Gender & The Power of Equity Based Action: Spotlight DorcasAidRomania on #IWD2023

This year, the International Women’s Day 2023 campaign shines a light on the difference between #Equity and #Equality and why it is important to understand and highlight the value of its substantive distinctions for sustainable, long-term solutions. 

In our current international order, equal opportunities or equality-based solutions are no longer sufficient as they have proven to exacerbate societal divisions and the exclusion of minority groups rather than inclusive societies.  

While equality-based solutions stress the value of impartiality as it believes in equal services and policies across different social groups, #Equity-based solutions have excelled in our interconnected world order because it takes an extra step. It takes into account diverse backgrounds, adopting services and policies across varied contexts. It becomes even more crucial to adopt #Equity based initiatives in projects that strive to shift #Gender discussions. This is vital given cultural differences. It becomes essential to shift from the traditional notion of #GenderEquality to #GenderEquity driven projects that sensitives with the specific cultural contexts to empower young girls and women across communities.  

In Aflatoun, with the help of our local partners, we continue to embrace the added value of #GenderEquity based programs by contextualizing and adopting our curricula for a long-lasting sustainable impact. In light of the need to expand #Equity-based initiatives, and in line with this year’s #InternationalWomensDay campaign, we delve into the impact and inspiring story that took root in a village named Tarian, Bihor County (Romania).  

In Tarian, Romania, our local partners, ASA Association Team and @DorcasAidRomania have been truly active in promoting equitable action to empower #RomaWomen. This concrete initiative started in the fall of 2022, alongside the implementation of the Aflateen program, adding on to the already present Aflatoun curriculum. According to the Aflateen curricula, workshops and meetings were designed to target a majority of young women from the Roma community, as Roma women are predominantly affected by material shortages or great deficiencies when it comes to integration into society. Together with the ASA association team, local employees have been working to appease personal or social group challenges by engaging in specific discussions at individual or group level. They continuously help to shed light on social exclusion experienced by distinct age groups like young Roma mothers and children and via Dorcas Aid, Afltoun and Aflateen programmes incessantly ensure that the targeted age groups have access to prolonged school attendance after secondary education and/or proper orientation phasing the job market each age group. 

Self-Help Groups  

The special focus of Dorcas Aid in improving the resiliency of marginalized, young Roma women has also become vital in the healthy development of their children and future Roma generations. These self-help groups have thrived as they are specially designed to bring local girls together “to learn and support each other”. As part of the #Equity campaign, these self-help groups are conditioned to the special context of the Roma community, as #entrepreneurial trainings and #FinancialEducation modules help girls resolve problems at home and manage stress to ultimately boost their personal aspirations and self-esteem.  

We, ASA Association, don’t miss any opportunity to celebrate women, and we like to lean especially towards those women who may never have had a celebration dedicated to them, women who come from socially disadvantaged backgrounds. 

We started a series of regular meetings with the Roma mothers of the children and youth attending our Aflatoun and Aflatouth meetings. The purpose of these meetings is to empower these women, to develop life skills, to help them be braver, to have a proper opinion about themselves, to contribute to increasing the level of self-confidence. They become strong women with a beautiful character, thus being a blessing to their families and society. Some of them participate in tailoring courses, wanting to develop even more and fight to overcome their condition. 

These days, we had a special meeting dedicated to women, celebrating International Women’s Day. We gathered, we encouraged each other, we served something together and thus we could enjoy the fact that we are women. A woman is the heart of the house, and if she is in a positive state of mind, then the whole house radiates with joy.  

Happy International Women’s Day!!! (Staff member of ASA association). 


Once I learned to like me more than others did, then I didn’t have to worry about being the funniest or the most popular or the prettiest. I was the best me and I only ever tried to be that.”  (Issa Rae, beneficiary of the program).