Rasoarivelo Andresse Nathalie – Madagascar

Rasoarivelo Andresse Nathalie – Madagascar

Date: November 29, 2015
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“Say no to violence”

Nathalie is one of the beneficiaries of the entrepreneurship project, led by Gender Links (GL) in the urban council of Mahajanga. Attending the training was very exciting for her: she made new friends and established new relationships, especially during the national summit, and she could foresee new perspectives for her business.

Nathalie started the training in July 2014. She attended every step of the training and all of it was beneficial for her. The most interesting parts were the techniques of entrepreneurship such as book keeping, investigations before deciding to act, etc.

Before the training, she worked in a grocery business but it failed because of a lack of skills and lack of experience. After this first attempt, she was desperate and did not manage to find another job. Her participation in the training encouraged her to try again. She began to put into practice lessons learned during the training and she did an analysis of the needs of her village. After this, she opened a new grocery store in the village.

“My life has really changed since I participated in the training because people learned to respect me”, she says. Previously, Nathalie experienced many kinds of violence, such as beating, verbal abuse, cigarette burning and she was sometimes not allowed to work. Her husband used to humiliate her in the street, which had a huge impact on her psychological well-being.

“Now, I can say that I am free from violence”, she says. Her friends are happy for her. However, they are not yet convinced on the issue of gender equality. Nathalie tries to convince them on the importance of gender equality as a way to end violence.

The change in Nathalie’s life had a great impact on the people close to her. Her father, for example, has begun to involve her in the family duties, which is proof that she is considered in the family. Previously, he would not have done so.

As a result of her success, people around her are happy as she is no longer a burden for the family. According to her, financial independence and violence are closely linked because women’s dependence on their husbands is favourable for a violent relationship. “My life and my attitude changed and I became stronger mentally as a result of this training,” she says.

She wishes to become a trainer on gender equality so she can help women in her village know their rights. She explains that many women still live in violent situations in her council. At the moment, she is trying to encourage women around her to say no to violence and accept gender equality.

In the near future, she intends to create an association in partnership with the council, an association working towards women’s empowerment.


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