Importance of women in fight against poverty
150 million less people could be hungry if women would have equal access to knowledge and credits, could own land, receive knowledge about fertilizers and crops and have decision making power. A report made by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) describes the facts: 43% of the agricultural labor force in developing countries consist of women. And they could raise their countries' total agricultural production with 2.5-4%.
Dorcas aims to provide both men and women with chances to improve their living conditions. This is part of ‘gender mainstreaming' whereby gender is considered throughout the project cycle of planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. In some projects this means that it is secured that males and females benefit from the project. For instance, Dorcas only financially supports vocational training if the required ratio boys and girls is met.
Another example is a project that supports larger families in Ukraine. The projects provides families with a micro credit so that they can build a greenhouse close to their house, which decreases dependency on seasonal labour and agricultural activities. The Dorcas partner organisation provides life skills trainings and teach beneficiaries how to combine work and household. Dorcas field staff receives training to ensure both men and women benefit from Dorcas projects.
Focus on females
There are also projects that focus on females as the main target group, since they have a large potential to improve their household and community situation. For example in the Zimele project in South Africa. Zimele means ‘to stand on one's own two feet' in Zulu. The Zimele Community project focuses on empowering women looking for work, female farmers and entrepreneurs. Focusing on women can trigger a big change in the society. Watch the inspiring story about the Zimele Community project. https://vimeo.com/zimele/mamazuma