Building Pride and Purpose in Passing on Skills to the Next Generation


When addressing gender equality, Tunisia may have a comparatively strong legal framework, but effective implementation of policies remains a challenge. Lawyers and judges often lack the necessary information on protection mechanisms to effectively support gender equality policies. Social norms and practises also hinder progress, as many womxn face obstacles when trying to assert their rights. Moreover, the lived realities of womxn and other vulnerable communities are not valued – older womxn, for instance, often feel isolated and unheard, preventing them from shaping a hopeful future. Addressing these gaps head-on is Kadirat, a non-governmental organisation dedicated to womxn’s participation in public life and combating violence and discriminatory laws in Tunisia. 

In 2022, they launched an intergenerational initiative to enhance the social and economic resilience of impoverished older womxn by sharing their skills in traditional Tunisian handicrafts with younger, unemployed womxn.

One of the inspiring participant was Monjia, a 66-year-old woman from Mégrine Chaker, a rural area in Tunisia. Through Kadirat’s initiative, Monjia connected with the younger generation and discovered a renewed sense of purpose and pride in her talents. Not only did her income improve, but the real transformation came from within. Monjia gained confidence, hope, and felt empowered. For the first time in a long time, she felt useful and proud to preserve her traditional heritage by sharing it and training others. Despite the formal and informal structures that have tamped down her (and other womxn’s) autonomy, Monjia’s journey illustrates a significant – and possible – transformation.

Fortunately, Monjia’s story is not unique. Many vulnerable womxn of various age groups in Lebanon and Tunisia experienced similar changes through Kadirat’s handicraft training initiative. They found in there a safe space to voice their needs, thanks to the feminist approach employed by the organisation. Younger womxn, in particular, benefited from this intergenerational collaboration, cherishing the skills they learnt and embracing their role as carriers of cultural knowledge for future generations.

Powering up #voices!

According to the Power Up! Annual Report 2022, the intergenerational space and dialogues convened by Kadirat in Tunisia led to three remarkable key results: 1) Mitigation of social isolation for older womxn and increased income for a better standard of living; 2) Provision of new income-generating skills to sustain young womxn during periods of unemployment; 3) Safeguarding and preserving local/traditional food knowledge for the younger generation.

Kadirat’s intergenerational handicraft initiative was supported by Gender at Work through the Power Up! Programme. This collaboration was made possible via CRTD.A, Gender at Work’s Power Up! movement partner.

The Power Up! Programme focuses on empowering womxn in all their diversity, supporting womxn-led collectives, movements, and organisations to challenge and dismantle oppressive structures of power. It strives to strengthen womxn’s voices and leadership, prevent gender-based violence, and enhance womxn’s economic strategies for resilience and stability.

Learn more about the Power Up! Programme here, and discover more inspiring Stories of Change by reading our latest Annual Report. Get to know the remarkable work of our partners, Kadirat and CRTD.A!

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