Women’s Economic Empowerment Reduces Poverty and Improves Family Care
Unequal opportunities between men and women exist in every country. At Challenging Heights we not only see how this plays out in our communities but also how it affects the well-being and safety of children. The development of women rights and the opportunity to generate an alternative and sustainable income directly affects the quality of life and care of their children. We understand that many women spend much of the day having to carry out domestic work and don’t have the same opportunities or resources to generate a sustainable income. Helping women become economically empowered helps speed up development and overall reduce poverty.
There have been many studies to show that women will spread their income beyond themselves, typically reinvesting a higher portion in their families and communities than men. Economic empowerment does not only improve the livelihood for themselves but directly affects their families well-being and the safety of their children. We understand that if we want to reduce the attraction to traffic one’s child in exchange for money then economically empowering women is vital. This is why when we work with families of children we reintegrate we work closely with the mothers to obtain a seed-capital.
The idea of the seed capital is for women to be able to use it to invest in their own income generating opportunities. A few examples of how our beneficiaries have used their seed capital include improving their fish market sales and starting a firewood business.
We also are developing our Women’s Economic Empowerment Programme in which we work with women fish mongers to improve their business and allocate them more resources in order to increase their income. Through these opportunities we are seeing women in our communities become more economically active in development and the care of their families, including their children’s education, increase.
At Challenging Heights we do more than rescue children trafficked to Lake Volta – we work towards ultimately ending child trafficking because no child should be sent to the lake in the first place and investing in the women and mothers of our our community does just that!