Posted on March 07, 2018

The 2018 International Women's Day arrives amid a global movement to advocate for women's rights and the achievement of equality and justice.

Despite the progress achieved, women around the world continue to be underrepresented at the political, economic and social levels. The theme of International Women's Day 2018 is “The Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives”, which aims to accelerate the 2030 Agenda, building momentum for the effective implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, with focus on some of them such as goal number 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Silatech continues its work that aims at creating a world where young men and women are engaged in the economic development of their societies, as well as contributing to the achievement of gender equality and empower all women and girls through programs tailored for young women being a main pillar of sustainable economies.

In recent years, Silatech has collaborated with its partners to introduce programs designed to empower women economically and educationally, so that they can, alongside men, contribute to the economic and social development of their societies. Silatech's programs to enable women in rural and conflict-affected areas have proved that through their high productivity; women are able to bring stability to their communities such as the Harvesting Gum Arabic project in North Kordofan-Sudan, which has enabled work and livelihood opportunities for women who suffered from post-conflict effects and lack of access to an appropriate level of education.

In Somalia, given the country’s high level of unemployment, Silatech has identified the fishing industry, though underdeveloped, as the industry with the highest potential for growth and job creation amongst other active industries.

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In partnership with Yustan Seafood, a leading seafood export company in East Africa with access to markets of 100 million people, Silatech designed and implemented a broad-based program to build the capacity of 2400 fishermen by training fishermen to improve their fishing practices, adopt best practices in pre/post-harvest handling, and enable them to utilize appropriate technologies and equipment to better understand and target fish species and markets.

The program also aimed to increase economic opportunities for women in a male dominated industry by ensuring that at least 25% (equivalent to 600) of the post-harvest staff recruited and trained are women, which made this program one of it a kind. Another example is Silatech’s partnership with The Palestinian Food Industries Union to implement a capacity building program within women’s associations in Palestine to economically empower women in Palestine

The “Women Empowerment” program aims to provide job opportunities for 1000 young females within 15 identified women’s associations in the Gaza Strip and Jenin Governorate in the West Bank. The program focuses on upgrading women’s skill and productivity levels, through training them on topics related to correct manufacturing methods, quality, food safety and production management. It also develops their marketing and packaging skills, in order to produce high quality products that are competitive both in the Palestinian and international markets.

Through this and similar projects, the organization aims at empowering women economically and enabling them to promote social and economic stability in their society. Silatech believes in the pivotal role of women in the development of economies and in enhancing the stability of societies and their enormous productive capacity if they are enabled. Silatech continues to seek to mobilize efforts and resources and collaborations to promote women's economic opportunities and enable them to play their fundamental role in achieving sustainable development.