Browse by Theme: Women's Economic Empowerment

What changes do we need to empower women smallholders and achieve food security? This question has been asked repeatedly over the past several decades, but transformative changes in both public policy and practice have been few and far between. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), closing the „gender gap‟ in agriculture – or increasing women‟s contribution to food production and enterprise by providing equal access to resources and opportunities – could reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 12-17 per cent, or by 100 to 150 million people.

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Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programmes support extremely poor households with a cash subsidy, on condition that children attend school and health checks. Evaluations have shown CCTs have succeeded in improving children’s school attendance, and nutritional and health indicators. But there is comparatively less evidence on whether CCTs address women’s needs and rights.

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The adoption of Cash Transfer programmes in much of the Latin American region is credited with helping to bring poverty reduction about. These programmes are widely promoted as a cost effective and efficient means by which to target vulnerable groups. The model pioneered in Latin America is designed to assist poor households with the cost of schooling, and an innovative feature is that the transfer is given directly to the mothers. It is claimed that this maximises efficiency and achieves positive results because women’s spending in low income households, in contrast to men’s, is largely directed at satisfying children’s and household’s needs. It is also claimed that women benefit from their control over this resource and that their participation in the programme is empowering women. This article provides a summary of some key findings of recent research in Latin America, supported by CARE International UK.

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Reducing poverty and promoting women empowerment through market development in the southern Andean highlands of Peru

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Conditional cash transfer programmes provide extremely poor households with a cash subsidy, on condition that children attend school, and mothers and infants undergo health checks.

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In 2008, CARE launched an ambitious Market Engagement Strategy that aims to empower 10 million women and girls to transition from poverty to prosperity by  2015 by improving their ability to access and benefit from markets and employment. This report represents a first assessment of how we are doing. The report  begins by recapping the rationale for our strategic focus and our objectives. This is followed by a summary of CARE’s global achievements and highlights from some of our most progressive programs and partnerships. The report also reviews current activities and concludes with an outline of key issues to focus on as we move forward.

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CARE International in Yemen is proud to have been associated with this initiative with rural women in Al Mahweet.

The accounts of the village men and women who took part speak clearly and positively of the real and lasting changes in their lives which have happened thanks to the hard work and dedication of CARE staff working in close partnership with local communities in Yemen under the coordination of Faiza Hisham and Stephany Kersten.

We hope that the images and accounts in this book will inspire the imaginations of others to help change the lives of more women in rural communities everywhere. This resource is also available in Arabic.

Empowerment of women, as formulated by CARE staff, is building the capacity of women to improve their knowledge, experiences and skills to make decisions, improve the livelihood of themselves and their families, to participate in development, and improve her self esteem, within the context of Islamic rules and beliefs.

For two years, CARE has been working with 13 women’s associations in Al Mahweet governorate to increase their capacity, manage their associations and to take charge of their own empowerment.

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