Samah Gacem / Tamkeen Organization
Although both men and women in Algeria face high levels of unemployment, particularly in the midst of a weakened economy, women have only a percentage of 17,01 of participation in the labor force (The World Bank 2019), and the situation is more worse for young women in the villages of Algeria. Hiya Story is a project that emerges from a stressing need to help women from Southern Algerian communities, Messaad’s Djelfa as a start, to find the professional guidance and resources, both psychological and material to either secure a new spot in the business market or grow an already existing business that is facing stagnation.
The project identifies two main reasons behind this crippling loss of potential among Algerian women from the South. The first reason is of a sociological nature. It is the lack of successful business women leaders that creates a stagnant environment which discourages women from setting up bolder aspirations and goals to themselves. One is more likely to follow the existing social norms than to create an exception of herself. A second reason behind Southern Algerian women’s struggle with unemployment and underemployment is their inability to travel to bigger cities (usually in the North) to compete for opportunities. This challenge is usually the product of traditional and normative prejudices against women from a conservative upbringing.
Hiya Story’s vision is bold, but sustainable nonetheless. We envision an Algerian South with less financially disadvantaged women where they enjoy daily quality access to the elements that construct a good living in modern standards (access to
nutrition, education, health-care, etc). Our proposal revolves around three goals: the economic and social empowerment
of disadvantaged women from the Algerian South, fostering their soft skills and raising their awareness about their rights and responsibilities as citizens, and promoting a community of acceptance and encouragement towards women.
The project also sets up three objectives for its endeavor. By the end of the initiative, our target women will be able to employ their business IT and entrepreneurship resources by either creating their own business or becoming employed. Furthermore, they will employ the soft skills acquired during the program and be able to stand for their rights and responsibilities as citizens.
Finally, the initiative aims at salvaging the problem of opportunity scarcity in the South by creating a female-friendly environment during training which attaches important psychological elements to the equation; the existence of successful role
models as an example.
Author: Samah Gacem / Tamkeen Organization