Women in action for children in need
On International Women's Day, we honour our many female staff members who work every day to fight poverty and uphold children's rights.
CONCORDIA has a high percentage of women. Therefore, we know only too well the achievements and strengths, as well as the tireless commitment of women for a better and fairer future! Whether as volunteers, foster mothers, social workers, psychologists, project managers, directors - women form the foundation and are thus the supporting element of CONCORDIA and our aid programmes. Today we say THANK YOU once again for the staying power, steadfastness and hands-on mentality of CONCORDIA's women employees in supporting children, youth and families in need.
We are equally aware of the challenges specific to women in our work context. Women are often our contact persons and the ones who take responsibility for their children. For women whose existence is threatened, the question of their rights does not arise. For them, it is a matter of bare survival and providing their children with the bare necessities. They and their children are the focus of our staff's commitment.
CONCORDIA's vision is a self-determined life out of marginalisation for all children and young people.
What does this have to do with the equality of women? A lot! Because women's rights are closely related to children's rights. Only when women are equal to men do all children, boys and girls, have the same opportunities for a self-determined life.
The gap between men and women living in poverty has widened in recent years, a phenomenon known as the "feminisation of poverty". Any situation of exclusion is exacerbated when it involves a woman. It starts in childhood: we see girls not going to school, instead running the risk of being forced into marriage. In the contexts in which we work, girls and women often have no access to education, employment or state support. Too many girls and women are still dependent on men.
Domestic violence against women and children often remains invisible and is still a taboo subject. Although violence in partnerships occurs in all social classes, it is evident that in crisis situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment, poverty or social exclusion, the number of cases of domestic violence increases. And violence against women is still widely accepted - in the countries where CONCORDIA is active, this can be seen, among other things, in the form of (forced) early marriages. State agencies and local authorities in our project countries need support to be able to protect children and families.
That is why we at CONCORDIA carry out prevention measures, offer low-threshold help and create awareness about violence prevention and child protection.
Empowering girls and women
Empowering girls and women is the key to breaking the cycle of marginalisation and violence. When a society enables women - in all their diversity - to achieve full economic, physical and political autonomy, it ensures that their rights are exercised equally, thereby also ensuring that children and young people can develop their full potential.
Gender norms naturally affect boys and men because they influence how they live and act and how this information is passed on from one generation to the next. The empowerment and enhancement of women and the values traditionally ascribed to them are essential factors for the development of society. Only by providing women with the opportunities, means and resources to break the vicious circle of poverty and social exclusion will we contribute to the well-being of all people and society as a whole.