How to facilitate the inclusion of women at decision levels?
Women are excluded from individual and collective leadership although they are the pillars of local families and communities.
TATU works closely with the women's group, Kazi na Sala, that it helped create along with the women from Msitu wa Tembo and Londoto. This group helps guarantee them a space for expression and taking on new initiatives, with our support.
Two programs were identified to frame the initiatives:
1) WE Grow
The long-term goal of WE Grow is that the women in Msitu wa Tembo and Londoto feel empowered personally, within their families, and as members of a larger society. We work with women through this program to help each woman increase her agency on individual, relational, societal, and institutional levels.
Then, through group support, they may start paving the way towards their personal objectives.
This is divided in 2 steps:
Team building: making them feel that they belong to a support group. Our weekly meetings build solidarity between the women, which increases their capacity to express their own convictions and feelings.
Self-realization: everyone strives to become what they want to be. We are working to offer the women the necessary tools to know themselves better, uncover her potential, express and materialize the changes she would like to see in her life. The first need is for the women to identify their own value, potential and vision. We are stressing, among other topics, the importance of self-awareness, self-esteem, women rights, etc.
We trust this project will be the key in the process of empowerment of the women to become what they want to be. A woman who feels empowered has more abilities or personal recourses to make decisions for herself, has shared decision-making power within her family, is able to participate in economic and political spheres, and has access to resources that allow her to access all of her rights. Therefore, WE Grow aims to target all four of these levels, with emphasis on personal and relational empowerment. Once they feel empowered, they will be a natural motor of change in the community!
2) WE Thrive
An economic empowerment program to reinforce saving habits and entrepreneurship. Women are given access to skill-building workshops and capital to start or grow businesses and gain more financial independence.
A few months after the start of the group, through their own financial structure, with their own money and following a few seminars, women have started saving, lending and investing in small businesses.
Up until now, eleven out of eleven groups have started a business activity using their savings and knowledge and nine out of eleven are still running after one year.
The group Kazi Na Sala also aims to develop bigger business projects at group level.