Empower Women

In rural Kellem the day's chores for women involve fetching water, collecting fire wood, preparing food for the family and working on the family garden with their husbands. In general, rural women work 16-18 hours a day. Despite their important share to earning the family's income, women do not usually decide on how the family's income is to be used. Traditionally, without the goodwill of the husband, the wife cannot control and manage the income of the family. Due to the traditional outlook of the community on gender issues, many women have been denied the opportunity to equally participate with men in decision-making concerning their lives and the community in general. This has negative implications on women’s perception of their abilities: it has made them underestimate their potential for attaining self-reliance and contributing towards the development of their community. Walal is, at present, implementing a project of empowering four women's groups (114 individuals and their families) in Anfillo district. The activities are provision of seed capital on a loan basis (with no interest), relevant trainings, provision of animals, seed, construction of stores and shops.

The benefit the women and their families get are of social and economic value. They learn to organize, plan and take their own independent decisions. The lack of such opportunities in the past has kept them in the house, in the process, making them totally dependent on their male counterparts. There is a positive legal and structural environment in place to encourage the women's active role in the economics and social life of their communities. However, changing old traditions which gave women the status of children and changing the attitudes of men (and of women themselves) is a task that needs the cooperation of all stakeholders in the fast development of our area. Hubbur-Sholla Chairperson discussing her group's situation at monitoring trip of donor organization.