Women's economic
empowerment

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Women's economic
empowerment

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When women gain economic power, their children grow up healthier, communities are stronger, economies develop faster, and we all benefit.

Women are the engines of economic development, especially in rural farming communities, yet they continue to experience gender inequalities that leave them unable to access credit, land, tools or resources to secure a good livelihood.

Business-building opportunities offer women the management, financial, and marketing skills to start, diversify and sustain their farm and off-farm businesses. Alongside gender equality training for men and women, these strategies break down traditional barriers to women’s success, and increase their confidence and ability to fully participate in family and community decisions that directly affect their own and their children’s lives.

In Bolivia, Ethiopia, Ghana and Uganda we are helping to unleash women's potential:

8,159 people (73% women) are participating in 633 credit / savings groups

1,653 people (80% women) have started 1,502 business ventures

2,084 people (86% women) have received business skills training

3,066 adults (80% women) have been trained on sexual and reproductive health & rights (SRHR)

When you invest in a man, you invest in an individual. When you invest in a woman, you invest in a community.
KANAYO F. NWANE, PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL FUND FOR AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT, UNFAO, 2016

The Challenges

Lack of Support for Girls' education

While girls' enrolment in school is reaching parity, there are still many barriers to girls completing their education, including poverty, gender bias, sexual and gender-based violence, and civil conflict. (UNICEF)

RIGID GENDER ROLES & GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE

Traditional gender roles create an added unpaid labour burden for women and often prevent them from earning an income, expose them to higher rates of sexual and gender-based violence, and limit their decision-making power. (World Bank)

LACK OF EQUAL ACCESS TO TOOLS & RESOURCES BY WOMEN

Women lack access to the means to improve their own and their children's lives: productive land ownership, access to credit, training and markets, farm inputs, and an equal voice in decisions that affect them and their families. (UNFAO)

Unequal impact of conflict & climate change

Women bear a disproportionate burden of the impacts of climate change and conflict, depending more on but with less access to the income, goods and resources needed to sustain themselves and their children. (UN Women)

Current Initiatives

GIRLS' EDUCATION

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You can make it possible for girls to get a good education by:
  • Raising awareness of the value of girls’ education
  • Supporting safe, healthy, well-equipped schools
  • Encouraging girls’ involvement in clubs and extracurricular activities to gain voice on the issues that matter to them
  • Training educators, school management committees and parent-teacher associations to address issues such as harmful traditional practices and sexual and reproductive health and rights

WOMEN'S ENTREPRENEURSHIP

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You can help women gain business skills and establish good livelihoods by:
  • Providing seed capital
  • Offering business skills training
  • Linking women to markets and value-addition opportunities, including through business incubation hubs

INCOME GENERATION, CREDIT & SAVINGS GROUPS

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You can raise women’s and household income by:
  • Establishing credit and savings co-ops
  • Targeting membership in credit and savings co-ops, income-generating groups, farm-based organizations to women
  • Offering women skills-building (saving, using credit, VSLA/SACCO management, investing in their own business)
  • Encouraging women to take on leadership roles in community organizations and as agricultural/community extension agents

GENDER EQUALITY & GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE PREVENTION

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You can help promote gender equality, SRHR, and reduce SGBV by:
  • Engaging women and men in community conversations, raising awareness and inspiring action
  • Working with opinion leaders to disseminate and promote key messages related to gender equality, SRHR and harmful traditional practices
  • Incorporating gender equality training in women’s income and livelihoods programs
  • Raising awareness of the value of girls’ education and encouraging opinion leaders, educators, SMCs/PTAs, other community and governmental/civil society groups to take action on SRHR, SGBV and gender bias

CLIMATE-ADAPTIVE AGRICULTURE

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You can help increase the use of climate-adaptive agricultural practices among women by:
  • Targeting women’s involvement in climate-adaptive agricultural training
  • Increasing women’s access to land, credit, markets, inputs that maximize yields and profits
  • Improving dry season farming practices, food preservation and storage, and climate-friendly pesticide and fertilizer use
  • Enlisting women in the roles of community/agricultural extension agents and supporting women-led producers’ associations

Learn more

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Women's Work Is Never Done

We must work for women's economic empowerment that benefits, not further burdens, women and girls.
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Partner with us

Join a growing community committed to making long-term change
Members of the leadership
giving circle

Results & Impact

We are achieving together
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Income and Livelihoods


8,159
members of 633 credit / savings groups (73% women)
1,502
business ventures are benefitting 1,653 people (80% women)
2,084
people received business skills training (86% women)
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Agriculture / Horticulture


5,802
people trained on climate-smart agriculture / horticulture (64% women)
3,014
people received agricultural inputs including seeds, tools, plants, etc. (69% women)
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Youth Clubs


9,629
youth participated in school clubs (63% girls)
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Gender Equality


3,066
adults trained on sexual and reproductive health & rights (SRHR) (80% women)
2,944
students participated in SRHR/gender equality clubs (95% girls)
1,686
people (61% women) participated in community discussion groups with a gender equality component

Hearing from women & girls

About the progress they're making
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Last year, I achieved large yields for my farming activities. We were able to buy more land to expand, and now I feed my children nutritious meals.
Berochan, Uganda
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The training I received has changed everything, including how to live my life happily. [Before], I could not even support myself, but now I am supporting the whole family. Women should not be economically dependent on men for their livelihood.
Zahara, Ethiopia
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Getting an education is not harder for girls if they are given the same opportunities as boys. I am a member of a girls' club and we discuss this issue with our teachers and students during our meetings.
Kewlet, Ethiopia
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Women now have vegetable gardens. We have enough vegetables to prepare nutritious meals for our children and to sell some to earn an additional income. I feel I am becoming more productive and economically empowered and my voice is heard in the household and community.
Madam Ayisha, Ghana
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    Where your support is needed

    To achieve women's economic empowerment & justice

    102 high-need communities in 4 countries

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    The Future

    JOIN US TO SUPPORT LONG-TERM CHANGE FOR GIRLS & WOMEN AROUND THE WORLD

    Greater Food Security

    Women will be empowered to contribute fully to the food security of their families and communities by being engaged in climate-adaptive, gender responsive agricultural activities that boosts productivity and household income.

    Girls' Education Valued

    Girls will attend high-quality, well-equipped schools, live in communities that value their rights, be kept safe from harmful traditional practices, and gain an education that helps them break free from the cycle of poverty.

    Improved Gender Equality

    Women will be able to succeed in business, earn a fair income, expand their livelihood options, and improve their own and their family’s food security.

    Economic Security

    Women will exercise more agency in household and community decision making, increase their confidence and status, and improve their economic resilience and security.

    Get in touch

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    Thank you for sharing our commitment to help children thrive!

    For more information, please reach out to Fawad Iqbal at [email protected]
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    Thank you for sharing our commitment to help children thrive!

    For more information, please reach out to Fawad Iqbal at [email protected]