Gender and Economic Development

Gender and Economic Development

 Improving the investment climate and market access provides new income opportunities for both men and women in developing societies. It is important to note that private sector development effectiveness requires an understanding of the different constraints often faced by women and men in this domain. Gender considerations should thus be incorporated into key areas for private sector development like: disparities in asset ownership, labour market imbalances, access to finances, access to markets and business enabling environment.

Under this thematic area/programme, EASSI implements the following projects

Women's Economic Justice

The Economic Justice for Women Project is implemented in Luwero district of Uganda by EASSI, FIDA and NAWOU. The four year project is funded by Forum For Women And Development -FOKUS.

The Project seeks to strengthen women's access to justice and capacity to organize, network at various levels and take collective action for improved access to information, resources and markets for sustainable livelihoods. It aims at enabling women to have own income that will improve their lives and that of their families and communities.  The project  gives women confidence to challenge the status quo of marginalisation, discrimination and rights violations. With financial independence, information, rights awareness and advocacy strategies, women will have voice to engage at local, national and regional levels on policy frameworks and their implementation. These will in turn contribute to a citizen’s rights responsive women and community members who are able to influence and hold state actors to account. By strengthening the agency of individual women and local women’s associations, a stronger women's movement and citizen’s engagement in nation building will be realised.

The project is intended to empower women to become more economically independent (in the Luwero District). The project is intended to contribute to the following outputs;

  • Women have increased ability to access protection of their rights to achieve economic justice
  • Women organised in influencial and sustainable groups whose members enjoy economic development
  • Women actively participate and benefit from the East African Common Market and platforms.

Women and Girls Empowerment Project (WOGE)

The Women and Girls’ Empowerment (WOGE) project is a four year (2012-2015) joint project of EASSI and DSW. It was formulated to draw from and complement the ongoing work of EASSI and DSW with regard to women and girls empowerment. The Project has its roots in both organizations’ common concern for the plight of women and girls and complementary advocacy and programming strength at national and regional levels.

The goal of the WOGE Project is to contribute to poverty reduction by strengthening women’s and girls’ voices for economic self-reliance in the East African Region particularly in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia.  This project is designed to strengthen and promote economic empowerment of women, give them a voice to champion for themselves their own issues and reduce their vulnerability and violation of their rights.

It is expected that by the end of 2015, 6000 women and girls will have developed the knowledge and skills to ably influence decisions on their economic self-reliance. A baseline survey conducted in 2012, a copy of which can be retrieved from EASSI Publications revealed that majority of the women and girls were engaged in trade in a non planned manner, had no business plans, lacked record keeping skills and limited communication skills. They also produced poor quality goods which were not competitive in the local markets and lacked skills in marketing, packaging and branding. It is against this backdrop that the Project has so far supported the formation and strengthening of a total of 150 women and girls self-help groups through which an estimate of over 6000 women and girls have gained knowledge and skills for economic self reliance.

The Project has got four outcomes namely:

  • Women and girls develop the knowledge and skills to ably influence decisions on their economic self-reliance. 
  • Effective collective action at local level to improve economic self-reliance.
  • Women and girls utilize available information to improve their economic self-reliance.
  • Improved regulatory frame work and business services for economic self-reliance.

Consolidating the gains of Women Cross Border Traders

With support from Trade Mark East Africa, EASSI is implementing a project targeting women cross border traders entitled “Consolidating the gains of women cross border traders in the East African Community (EAC) economic integration process”.The project whose overall goal is to increase the value and volume of trade by women cross border traders in the East African Community common market” is a continuity from a previous project on Empowering women cross border traders in the East African common market. The project recognizes that trade policy reform in the EAC region, with the coming into force of the Customs Union and Common Market Protocols, largely focused at the formal economy without considering the women traders who are the majority in cross border trade although in the informal economy.

Under the project, EASSI endeavors to identify opportunities for Women Cross Border Traders (WCBTs) provided for in various EAC trade or legal instruments in order to enable them benefit just like their male counterparts. Through their women traders Associations, the WCBTs are able to lobby and advocate for their rights especially regarding the challenges experienced while transacting across the various border points. The project is being implemented at the border points of Malaba (Kenya/Uganda), Busia (Kenya/Uganda), Mutukula (Tanzania/Uganda), Katuna (Rwanda/Uganda), Holili/Taveta (Kenya/Tanzania), Namanga (Kenya/Tanzania and Kabanga/Kobero (Burundi/Tanzania) border.

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Copyright: EASSI 2016