When a woman’s status is elevated, entire communities are lifted out of poverty. However, women face many social, economic and cultural stereotypes that prevent this, especially in rural communities. That’s why our gender training for female clients, spouses and community leaders aims to help break down gender stereotypes.
It is the second year of our ‘Roots of Change’ project, that you so kindly supported during our 2017 appeal and where the UK government matched your donations. Part of this project has involved gender workshops to communities in northern Ghana. To date, almost 1,500 clients, spouses and community members have participated in these workshops and the results are astonishing!
So far our female clients have seen improvements in:
- Communication: “The training has helped me communicate better with my husband and the entire household.”
- Sharing of household activities: “My husband now helps me with home chores and childcare.”
- Understanding about women’s rights: “Now I believe that I and my girls can achieve the same as men. The training made me aware of my rights as a woman I never knew I had.”
- Confidence amongst women because they have learned good agricultural practices and their yields are increasing: “Now I believe that I and my girls can achieve the same as men.”
Not only are women feeling more supported and understood but they are experiencing more influence within the household such as the ability to hire more labourers. Their confidence is growing due to increased influence and improved knowledge from agricultural training and from increased yield.
In fact 99% of clients who are part of the project are now reporting that decisions are being made jointly or independently by the women.
- “Men were the only leaders in the past, making all decisions. The decision-making is now a shared responsibility, where women and youth contribute.” (Male community leader)
- “My husband now makes decisions with me as what needs to be done, shares ideas and solicits for my opinion.” (Female farmer)
Thanks to your support, and that of the UK government, we are helping women build their confidence, influence and impact on their communities. Women like Sanatu….
Sanatu Yakubu is 35 years old, married, and is responsible for four of her own children in addition to four step-children who all live at home. She faces many challenges in bringing up her family but is hopeful for the future following the training and access to finance that she has received from the project:
“Women have the capabilities to strive economically but our culture does not permit us. I hope that the trainings you give to us, our spouses and community leaders will bring about changes in the way men and women relate.
The project is very good for me because there is an improvement in my income and that makes me better off than the previous year. My children have good nutrition and I am able to provide for better clothing.
I feel confident about the future. I believe everyone will benefit from the project. Knowledge is shared with the entire community both men and women and everyone is enlightened about finances and managing the household.”
COVID-19 is currently affecting many of our projects but in response we are adapting our UK Aid Match project to keep supporting key needs raised by the communities in which we work. This includes practising social distancing and communicating through mobile phones and radio broadcasts to reach our clients.