Project to link women entrepreneurs to export market
Addis Ababa, 19 February 2014 (WIC) - History shows that the role women should play for the overall development of their community, no matter where they are, have been ignored for centuries.
Women are always regarded as best at home doing the usual home chores and taking care of the household businesses.
This is a kind of ironic reward they haven crowned for the multiple good deeds and responsibilities that they have been shouldering both in the households and other engagements.
Similarly, because their participation in the economy has not been valued, Ethiopian women have not received their fair share of the nation's wealth. Without equal opportunities, they have lagged behind men in all fields of self-advancement.
However, contrary to the severe discouragement that women have been in to, it has now become rock clear that, if empowered, women and young girls can be of a great economic, political, and social advantage to their community and to their nation at large.
Following this laudable and proper attitudinal change on empowering women, different efforts have been going on to economically empower them.
A project launched Monday at the Prime Minister's Office with the theme 'Connecting 1,500 Women and Young Girls to the Export Market' targets in empowering women.
Launching the project officially, First Lady Roman Tesfaye said empowering women economically is not only respecting their human rights, it is also a means to be successful in economic, health, poverty reduction, education and similar social security issues.
According to Roman, a woman is economically empowered when she is skillful enough to become competitive in the sector and make her own decision on the profit of her products.
As Roman indicated, the two-year project will directly benefit 1,500 poor women and their families plus to its aim of providing skillful working force to exporters who have problems in utilizing market opportunities lacking quality products.
''The project will help us learn from challenges we would be facing in order to devise better projects ahead,” Roman added.
Center for Accelerated Women's Economic Empowerment (CAWEE) Executive Director Nigest Haile said: “The whole purpose of the project is to establish an efficient value-chain that will deliver high quality and range of products which satisfy customers' expectations at different level.”
Nigest also added that the project aims at providing life changing technical skills to the identified target group and train them to adapt to the production of products for new and growing markets.
Worknesh Mekonnen, World Vision Ethiopia, said her organization works hand in hand with stakeholders fighting poverty focusing on the well -being of children.
She also said that the organization also works on economic empowerment with specific focus on women and youth through creating market linkage of local value chain.
“By developing the skills of women, and opening up access to international market, this project will help them take great control of their own lives, allowing them to earn a decent income in the years ahead,” said Eugene Owusu, UNDP Resident Representative.
Backed by equal rights, access to credit, productive resources, and access to markets, women will be more powerful force in the development of Africa and Ethiopia, underlined Owusu.
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