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Libraries: Safe Place for Women

READ Centers (Community Library and Resource Centers) provide a powerful platform for social transformations through women's empowerment, education, technology for development and economic enhancement. These community initiated and owned grassroots Centers have been described as "safe places" by the women themselves where they can come to gather and learn. They do not need permission from their husband/fathers to visit the Center as they (the men) also see it as a "safe place". READ Centers provide dedicated room for women with resources, tools and programming target at women and girls. Therefore these "safe places" also become a place where women empower and enhance themselves with knowledge, skills and opportunities to rise.

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Written by DeletedUser

Inspiration: Women are strong, resilient and can change her fate and her family's only if she is given an opporutnity to do. This is inspiring story because at the age of 47, when Chuna saw the opporutnity at the READ Center, she took it on with such gusto. 
Key learnings - libraries and resource centers can be a powerful platform as it is seen as a "safe place" and non-threatening. A place traditionally many would not make the connection! The changing of role of libraries or as some describes it "house of knowledge" in development.
Questions - Can this be replicated in other countries or can traditional libraries respond or transform to changing needs?

 

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Photo of Meena Kadri

This is such a great share, Thinley. It's interesting to note how much more resonant a personal voice is on a topic like the need for education. This post raises so much inspiration for our upcoming Ideas phase. Has also got me thinking about opportunities for mobile libraries and intergenerational learning. We're excited about what thoughts it will spark amongst others in our community...

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And here's a friendly tip: update your OpenIDEO profile so folks can dig who they're collaborating with. Think skills, experience, passions & wit! Looking forward to seeing more of you across conversations on this challenge...

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Photo of Jason Rissman

What an inspiring video - thanks for sharing!

Although a totally different context, this made made me think of libraries in the US. There's much talk of their uncertain future. They're such important civic spaces for offering access to information, yet their roles are likely to evolve. The need for safe spaces for learning and empowerment is universal. I wonder how libraries in other countries might be responding to the need of women and girls (and disadvantaged communities) to learn, assemble together, and access information and technology. And, what are some different new models for supporting libraries?

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ps Is that a Tich Nhat Hanh painting in your profile?!

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DeletedUser

Jason - I think there is a movement amongst libraries around the world that they need to evolve and respond to evolving needs and go beyond their traditional stereotypes. There are pretty amazing things libraries are doing around the world to respond to different needs of their communities!
Yes, it is TNH's painting.

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