Masertna: Empowering women through civic engagement in Mafraq
"Masertna" is an Arabic word that indicates a single march and a group of people walking to express certain demands or feelings. The name refers to the gathering and support of people on an issue to take a stand regarding it. Therefore, the name of "Masertna" is linked to the project in that the response to gender-based violence and involving women in this process requires a march and solidarity to address the various societal challenges and obstacles, working to change them and moving forward through empowerment and civic participation. The word "Masertna" carries a great deal of magnificence. Its use indicates that there are great obstacles, but when society works hand in hand towards change it will achieve success and elevation.
As reflected in its name, the "Masertna" project aims to facilitate the path to a better life for women by empowering and engaging them in combating gender-based violence (GBV) in their communities, to overcome the challenges and barriers that would otherwise darken their paths towards a life of peace and justice.
The project is funded by Women for Women International and implemented by the Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD). It targets both Syrian and host community women above the age of 16 who are at risk of experiencing or may have experienced GBV. The project aims to increase access to protection services for Syrian refugee and host community women in order to enhance prevention and response to gender-based violence in Jordan. Complementing past and current projects carried out by ARDD and furthering our mission to increase the protection of vulnerable Syrian refugee and host community women in Jordan.
The project employs high-quality legal awareness and aid services, psychosocial support group sessions, and civic engagement trainings to ensure that women and community members receive a comprehensive education of personal status laws, women’s rights, and prevention and response techniques. Adopting ARDD’s vision of inclusive intellectual and developmental change, the project approaches the issue of GBV on both the individual and community levels. By helping to empower women to be confident in advocating for themselves and by creating allies within their communities, great strides can be made in preventing and responding to gender-based violence. By disseminating the different skills in the target areas, communities will be equipped to be their own agents of change in the fight against GBV.
Masertna follows the success of another ARDD project, Shorouq, which followed a similar approach and resulted in 24 unique civic initiatives to address gender-based violence, designed and implemented by women participating in the project.
Women for Women International is an organization that supports the most marginalized women to earn and save money, improve health and well-being, influence decisions in their home and community, and connect to networks for support. By utilizing skills, knowledge, and resources, she is able to create sustainable change for herself, her family, and community.