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Findings from Investigation on How to Empower Women with IGAs

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on 20 October 2014

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Transcript of Findings from Investigation on How to Empower Women with IGAs

The sole transfer of economic resources/
IGAs to women will not automatically translate into their empowerment
in the household and beyond
If IGAs given to women
not selected by women themselves, not accepted by their HH/community or if they are unable to manage them themselves due to lack of training/skills/female-friendly markets
, then the women are not empowered.
Beyond "adding women and stirring"
; focus on women vs. gender relations
access vs. control
over assets
Transforming intra-household relations
to challenge
inequalities in decision-making
, ownership, management, allocation of resources/benefits and divisions of labour in the household

CMS Data Evidence of Gendered Differences in Current IGAs
Need IGAs to Promote Gender Equity and Equality
Men and women are not entering EEP/Shiree projects from the same starting point.

Restrictive gender norms and gender inequalities
in decision-making, ownership, control, access, mobility or divisions of household work often
prevent interventions from empowering male and female family members equally.
Thus, to reach a point of gender equity,
projects must treat women and men differently and apply positive discrimination towards women, e.g. regarding IGAs!

Recognition that "Targeting Women Does not Automatically Ensure Gender Equality"
(ODI 2010)
Step-by-Step Approach to Empowering women with IGAs:
Step 2: Select Hardware
Joint HH decision making
process during IGA selection -
give priority to women's preference

Make it "compulsory" for women to do IGAs
, and strongly encourage more profitable market-based non-traditional IGAs or jointly managed IGAs with husbands or other female beneficiaries where appropriate

Provide awareness session around socio-economic benefits of women engaging with IGAs
during IGA selection meeting with whole HH

If wife chooses non-traditional IGA,
discuss HH strategy for how to manage sharing reproductive HH work

Consider trade-off
1. Sustainability of Traditional IGA
(risk avert, normative framework)
2. Sustainability on Non-Traditional IGA
(norm transformation + income diversification + higher HH economic resilience/empowerment)

Step 1: Context-Specific IGA Analysis
Usha and Putul (SCI)
Two neighbours in Hindu village in Khulna, Rampal Upazilla, Srifatala village.

Why Need to investigate Women's Empowement from IGAs?
How to empower women with IGAs?
NGO Case Studies
Findings from Investigation on How to Empower Women with IGAs
Why engage women with IGAs?
What do our Partners say?

: "Socio-economic empowerment of the whole household requires engaging both men and women with work. In order to enhance women's social status and empowerment in a more sustainable way there is a need for combined efforts to both increasing their economic empowerment and reversing social gender norms within households and communities"

: "Women usually invest more time in managing IGAs and will prioritise spending IGA earnings on children, nutrition and education. This is also important for the income diversification, better division of labour and graduation of the HH"

To lift households out of Extreme Poverty we
must economically empower all family members
If we only engage men in income generation
only half the potential of the household is realised - 53.47% of our beneficiaries are female!
If the husband were to fall ill, pass away, divorce or abandon his wife
, she would be left alone with no income source.
women can and want to work,
all they need is an
enabling environment!
without women in entrepreneurship and employment we cannot eradicate extreme poverty
: "to empower women and reduce discrimination, targeting women is very important in project design. This is especially important because husbands commonly abandon their wives so women need financial independence and economic empowerment!"

"If a woman makes profits from IGAs then the husband is more likely to not abandon the family, return to the family if he abandoned them already, and the wife is more able to manage the family alone without him. Women need real effective ownership of IGAs for financial independence!"

: "If the IGA is given to the woman, then the whole family is more likely to benefit from IGA earnings leading to whole-family welfare and economic empowerment"

"in CHT women control all aspects of work, both productive and reproductive - cooking, childcare and income generation. Thus if women are not given their right to manage and head the household they face problems. As women do everything they should be recognised and receive dignity. If women are more valued then the whole family can make better progress."
Step 3: Implement Software Systems
Step 4: Implement Sustainability Strategies
Thank you!
We need to investigate how to go
beyond simply targeting
Shiree female beneficiaries with standard IGAs to

them with IGAs!
Challenges in Women's current engagement with IGAs?
Restrictive Gender Norms:
Lack of
and traditional role as mothers and
housewives, not breadwinners
Women’s burden of sole responsibility for household and care work
- especially if have small children or disabled/chronically ill members. husband unwilling to share burden and lack of childcare acilities
Low self-esteem, confidence and motivation
- fear of disapproval by others
Lack of literacy, numeracy, financial literacy and bargaining, accounting and business skills
Lack of financial decision-making
in the household
Dominance and reluctance
of husband/father/brother/son/in-laws
Community stigma
against women who work outside their home and go to market places
Discrimination against women in price negotiation.
Additional language barrier for adivasi women.
Threat of Sexual/verbal Harassment and Sexual violence
both at home and in the village - lack of security. Especially for adivasi women
Lack of gender-sensitivity among market actors
(vendours, customers, whole sellers, market places), and

In the context of conservative patriarchal communities it is often easier to engage men in IGAs
Engaging women with IGAs is more complicated and requires changing the mindsets of women themselves, their husbands, their in-laws, their communities, market buyers, customers, employers and male entrepreneurs
But with skill training, mobilisation efforts, awareness raising and support mechanisms it is possible!
Without women in empowering IGAs we cannot eradicate extreme poverty in a sustainable and equitable way!
IGAs that empower women will be important to include in top-up support recovery packages as gender issues or lack of gender-sensitivity might have been a key cause of failure!

Questions or Feedback?
Summary of NGO Staff and BHH responses: Key Obstacles
Context Analysis
Software Option
Hardware Option
Sustainability Strategies
No one magic bullet!

Need context analysis according to:

1. HH type:
Women in Male Headed, Female Headed or Female Managed HH, Unmarried Adolescent girls
2. Prevalence of Restrictive Gender Norms
3. Geography
4. Market:
supply, demand, competition, linkages
5. Beneficiary Capacity and Preference
General perception:

"the poorest of the poorest"
, most vulnerable
Homestead Based

Traditional IGAs
, no male guardian to support them with marketing, physically hard labour, financial decision making and general IGA management. Double burden of reproductive household work is a key factor

market-based and land-based

non-traditional IGAs,
no husband to restrict her, survival necessity to do more profitable IGA as the sole breadwinner. More dedicated and hardworking.
"when women lose their husbands they are considered equal to men"

Depends on:
Level of confidence
- initially after abandonment/divorce/loss might be low
Level of skills or the skill training she can receive
Community stigma

vs. community sympathy
Older male son
to support or restrict her
Young children or disabled/sick relatives
to take care of
Double burden of reproductive household work with higher burden of care of disabled/sick husband
is a key factor making women unable to do work outside the homestead

High medical treatment costs
for disabled/sick husband sometimes necessitate wife to work doing more profitable non-traditional IGAs or take loans

Depends on husbands level of disability/illness
If less severe: Joint non-traditional IGA with support from husband
for marketing, less demanding physical labour and financial decision-making.
If severe: mostly homestead based
raditional IGA, but also exceptionally non-traditional IGAs
if husband allows it and if she has support from others for care work

Depends On:
Social restrictions imposed by disabled/sick husband
Older male son
to either support or restrict her
Young children

or other disabled/sick/elderly HH members
to take care of
Community stigma vs. community sympathy
Level of confidence and skills

Women in Male Headed Households

Mostly: traditional 'male breadwinner/female caretaker' model,
Husband restricting her mobility, work outside HH, financial decision making and marketing,
Exceptionally - especially, if HH is struggling or in the CHT: Joint model
, husband and wife both share work doing market-based and land-based IGA, either share reproductive HH work or double burden for women, joint financial decision making
Gender dynamics in male headed HHs tend to be reinforced as the HH gets richer
, whereas the poor the HH is the less relevant the gender norms become out of necessity to survive
Depends on restrictive/supportive attitudes of husband, adult son, in laws

Mostly: traditional homestead based IGAs
+ gets support for marketing from father/brother
Face more restrictions
from parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles and brothers
More vulnerable
to sexual harassment, violence, community stigma
Exceptionally - if HH is struggling or if less restrictive attitude: non-traditional IGAs
, e.g. RMG work
Women in Female Headed HHs:
Women in Female Managed HHs (Silently Female Headed):
Unmarried Adolescent Girls
Training for female beneficiary
on IGA/business management, productive profit reinvestment, marketing, accounting, financial literacy

Establish Women’s Support Groups
including: group savings, IGA and general support network (e.g. female household heads, group child care, group marketing/IGAs etc),

Gender Awareness Sensitisation trainin
g with whole HH and whole community on women’s rights, stopping gender discrimination, sharing productive and reproductive work, etc +
Men’s groups
Couple’s Therapy Groups

Create female-friendly Market Linkages:

Market Places (or women’s corners at market-places) with female toilet facilities or Central Collective Marketing Centres for female beneficiaries (M2W2)

Social Mobilisation with community leaders
(religious leaders, village leaders, teachers, Local government, UP Chairmen, etc) on gender awareness and socio-economic benefit of women working

Lobbying Campaigns with Employers/Landlords
on equal wages and equal recruitment of women

Enable Labour Union linkages

Encourage women’s participation in local politics
as female representatives in local governance structures and meetings.
Lobbying campaign with local government.

Lobbying Campaigns with local government to promote women's access to public services (e.g. health care, social safety nets (e.g. widow allowance) and legal services (e.g. in cases of domestic violence)

Orjona (Uttaran)
Tara (Uttaran)
Rug Factory Weavers (Care)
Jhanjhania village, Rampal Upazilla, Khulna
Sakha Begum (SCI)
Hindu village, Mirjapur, Dumuria, Khulna
Husband died after they spent all their savings admitting him to hospital in Calcutta
Older Father suffers from chronic illness, brother disabled
Older mother and daughter Orjona are the only income earners
1 kid (4 years old),
IGAs: livestock rearing, homestead gardening
Orjona and her mother manage their land cultivation by seeking help from others
– they cannot themselves work on the land because of social norms and burden of HH work and care for child, ill father and disabled brother
They only have food security when they receive help for land cultivation
The father and brother are the main decisionmakers and household heads
Orjona and her mother cannot do any market selling on their own

Main Income Source in Female Headed Households
Main Income Source in Male Headed Households
Ownership of Assets
Use of Assets
CMS 3 Round 8
Lack of gender awareness of NGO Staff Members
Lack of gender mainstreaming of overall Shiree Livelihoods Component from the beginning
Focus on HH level economic empowerment, not intra-HH individual impacts.
Limitations in Intervention Design and Staff Capacity
Present Summary of Guidance Note and Background Paper on Gender and IGAs:
Overview of findings from investigation on Gender Aspects of EEP/Shiree Livelihoods Interventions based on 16 PNGOs Project Staff Interviews, FDGs with beneficiaries, CMS and research analysis.
Recommended 4 Step Strategy for Empowering Women with IGAs

Facilitate Feedback Discussion
What is the current Gender & IGA scenario at Shiree?
CMS Summary Findings
Women's overall lack of ownership and use of IGAs
Female Houshold Heads' lower IGA diversification since intervention, compared to male household heads
GMS and CMS 3 Graduation Data shows female headed households among were lowest percentile of non-graduates, i.e. women without male guardians benefit less from interventions
By Marie Sophie Pettersson,
Gender Adviser and Programme Analyst,

Why engage women with IGAs?
Current Gender and IGA scenario
Why need IGAs that empower women?
How to empower women with IGAs?
Making women official
owners of IGAs without empowering them
to manage and operate them
sustains women in their existing situation and further victimises them
as bearers of the risk and burden of assets

without directly benefitting from them.
Full transcript