“Teaching a woman is teaching the whole nation.”

In Ethiopia, 80 percent of the population resides in rural areas and women provide the majority of the agriculture labor in these communities. However, women’s access to resources and community participation are usually mediated through men, either their fathers or husbands, and their agricultural contributions often go largely unrecognized.

Additionally, when women have access to their own income, they are more likely than men to spend it on the betterment of their families and successfully participate in village savings or pay school fees for their children. Our programs promote women’s decision-making power within households so they can better influence personal, family and community decisions.

Women’s empowerment considerations cut across all of SHAPEthiopia’s programming in Ethiopia. By promoting gender equality in access to economic opportunities and education and supporting the health of women and their families, SHAPEthiopia is creating opportunities for more equitable participation of women in society economically, socially and politically.

Through its Women Empowerment Program (formerly known as Widows’ Hope Program), SHAPEthiopia has been supporting marginalized poor widows in rural Ethiopia to become decision maker in all aspects of their life and economically self sufficient. Under this program, hundreds of widows and poor women are participated in livestock development, crop production, handcraft production, small businesses and other income generating activities.

In the past twelve years, SHAPEthiopia’s support has brought a miraculous impact on the lives of these women in rural Ethiopia towards self sufficient, dignified and happy lives.