Empowering Women in Remote Communities and Safeguarding Heritage
Empowering Women in Remote Communities and Safeguarding Heritage
Published on: April 2018
By:
UAE has over ninety per cent of its population living in urban areas. Settlements in rural areas are sparse and spread over vast areas. While female gender equality is a priority area outlined under the UAE Constitution, Federal Decree No. 30 of 1996 and Ministerial Resolution 225 of 2015, there is an urgency to look at empowerment from a societal transformation point of view. The rapid economic development of UAE has endangered cultural heritage like ‘Al Sadu’ weaving, often thought as a woman’s skill. Sougha, an initiative from The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, supports rural women to preserve local handicrafts through sales. Preserving heritage for future generations raises questions on how to capture this knowledge, preserve it, authenticate it and keep it relevant for modern times. Research findings on the concept of empowerment, the perceived identity of participant, the role of financial independence, need for business skills and preserving heritage have policy implications for the fields of education, health (happiness), economy and culture. The findings can be used for organizations working in this space as catalysts and is are applicable at a global level. 

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