Socio-economic wellbeing Socio-economic wellbeing

Change led by Zè women

Change led by Zè women
  • Benin Country
  • 223.789 € Investment
  • 2020-22 Length

The Challenge

Women’s leadership is key to stopping NTDs and the violence women suffer.

In 2012, we started work on a project to improve water, hygiene and sanitation habits in the rural commune of Zè, in southern Benin, an area with a high rate of NTDs.

Through this initiative, we have encountered different groups of women who became involved in awareness-raising activities from the start. As well as managing all domestic and care tasks, they are also key agents in avoiding the transmission of forgotten diseases.

Unfortunately, many of these women are unaware of their basic rights and do not have financial independence to live their lives.

The solution

In collaboration with WILDAF (Women in Law & Development in Africa), a pan-African network to promote and defend women’s rights that was founded in 1990 and is present in 22 countries, we promote the empowerment of Zè women by:

  • Focusing strongly on women’s literacy in rural environments.
  • Providing education for groups of women on their rights, equality laws protecting them and the prevention of gender-based violence.
  • Training groups of women so they join cooperatives through administrative management and financial methods.
  • Developing processes to improve the transformation and sustainability of local foods such as corn, beans, bananas and yucca.
  • Improving methods to breed different animals: poultry, goats, pigs, etc.
  • Strengthening knowledge in Zè communities to prevent and detect NTDs.

Impact

The leadership of eight groups of women from the Zè commune through starting up cooperative businesses will ensure they have more financial independence.

Equally, they will have a better idea of their rights, such as the Right to Health, making them examples of positive leadership in their community to fight NTDs and the different forms of violence women suffer.

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