Women Economic Empowerment Program

Women Economic Empowerment Program

PSJ – CEO /team share a light moment with the women group of Dicwinyi Wot Anyim Association, Gulu District

The overall goal of this program is to ensure that women have the power and ability to contribute financially to their families and demand for accountability from their leaders.

Skills enhancement program
The program targets young girls and women and addresses poverty by empowering women that have been marginalized from decision-making and economic opportunities. Poverty reduction is not simply about meeting basic needs, but also about influencing program activities that focus on increasing women’s voice and economic self-reliance. Women’s economic participation and ownership of land has proven not only to help overcome poverty but to speed up development with socio-economic multiplier effects for families and communities.

On the individual level, this program helps women and girls to develop knowledge, skills and confidence in life planning, with an emphasis on food security, property rights, water, employment and trade. On the collective level, women’s groups conduct participatory rural appraisals mapping out the impediments to economic self-reliance. These challenges are then used to create strategic objectives for the next quarter.

The Women’s groups are supported to carry out advocacy and civic education to hold decision-makers accountable and eliminate these barriers. At the structural level, these activities improve regulatory frameworks and business services that impact women and girls. Through policy analysis, collaboration with stakeholders, and advocacy, the program promotes gender-responsive policies related to food security, property rights, water, employment, finance and trade at the grass root.

Peer to Peer education approach
The peer to peer education approach allows the program to reach a much larger target group without costs becoming prohibitive. Not only is peer education cost-efficient, research has shown that trained young people and women are effective educators, accessible to their peers, and able to relate to their cultural and age-specific concerns. The formation of peer groups encourages beneficiaries to learn not only from peer trainers but from each other as well, thus integrating the knowledge and experience of everyone involved at minimal cost.

This approach brings trainings closer to the target group rather than transporting the target group to central training facilities. Not only is this gender appropriate but allows women and girls to be trained in the vicinity of their home, families and children, eventually it also reduces transportation and accommodation costs.

Thematic Innovations
A key feature of this program is a shift from targeting women more generally to a specific strategic emphasis on female youth. Young women can be drivers of change in their countries and communities, but they face the dual challenges posed by age and gender. Women are a disempowered majority and young people an invisible majority, girls and young women stand at the interface of gender and generation. They have far less power and resources than older women and are even more invisible than adolescent boys and young men.

Additionally, this initiative is unique in integrating two types of interventions that are often carried out independently: life skills development and civic education. These two approaches reinforce one another, fostering the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values which will enable women to participate as active and informed citizens.

The multi- sectoral approach that will be used in this program shall address several livelihood challenges faced by women and girls. These include access to finance and trade, access to information on the existing legislations and policies and the working environment.
Finally by working at multiple levels simultaneously, PSJ addresses the individual, collective, and structural factors that impact women’s ability to be economically self-reliant. Progress on one level accelerates progress on the others.