Dare to Dream!

This is a pilot project that aims to develop a successful approach to young women’s empowerment and integration in the public sphere and, subsequently, in the labour market. The project aims to develop a transferable methodology that takes into account the various factors that shape the exclusion of marginalized young women – that is, Roma, refugee and migrant young women and other marginalized communities. These factors are such as age, gender, cultural background and socio-economical status. Working on the empowerment and capacity-building of young marginalized women is to assure that they are able to recognize and seek new competences troughout their life cycle. Empowerment is a process that increases young women’ self-confidence and individual power. Therefore, our first priority lays on this principle. Bearing in mind that these young women often lack full access to quality formal education, promoting literacy and fostering the understanding of the sociopolitical system are very relevant, key and basic transversal competences that we must develop.
We’re also prioritizing youth because this generation is more likely to develop a mutiplier and sustainable effect in their communities. The promotion of entrepreneurship education and social entrepreneurship among young people is, on one hand, an answer to the changing of the traditional labour market and on the other hand a way to assure that their communities benefit from their entrepreneurship projects. The project is going to work in 3 different countries, in Portugal and in Italy with Roma young women and in Hungary with refugee or recently arrived migrant young women. These choices were made based on the assessment that each partner made about the most excluded groups of young women in their countries in terms of access to the formal education system and participation in the public life of their own communities and the majority community.
Young women are a key factor for change in marginalized urban minority communities. Due to cultural reasons and to the strict parriarchal organization of the communities, women in Roma, newly arrived migrant and refugee communities face strong obstacles in accessing the public sphere. This has a life long effect on their access to the labour market and to public decision making, thus, their needs are not taken into account in the local, national and european policy shaping process. In order to break this vicious cicle, young women need support to their civic and personal empowerment. The project aims to elaborate a replicable methodology to support – through civic and personal empowerment and capacity building – young women of urban marginalized minority background to start their projects of social entrepreneurship aimed at women of their communities. These projects shall have a double goal. On one hand, provide the young social entrepreneur women with economic independence and, on the other hand, be of use and support for the empowerment, civic engagement and economic independence of women in the community.
Also, we consider this to be an affirmative action project because it fosters the access to education and training to promote the social inclusion of marginalized youngsters, particularly women. An inclusive society needs to bear in mind the cultural and gender specific disadvantages and difficulties that members of our society face on an every day basis and elaborate successful answers. This project aims to create a methodology in a participative manner, with expert organizations and autorepresentatives and to tackle the lack of options designed specifically for young women’s empowerment, thus contributing to a more inclusive society and more inclusive education and training and youth. Young women from marginalized urban minority communities are often perceived only as caregivers by the public administration who are mostly interested in domestic work and are sustained by their husbands. Due to the crisis in employment, this model is not sustainable anymore. This gives young women the opportunity to start to be active in the labour market with the consent of their families, bringing real change in their communities, making them more equal. But so far, as men speak for the families and communities, young women’s voices are difficult to be heard. This makes specially difficult for schools, employment cetres and other educational and training facilities to reach out to these women and give them the opportunity to be useful and active members of society. The project aims to develop a policy paper based on country fact sheets as result of a relevant research with participatory elements that can be of use for these public institutions when working with young women of marginalized minorities and disseminate it widely among the relevant stakeholders.

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