I now engage in discussions with my husband and state my point of view. I have gained the ability to be a decision maker at home; especially now that I know and understand my human rights, I can fight to defend my principles.
I am Atika Saad, and I live with my husband and children in the remote village of Sra Ouerten in Tunisia. Being a woman in this village is not easy. I did not receive any education because my father never believed in the importance of girls going to school and learning how to read and write. I started working in the fields at twelve years old and still continue today.
The Oxfam hosted AMAL training courses provided me and other women in the village intensive learning on women’s rights and how to advocate for them. We have all agreed that the most important issue we need to resolve is the lack of access to health care cards. For the first time in Sra Ouerten, women have got together to discuss their concerns and stand up together for a common cause. Our capacities have flourished and our personalities can be better expressed. We have learnt public speaking skills and how to ask for our rights, especially the right to possess a health care card. We are also hoping to have one of us represent our concerns in the regional council.
On a personal level, the programme gave me the courage and knowledge to deal with my circumstances and to cope with my child’s illness as well as other difficulties.
I now have the strength to face my problems and the confidence that change will eventually happen for things to get better. The AMAL programme has lived up to its name and has brought us hope.
AMAL – which means hope in Arabic – supports women’s transformative leadership in Morocco, Tunisia, Yemen and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The programme works with partner organisations to enable women from poor communities to strengthen their confidence, knowledge of their rights and their campaigning and advocacy skills. The aim is for these women to become leaders who can work with their communities reclaim their right to political and civic participation and achieve long lasting positive change.
To learn more about the AMAL programme, click here.
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