COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT THROUGH WOMEN EMPOWERMENT AND UTILIZATION OF LITERACY AND VOCATIONAL SKILLS SERVICES OF AN EDUCATIONAL PROJECT, KHAMMER, AMRAN, YEMEN

Huda Omer BaSaleem

Abstract


Purpose: Women empowerment has different notions that at least encompass three dimensions; educational, economic and legal and is strongly connected with community development. This study aimed to qualitatively describe community perception about girls’ education, women social and health status and utilization of targeted services as an example of women empowerment project in a rural Yemeni setting.

 

Materials and Methods:This study was conducted in Khamer, Amran, Yemen (March-June 2013) in the areas served by Khamer Educational Center that aimed at eliminating illiteracy among women. Four focus group discussion (FGDs) involved women benefited from the training in improving their status (empowered women), and another four FGDs involved women who had not used the knowledge and skills they had developed (un-empowered women). In-depth interviews (IDIs) were conducted with fifteen key informant women and men from various community sectors. Participants gave their own consent and strict confidentially was ensured. Ttranscripts were categorized manually to find meaningful relationship between inductively emerged themes.

 

Results:Women IDIs revealed readiness to help empowering Center’s graduates; and working for future community services. Men's IDIs demonstrated variable views about women educational empowerment and favoring of boy’s education. FGDs showed poor health awareness and seeking behavior and different views between empowered and un-empowered about women’s role.

 

Conclusion: It is clear the inappropriate educational level, low women status, and inadequate women awareness about certain health–related issues. Well planned literacy and life-skills programs need to be considered as major avenues to improve women awareness in life issues to be empowered and contribute to community development.

Keywords


Women empowerment, Community development, Education, Health, Yemen

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