ACDA contributes to improving the status of women through creating an enabling environment for supporting women at the local and national level, eliminating injustice, backing abused girls and women, and preventing harmful practices they face. To do so, ACDA uses mechanisms such as listening sessions for battered women – monitoring the most important aspects of family violence such as early marriage and depriving women of their right to inheritance. By using the strategy of forming community committees and pressure groups to adopt issues and implement awareness activities with the participation of all parties concerned, as well as raise the economic level by providing micro-finance to women.
women's right to inheritance
In 2013, in cooperation with CARE International, ACDA implemented “women’s right to inheritance” project. The project came as a result of the of the recommendations of the community study that was implemented at the end of “Safety and Security” Project with the aim of empowering women in Upper Egypt to access and control her economic rights, resources and opportunities. The project works through three basic mechanisms;
1- “Pioneers of Change” Committees
It is a community committee elected by the villagers, its main role is raising awareness of the women’s right to inheritance issue , monitoring positive models, carrying out community studies regarding the issue, monitoring the women who want to obtain their right to inheritance, collect information about them and refer them to the mediation committee.
It is a committee includes trustworthy individuals; religious men (Sheikh and pastors), attorneys and village elders who believe in women’s right to inheritance issue. This committee works on conflict resolution and solving problems among women and their families in a friendly way, if not, it refers the case to the legal support offices.
3- legal support offices
The legal support offices consist of volunteer lawyers and social workers, these offices provide legal advice on inheritance cases for women and follow up litigation procedures for women seeking to obtain their right to inheritance, when the mediation committee efforts end in vain.
“Salama w’ Amaan” project (Safety and Security in English)
In 2010, in cooperation with CARE international, ACDA resumed its efforts in caring and supporting women by implementing “Salama w’ Amaan” project. The project aimed at improving women rights for ensuring better physical safety for Egyptian women, especially marginalized women and children affected by domestic violence, by creating an enabling environment to women’s rights at the local and national level. “Salama w’ Amaan” project adapted the strategies of; Community Outreach, building capacities of local CDAs, networking with governmental and non-governmental organizations, advocacy and lobbying in divorce cases.
Results of implementing “Salama w’ Amaan” project
- Forming a counseling committee within each of the grassroots CDAs to solve family problems of the village.
- Refer the beneficiaries to the governmental and non-governmental services located in the villages.
- Allocating some Friday sermons and mosque lessons to talk about issues of family violence.
- There is a clear response from the girls in the premarital classes which broke the culture of silence during the session and encouraged them to discuss the problems.
- There are positive models of girls and women talk about and discuss the topics covered in the seminars and meetings related to the family.
A study that illustrates the different forms of violence suffered by women, classified according to the village and arranged according to the real sizeof the affected women . This study showed that the most important issues of violence that women suffer from is “ignoring the women right to inheritance”.
Social Monitoring Center
In 2002, Assiut Childhood and Development Association, in cooperation with the Canadian International Development Agency, established a “Social monitoring center ” to listen to battered women, receive their complaints and give them advice, besides providing services to rehabilitate them psychologically, socially and economically in order to help them to become active members in their communities. It also aimed to improve the situation of women and relieve their suffering.
The project was implemented in Al-Fateh and Abnoub districts, and the target group was battered women – young girls – teenager girls – men.
The center implemented man activities;
- Raising awareness activities.
- Listening and counseling activities for battered women.
- Create an archive of violent cases used in the study and research
The Center received many cases of violence from the target groups, classified as follows:
- Cases of domestic violence (beating – marital disputes and separation – marriage without a document).
- Cases of Community violence (early marriage – discrimination – arbitrary divorce).
- Cases of psychological violence (forced marriage – attempted suicide).
- Cases of psycho-social violence (delayed marriage age – rape).
In 2014, the center was developed to provide awareness and legal support. As well as give legal advice to women. It also handles the litigation procedures for women who are abused and deprived of inheritance. The center affords the litigation expenses for the needy women, in cooperation with the “Women’s Right to Inheritance” project.
New visions and horizons
Learning through experience is an important way to change old behaviors, gain self-confidence and enable individuals to face different life situations.
That was the approach of “New visions” program, for boys aged from 12 to 20, which addresses the understanding and awareness of the needy and disadvantaged boys. The program worked on developing the skills of boys and empowering them to successes in their lives through developing their life skills, family culture, knowledge related to gender, problem solving strategies which will help them to avoid a lot of social problems, take decisions based on right information and have good family relations.
From 1998 to 2003, Assiut Childhood and Development Association, in cooperation with the Center for Development and Population Activities (Sidba), implemented a new horizons program to support women at all levels, so that they can be an active partner in development.
New horizons program offered awareness for girls aged 8: 25 years. Awareness sessions covered many daily life topics and it was conducted by dialogue and discussion, and attractive activities to attract girls’ attention to the right concepts.