Gender Equality

Pro­mot­ing Gen­der Equal­i­ty Through Women Eco­nom­ic Empow­er­ment

Our inte­grat­ed mar­ket based approach looks to pro­mote gen­der equal­i­ty through the eco­nom­ic empow­er­ment of women in sav­ings groups in an envi­ron­men­tal­ly respon­sive way. Our work involves mod­i­fy­ing exist­ing sav­ings groups in order to increase their impact on pover­ty reduc­tion. By mak­ing mar­kets more acces­si­ble to women run­ning micro enter­pris­es, we hope to improve their liveli­hood and increase their own­er­ship of pro­duc­tive assets. Lack of access to finan­cial cap­i­tal, mar­kets link­ages and low­er edu­ca­tion lev­els reduces women’s eco­nom­ic empow­er­ment and abil­i­ty to assert their human rights. The UN Human Devel­op­ment report of 2019 cat­e­go­rizes Zam­bia as one of the most gen­der unequal coun­tries with a Gen­der Inequal­i­ty Index (GII) of 0.539. High pover­ty lev­els often leads to ear­ly mar­riages and high­er risk expo­sure to gen­der based vio­lence. Accord­ing to UN data, almost a third of women aged 20 to 24 were mar­ried or in union before the age of 18.

Zam­bia is con­sid­ered to be one of the most gen­der unequal coun­tries with a Gen­der Inequal­i­ty Index (GII) of 0.539. (source: UN devel­op­ment report 2019.)                     

Our Approach

Financial Literacy

Pro­mot­ing Finan­cial Lit­er­a­cy And Inclu­sion To Reduce Pover­ty

Our work focus­es on improv­ing finan­cial lit­er­a­cy lev­els to empow­er women with the nec­es­sary knowl­edge to man­age their finances in order to improve their liveli­hood. Finan­cial lit­er­a­cy rep­re­sents the abil­i­ty to man­age finances to meet per­son­al goals. Despite finan­cial inclu­sion lev­els being con­sid­er­ably high at 69.4 per­cent, the Zam­bia FINSCOPE 2020 sur­vey shows that finan­cial lit­er­a­cy lev­els are con­sid­er­ably low­er at 23.6 per­cent. Being finan­cial­ly lit­er­ate is espe­cial­ly crit­i­cal for peo­ple liv­ing in pover­ty as this helps them man­age dai­ly needs and pro­tect them­selves from finan­cial shocks which they are espe­cial­ly vul­ner­a­ble to. Research data indi­cates that increas­ing finan­cial inclu­sion and lit­er­a­cy is asso­ci­at­ed with a decline in a household’s like­li­hood of being poor by 27% and it pre­vents household’s expo­sure to future pover­ty by 28%.

Finan­cial inclu­sion and lit­er­a­cy is asso­ci­at­ed with A decline in A household’s like­li­hood of being poor by 27% and it pre­vents household’s expo­sure to future pover­ty by 28%.

Green Financial Inclusion

Finan­cial ser­vices can not only help improve the liveli­hood of peo­ple liv­ing in pover­ty, it can also help them weath­er the impact of cli­mate change. Our green inclu­sive finance helps reduce vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties of women in sav­ings groups and their com­mu­ni­ties to cli­mate change while empow­er­ing them with finan­cial cap­i­tal to suc­cess­ful­ly run their micro enter­pris­es. By increas­ing the size of loans that women can get through their sav­ings groups, they are able to make mean­ing­ful cap­i­tal invest­ments in their microen­ter­pris­es to sup­port income growth in an envi­ron­men­tal­ly sus­tain­able way. Through the wom­en’s sav­ings groups we advo­cate for increased aware­ness and com­mu­ni­ty action to pro­mote the con­ser­va­tion of the envi­ron­ment and sup­port com­mu­ni­ty action to address issues such as defor­esta­tion and its adverse impact on cli­mate change.

Increas­ing Access To Finan­cial Cap­i­tal In An
Envi­ron­men­tal­ly Sus­tain­able Way

Market Access

Part of our devel­op­ment inter­ven­tion includes facil­i­tat­ing mar­ket access for sav­ings groups mem­bers that are involved in agri­cul­tur­al pro­duc­tion in order to improve income by pro­vid­ing bet­ter pric­ing derived from economies of scale and prod­uct aggre­ga­tion. Most of the mem­bers in the rur­al parts of the coun­try rely on agri­cul­ture as a liveli­hood but unfor­tu­nate­ly they are tak­en advan­tage of by brief­case buy­ers who buy the prod­uct from them at low­er than mar­ket prices. Because they have no means to trans­port their grain or lack infor­ma­tion around grain buy­ers, the brief­case buy­ers are able to arbi­trage grain prices by offer­ing prices which leave most farm­ers impov­er­ished from one har­vest to the next.

Facil­i­tat­ing Mar­ket Access And Increas­ing Entre­pre­neur­ial Capac­i­ty Helps Improve For
Wom­en’s Microen­ter­pris­es

Entrepreneurial Capacity Building

By inte­grat­ing entre­pre­neur­ial skills train­ing and coach­ing we help increase the abil­i­ty of women in sav­ings groups to grow income in microen­ter­pris­es in a sus­tain­able way. Mem­bers receive coach­ing dur­ing the fund­ing cycles to help them through the process of achiev­ing their per­son­al and finan­cial goals.