Mac Kholomana shares insights into why poverty experienced women & girls can't access our training.
More than half the girls enrolled on our courses drop out. Project manager, Mac and Godknows know exactly why this happens. As Mac explains “Poverty is reported as a primary structural factor that drives early sex. Marrying off girl children is often the only way in which parents can hope to be able to feed their family. But also, historically and traditionally, women have been socially controlled by ‘fear’. Because women’s poverty levels are more pronounced than men, they are economically dependent on men and risk the loss of their sexual rights and become more prone to loss of personal power. And some social customs stress male authority in sexual matters and so encourage an environment where violence against women becomes a potential risk. Girls and women who want acceptance in such communities are expected to be meek and sexually submissive to a point where it is not acceptable to say ‘no’. And the ‘removal of the dust’ initiation ceremonies just makes things even worse (see our separate post and film on this).
“The belief in the powerlessness of women in decision making continues to put girls and women at great risk. In addition to having limited access to employment, women in many societies have few prospects of financial support outside of marriage.” Mac has worked on other projects and knows that providing a women’s hostel on the campus of a vocational training centre is the only way to create a safe space in which women and girls can focus on learning .
That’s why we want to build the Helen Maseko women’s hostel so we can create lifechanging opportunities for poverty experienced young women to develop their confidence and ambition to gain the skills they need to sustain themselves and their families. We need to raise £20,000 to make all this happen. To help us, please click the donate button above.