Something unique happens when women get together. The conversation is different, the atmosphere changes, and barriers are removed. Teachers working in Barakat’s schools see this happen in our women’s literacy courses, which are taught by women for women. In a male-dominated society, these courses are an opportunity for women to express themselves freely, spend quality time with other women outside of their own home, and gain literacy and numeracy skills that can literally change and truly improve their lives.
Something similar is happening with an organization called Dining for Women. This grassroots campaign, started by women to involve women in giving to other women, invites women to get together and “dine in”, donating the money they would have otherwise spent at a restaurant toward women living in poverty.
Dining for Women funds programs focused on health, education, and economic self sufficiency. Dining for Women also emphasizes collective giving as those who participate can make a larger joint donation than individuals working alone. At Barakat, we realize that women play a significant role in family, education, society, and development, and our goal is to empower women—young and old—to impact the world around them.
Much like Barakat, Dining for Women recognizes that women living in extreme poverty may not have access to support systems and as a result, they and their families may suffer. The goal of both Dining for Women and Barakat is to give women the tools they need to provide for themselves and their families. Barakat’s education programs empower women at the grassroots level, as women who become literate are able to find jobs and make a living to support their families. Both Barakat and Dining for Women share the vision that empowering women is key in breaking the cycle of poverty.