing to striving in every way to ensure a safe and caring environment for both mother and child.

These campaigns are not restricted to a specific time of year, where they take form and are actioned; they are important, ongoing, long term projects. The violence and injustice against women does not simply just end after this dedicated day; the aim is to put an end to it, with your support.

Help Islamic Help to encourage the empowerment of women all year round, and on International Women’s Day, on the 8th March 2016.