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.)
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
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
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.