RAZANAMADY Razafindramora Claire – Madagascar

RAZANAMADY Razafindramora Claire – Madagascar

Date: August 8, 2016
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Self-confidence helps one to become more fulfilled

Claire raised her six children alone after she had been a victim of intimate partner violence for years. After she worked with Gender Links (GL), her life really changed. She gained theoretical knowledge and practical experience she had never thought she would ever have. The concept of gender is one of the things she learnt. Previously, she believed that when we talk about gender we refer to women, while gender is ultimately a concept related to the social construction, women are perceived as weak and passive and are associated with the domestic and private world, while men are seen as strong and enterprising in the public world.

Throughout the GL activities she undertook, she began to trust herself little by little and she feels increasingly indispensable. Very timid, she began to speak in public with great firmness even during village meetings. Still, being head of the village for two years in 2001 and 2002, she never dared to utter a formal speech or speak in public. At the time, when the opportunities presented themselves, she always delegated this kind of work to one of her collaborators. Currently, despite the cultures and traditions that dictate that only men should speak during family events, she is able to speak during such events and even to respond to traditional speeches that were reserved specifically for men. “It’s amazing that my family calls me to respond to speeches at family events, “she said.

Claire did a little bit of everything to earn her living. Among other things, she is embroiderer, massager and at the same time she raised six hens. After pursuing every stage of the entrepreneurship project, she understood that she had to choose and focus on one activity to earn profits that would support her household needs. She also noted that she had to keep an account book to record her income and expenditures, and above all, she had to separate her own expenses from her business ones. To do this, Claire decided to expand her breeding activities. Currently, she has 36 hens. Besides this activity, she continues embroidery. Her revenue from farming serves as savings and she lives off the income she makes from embroidery. As a tangible result, she was able to change the roof of her house which was previously straw. Claire believes that although the technical support of GL is very important to her, she is convinced that if GL brought financial support, her life would have improved more.

All her family and her neighbours noticed that her life has really changed. Moreover, she began to give advice to other women and encourage them to take up their lives, especially to become financially independent. Claire has a 26 year-old daughter who just split with her husband due to problems of violence. She welcomed her home and she shared with her all she has learnt from GL on the technical as well as the psychological level. Now her daughter has also become financially independent. She specialised in embroidery and can support herself. Her daughter then left her mother’s home and rents a house with her two children. Claire is happy to share her knowledge with others. Women in her neighbourhood listen and follow her advice, even when they have problems of any kind whatsoever; they do not hesitate to ask Claire for advice.

Claire’s objective is to further expand her activities and become am role model in her council. In the medium term, she plans to be a candidate for the next municipal election and stand as a councillor. She believes that once she is in this position she will be able to help other women in her council.


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