Tanzania: Women Empowerment in Zanzibar – TZA058
The overall objective of the project is To contribute to poverty reduction and improved social justice in Zanzibar (as per Millenium Development Goals 1, and 3); and the specific objective of the project is: "income increased and social, cultural, and political barriers to women's empowerment progressively overcome for 6,000 rural poor women in four districts of northern Pemba and Southern Unguja, Zanzibar".
While the majority of people in Zanzibar are poor, the severity of poverty varies across geographic (urban vs. rural; and Unguja vs. Pemba), political, and gender lines. Women, and in particular rural women, are more often illiterate, have little or no access to income generation opportunities within the formal economy, and have minimal opportunities for participation in public leadership positions. Additionally, women, and women's assets such as cash and land are largely controlled by male relatives (usually husbands). Women, who bring a different perspective than men to issues of social justice and poverty alleviation; and have unique influence on the development of their children, communities and nation, are an enormous untapped resource in Zanzibar.
Through assisting women to increase their income and overcome social, economic, and political barriers to women's empowerment, WEZA will not only improve the quality of their lives, but better enable women to reach their human potential, and further contribute to the development of their communities and nation. To achieve its objectives, WEZA has the following expected results (ERs):
ER1: At least 300 women's groups, mobilized and successfully implementing village savings and loan scheme
ER2: 5,000 women undertaking action for social change towards women's empowerment
ER3: 2,500 women profiting from 4 new or improved market-driven products
ER4: Grassroots women's empowerment efforts effectively supported by 60 local and national institutions
WEZA will employ a creative combination of approaches to increase income and stimulate social change based on methodologies and tools CARE and others have used in Zanzibar and throughout Africa. At the heart of WEZA's strategy, reflected in the first ER, is a unique and highly successful village savings and loan methodology which CARE developed in Mali and has used over the past 25 years in Africa (including 10 years in Zanzibar).
CARE originally designed the Village Savings and Loan methodology as a mechanism to enable poor people to save financial capital for investment, but over the past five years has increasingly become aware of its additional usefulness in generating social capital (e.g. mutual support, time and space for discussion on critical issues, social networks, etc.) for poor women.
Thus, WEZA will harness the mutual trust, cohesiveness, and group functioning skills already established by women in "mature" Village Savings and Loan groups as an entry point for assisting women to engage in new and challenging territories of social change for women's empowerment, promoted through 'action for social change' processes promoted under ER2. Simultaneously, the Village Savings and Loan program will also enable women to save income for investment in new or improved market-driven products which will be promoted by the project under ER3. A fourth component of the program, under ER4 will strengthen support of women's empowerment efforts by civil society organisations, networks and local institutions through improved technical, organizational, governance and networking capacity.
01.01.2008 - 31.12.2011