Building pride and purpose in passing on skills to the next generation in Tunisia


When it comes to addressing gender equality, Tunisia may boast a comparatively robust legal framework. However, the 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 practices also impede progress, as many women face obstacles when trying to assert their rights. Moreover, the lived realities of women and other vulnerable communities are often disregarded – older women, for instance, frequently feel isolated and unheard, hindering their ability to shape a hopeful future.

Taking on these challenges head-on is Kadirat, a non-governmental organisation committed to women’s participation in public life and combating violence and discriminatory laws in Tunisia.

Enhancing social and economic resilience through intergenerational exchanges 

In 2022, with support from Gender at Work and collaboration with CRTD.A through the Power Up! Programme, Kadirat launched an intergenerational initiative to enhance the social and economic resilience of impoverished older women by sharing their skills in traditional Tunisian handicrafts with younger, unemployed women.

One of the inspiring participants 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. By sharing her traditional heritage and training others, she felt valued and proud for the first time in a long time.

Despite the formal and informal structures that have tamped down her (and other women’s) autonomy, Monjia’s journey illustrates a significant – and possible – transformation. Fortunately, her story is not unique. Many vulnerable women of various age groups in Lebanon and Tunisia experienced similar changes by participating in Kadirat’s handicraft training initiative. They found these spaces to be safe when it comes to voicing their needs, thanks to the feminist approach employed by the organisation. Younger women, on the other hand, also benefited from these intergenerational collaborations: they cherished the new acquired skills and embraced their new role as carriers of cultural knowledge for future generations.

Powering up #voices!

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

According to the Power Up! Annual Report 2022, the intergenerational space and dialogues convened by Kadirat in Tunisia led to three remarkable key results:

  • Mitigation of social isolation for older women and increased income for a better standard of living;
  • Provision of new income-generating skills to sustain young women during periods of unemployment;
  • Safeguarding and preserving local/traditional food knowledge for the younger generation.

Learn more about the impact of initiatives supported through Power Up! and discover other inspiring stories of change by reading our latest Annual Report!

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