In Ghana, women represent an important part of the labour force, particularly in agricultural, although their roles are often invisible or not recognized. In Karaga and Mamprugu Moaduri Districts, women’s skills (as tradespeople, farmers or agri-Entrepreneurs) are largely untapped, while they have incredible potential to strengthen value chains.
Promoting Economic Independence for Women and Youth (PEI- WAY) project targets to increase and improve the incomes and resilience of 640 productive poor women and small-scale entrepreneurs in Karaga and Mamprugu Moaduri Districts in the Northern Region of Ghana. This will be achieved through the delivery of 2 x 12-month cycles of vocational training to support 40 young unemployed and vulnerable youths with skills and financial literacy enabling them to earn a sustainable income to support themselves and their families. Furthermore, 20 Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) groups will be established (consisting of women who have been practicing agriculture for subsistence and/or income) to increase knowledge on savings and access to credit and will provide them with the knowledge and skills to better access markets, improve their yields and stimulate their savings; reducing gender stereotyping and barriers that promote disparity in opportunities for women.
Age and gender are key factors defining a person’s opportunities in life. Women often face challenges and constraints that prevent them from fulfilling their roles. Data from northern Ghana demonstrates that women tend to grow on less acreage than men and have less access to resources such as land, which usually belongs to their male relatives; women also have less access to improved seeds and other inputs, water, equipment, and labour, which they have to hire. Women face barriers to joining farmer groups or cooperatives, often because they lack information about the group, their husbands do not want them to join, or member fees are too high. As a result, they are excluded from services.
Women are often excluded from market opportunities and from benefits of commercial crop production, limiting their ability to contribute to family income. They have less education, less exposure to networks and information, and lower self-confidence. They are responsible for heavy work in a range of activities, such as domestic work (unpaid care burden), including household chores and childcare, and productive activities.
As a result of this dual responsibility, they work much longer hours than men, limiting their time, mobility, and access to opportunities offered by programs to develop their skills.
Expected project outcomes:
- 40 young people (60% female) will be economically empowered and equipped with skills and knowledge to set up their own businesses or secure employment to earn a sustainable income to support themselves and their families.
- 40 young people (60% female) will have increased well-being and self-esteem as a result of enhanced skills and knowledge making them feel valued and active contributors within their household and local community.
- 20 young people (selected from training participants) are equipped with the skills and knowledge to become Village Agents and support the sustainability of VSLA’s and continue to disseminate information and/or advice agricultural access to markets and extension services.
- 600 community members (70% women) will have improved entrepreneurial capacities and access to credit through the formation of 20 VSLA women’s groups (who are practicing agriculture for subsistence and/or income)
- 1,200 community members (70% women) will have improved access to markets and extension services, and increased awareness of best agronomic practices to increase their yields for subsistence or income to better support themselves and their families.
Project Duration: 2 years (2020-2022)
Donor: Tools for Self Reliance (TFSR)