Women’s empowerment

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.

Women’s empowerment

ETHIOPIAID's AIM: To help Ethiopia’s women to reach their full potential, empowering them with the knowledge and skills they need to become self-sufficient.

Our Solution

We recognise that empowering women requires an integrated approach that builds on health, social and economic assets. Under this pillar, we strive to expand educational opportunities for women, increase their earning capacity, and arm them with the skills and knowledge to create change.  

  • Yenege Tesfa: Planting the seeds for a healthy future

    As well as improving the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children through their family safe house, Yenege Tesfa - literally translated as Hope for Tomorrow - also provide agricultural and financing programs for single mothers. Yenege Tesfa recognise that for many female-headed households, the reality is that children will be forced to leave home at a young age in order to find employment to support their family. As such the children of female-headed houses typically have less opportunity to become educated, minimising their chances of breaking out of the poverty cycle.  Addressing this issue at its core, Yenege Tesfa have created programs that educate single mothers about land preparation, harvesting and animal production. Their hope is that if families have a reliable, sustainable food income, children will be able to stay at home where they belong. Over 60 single mothers have already benefitted from this program. Through increased production of vegetables and other food sources, women have been able to increase their wages, build houses and purchase livestock. In combination with financial management training and micro loans, families with low income have the capabilities to set up their own business ventures and provide for themselves. Moreover, to promote a long, happy and healthy life for themselves and their families, single mothers also receive training in hygiene, HIV/AIDS prevention, psychological and life skills. Yenege Tesfa creates hope for a brighter future for single mothers and their families.

  • APDA: Providing women with the means to enact change

    APDA (Afar Pastoralist Development Association) is an organisation that works to eradicate harmful traditional practices against women in the Afar region of Ethiopia. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and child marriage are deep-set, cultural traditions of the Afar, and in order to break the cycle of their practise, APDA empower women to lead the campaign. Their holistic approach sees female community members trained as Women Extension Workers, armed with the knowledge to discuss the issue, spread awareness and enact change; bringing previously taboo subjects to light in their communities. But their work doesn’t stop there. Women Extension Workers are also educated about hygiene and environmental sanitation, and disease transmission and prevention, particularly in regards to HIV & AIDS. Their training enables them to counsel other women on issues in their daily lives, assist in and advise income generating cooperatives, and train traditional birth attendants; monitoring their activities, and supervising their antenatal and postnatal appointments. Each woman – armed with a field kit including a cooking pot and lentils (to demonstrate to the community how to prepare iron rich food), soap and mosquito nets to sell to the community at cost price, information booklets/posters and delivery sets that are given to the community traditional birth attendant - returns to their community with the skills, knowledge, and sense of purpose and passion to mobilise the community. APDA understands that it takes a community to create change, and that this change begins with the empowerment of the community’s women. 

Our Impact

  • Yenege Tesfa’s Agricultural Program has been received extremely well among single mothers in Gondar! Already in 2015, 30 single mothers have taken advantage of the crop production training program, and 25 single mothers have received family planning training and agricultural materials to begin planting their crops. In light of this success, Yenege Tesfa aim to deliver agricultural training to 480 single mothers over the next four years, as well as purchasing a number of sheep to assist them to achieve their agricultural endeavours.
  • To date, the 40 Women Extension Workers trained by APDA have impacted over 16,000 women in the Afar region, through practical demonstrations, counselling and awareness raising activities. Over 890 women have been educated about FGM practice and its health impact, 1,135 women understand the issues associated with child marriage, and over 14,000 women are getting the training they need in health issues pertaining to HIV prevention, hygiene and sanitation, and childbirth procedures. With the help of Women Extension Workers, APDA are creating a lasting, positive change for the communities in the Afar.