Globally, the majority of the world’s poor are women and when a woman lives in poverty, her family and the next generation are more likely to live in poverty. The empowerment of women and girls is not only important for a more inclusive society; it is a key component to achieving sustainable development.
ETHIOPIAID'S AIM: 1) Support the well-being of vulnerable women and girls; 2) Promote community development through the economic empowerment of women.
Like most places in the developing world, women in Ethiopia disproportionately carry the burden of poverty. This is not only detrimental to fostering inclusive communities but it is an impediment to sustainable development.
While Ethiopia has made incredible strides in promoting education and strengthening its economy, women and girls still lag behind in enjoying these developments. This is particularly true for women and girls from the poorest households and the most marginalized groups in society. With high rates of early marriage, gender based violence, HIV/AIDS, and maternal mortality, adolescent girls face unique risks to their health and livelihoods. Overcoming this challenge requires an integrated approach to women's empowerment that begins with a focus on girls and especially adolescent girls.
We recognize that empowering women requires an integrated approach that builds the health, social, and economic assets of women and girls. Under this pillar, we strive to expand educational opportunites for poor women and girls, increase the earning capacity of marginalized women, and provide safe spaces for vulnerable girls to thrive.
We are currently expanding our programming under this pillar and will have more updates to share in the near future!
Cheshire Services: Sustainable Livelihoods Program
Starting in 2013, we launched a Sustainable Livelihoods Program with our partner Cheshire Services. This program, which is part of our community rehabilitation project with Cheshire Services, offers loans and business training to disabled women and mothers of disabled children. Participants also form a revolving savings group, which acts as a sustainable source of credit. Most beneficiaries are the poorest of the poor and have been excluded from the workforce, denied access to banks and credit, and marginalized by society.
By participating in this program, women gain access to a bank account, a small loan, and business skills to develop their own income generating activities. Many participants earn their income through animal husbandry, preparing spices, and selling crops. Our program is unique from other microloan programs because we specifically target disabled women—a group that is often overlooked by main stream interventions.
Since 2013, we have empowered 130 women with microloans through our Sustainable Livelihoods Program.
Read our success studies here