When we first started working here in 2019 it was the men who decided everything. By September 2021, 98.5% of the women involved in our Developing Business Women project reported having “high” involvement in decisions about livestock and cash management.
When the men were driven from their homes by Tigray forces, women suddenly became the heads of their households. Women involved in the project had been empowered to make decisions that helped them to survive.
Aregu Ali, 52, is one of them. She has seven children and lives in the Alansha kebele in Kutaber. When her husband had to leave, along with all the other men in the area and the Ripple Effect training staff, the women enrolled in the project formed their own social support networks across the kebeles. With local markets deserted they shared skills and vegetable production.
Aregu herself travelled to Dessie city, a round trip of 30km, to sell vegetables throughout the growing season, earning 30,000 birrs (more than £450) to support her family. It’s not too much to say that the ripple effect of our training and knowledge transfer saved some of these women’s lives.