The Cultural Center doesn’t “empower women,” but instead facilitates women’s empowerment. That’s because we believe that women are their own best agents of change; they already have everything they need to break free of whatever is holding them back from realizing their dreams. Of course, breaking free from chains of oppression is no easy task, particularly in light of the systemic barriers to justice in Nicaragua.
But women who come to the Center with a desire to learn and the
initiative to find alternatives discover their gifts and let them shine in the face of innumerous challenges. Their class experiences facilitate learning new skills (which contribute to economic independence), identifying their own values and finding their own solutions to personal problems, and growing their self-esteem. With this confidence, women become agents of change not only for themselves, but in their families and communities.
“I can defend myself and I come out ahead.”
“I knew a little about this subject before, but not as much as I do now.”
“I don’t stay quiet anymore when I see situations of injustice.”
“I used to cry everyday. But now I leave my personal problems at home….I’ve been
able to get off of sleeping pills, and I feel much less depressed now.”
“I have changed a lot through my experience in this course. My way of thinking, my
feelings, my attitudes, they have all changed.”
I have had countless women share with me similar stories of success, from how they’ve learned a new skill to how they parent their children better to how they’ve decreased the levels of violence in their homes. While the Center certainly does remarkable work facilitating these spaces, it is the women themselves who pour their hearts into getting ahead in life and improving their situations and that of their
~Amanda Otero, International Communications Liason at the Cultural Center Batahola Norte