At Petergate for every book we sell, part of that sale gets donated to Oxfam. We are an Oxfam run bookshop that prides ourselves on helping to end poverty across the globe. Although we have a few posters dotted around our Oxfam shop, we can’t really feature posters for all the wonderful campaigns and projects that Oxfam undertake. Thats why we thought it was a good idea at Petergate HQ to show you some of the amazing work that Oxfam do, and more importantly, how you can get involved.
“Give a woman the support to unlock her potential and she can become unstoppable – transforming not only her own future, but the future of everyone around her”.
Millions of men and women across the globe suffer through poverty. But unfortunately, due to circumstances, many women often have a lot less of the resources open to them than that of men. Women across the globe are subjected to early marriage, domestic and sexual abuse, and are discriminated against. All these factors make it even harder for them to break out of poverty, to help break the cycle, and escape poverty. Oxfam are working with women and men around the globe to change this. Here are some of their stories:
Tika Darlami lived in a traditional domestic environment in rural Nepal. She rarely left the house, even to buy food, and she’s was afraid to talk to strangers. She would hide. She had little awareness of her own basic human rights, and was confined to her own traditional views of domestic housework. Then Oxfam stepped in to help, and Tika joined Oxfam’s “Raising her Voice” project.
Through working with such rural communities Tika now has the confidence to speak. She is now starting conversations. She talks about a wide range of issues, from domestic violence, alcohol abuse, early marriage and whatever local women desire to talk about. As part of Oxfam’s programme women are brought together to discuss local issues, larger issues on human rights, and whatever is on their minds.
TIKA: “When I first wanted to get involved, my husband wasn’t keen and he urged me not to go,” Tika says. “He told me that my primary job was to look after the home and that, since I was illiterate, I could do nothing useful there.
“Now he believes in empowering women.He feels proud of me. He has no problem with me being involved in social work, and is happy to do some of the household work that I used to do.”
Tika’s story demonstrates the work that Oxfam carries out with women in rural communities. Such project shows the strength, power and determination of these local women themselves. It furthermore shows the cooperation between local men and women that can exist once they start talking to each other about wider issues outside the domestic realm.
FLORENCE AND ZAYAKO- UGANDA:
In the Acholi region of Uganda, Florence struggled with a gruelling daily life very similar to many women in her area. She fetched water, cooked and cared for her husband and children, fetched the firewood and tended their land. Her husband had a drinking problem. He would often beat her as a result
Then Oxfam stepped in. They founded the WE-Care training programme, and within the Acholi region of Uganda they were teaching both men and women the unfair burden placed on women by unpaid work.
It has been several years since the WE-Care programme, and the couple are still together. They now share the chores, and more importantly, Zayoka helps Florence tend the land. He is also no longer drinking.
Thanks to the work of two pairs of hands, they now have a larger area of farm land, oxen, and a motorbike to transport their crops. They gain extra money from the cakes that Florence bakes and sells. Most importantly, Florence also gets more rest.
“It’s a perfect example of how everyone benefits when equality becomes a reality”.
ZAYAKO: “When my wife is doing chores, I do others,” says Zakayo, “which helps us accomplish more within a shorter time, freeing us up to do other things that are economically beneficial.”
Again, with the help of Oxfam men and women across the globe are learning about their basic rights. They are learning about the unjustness of the unpaid labour of women, the benefits of working together and the rights of women. Both men and women across the world are taking note of these projects, attending them and realising that they have rights. They can speak up, they can take care of their family and be proud of their strong and independent women. They are bettering their own lives. They are learning that they are limitless.
To learn more about Oxfam’s “Women Unlimited” project, and to donate, click here.
All images courtesy of Oxfam.