Yegnanesh Aschale Starts Poultry
Business in Ethiopia
Cecilia Aurien Sells Energy-Saving
Stoves in Uganda
Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) Guide
Many women prepare and cook food, but have little control over its purchase.
Women spend more on household needs when they control their own incomes.
This includes buying nutrient-rich foods and paying for children’s healthcare and school fees.
Empowering Women Boosts Nutrition
Yegnanesh Aschale starts a poultry business with
Jessy Mbewe Shares Knowledge
as Agrodealer in Zambia
Gender Minimum Standards Guide
Mary Anabila, a 58-year-old
farmer in northern Ghana,
bought a tractor with earnings
from her agribusiness and
support from ACDI/VOCA. Mary
plowed land using her new tractor
for the 430 smallholder farmers
from whom she buys maize.
By cutting the amount of time and labor needed to plough the land, farmers could grow more—and faster. Some farmers even increased their acreage.
“Now I know how to manage my business better,” Mary said. The investment made her and other women more productive and left them with more time to care for their families.
A new tractor saves
Mary Anabila and
neighbors valuable time
Haja Saio Conteh Helps Family Recover
after Ebola in Sierra Leone
Rislikhan Saidkosimova Produces Milk
Year-Round in Kyrgyzstan
The more energy women use, the more calories they burn, posing special risks for pregnant and lactating women.
Labor-saving tools help women conserve energy for their own health and the health of their families.
Read and watch stories from empowered women below.
Women’s empowerment matters to the developing
world because it’s a pathway to nutrient-rich, diverse
diets for all.
Veronica Lengrinas runs
a successful business and
helps educate girls.
Helping Entrepreneurs Dream Big and Expand Their Businesses in Ethiopia
Filipino women thrive in the specialty coffee sector thanks to more gender equity.
Livestock Activity Gender Impact Assessment in Uganda
Agro Horizon Helps Kyrgyz Farmers Unite with Private Sector to Revive Milk Production in Harsh Winters
Veronica Lengrinas Runs Successful Agribusiness in Kenya
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Women who solely or jointly make decisions are
more likely to invest in their families.
The more control women have over decision making, including how food gets divided among family members, the better the nutritional outcomes.
Zambian Woman Farmer Transforms Community Thanks to Profit+ Training and Support
NutriMap (a proprietary tool box for nutrition design, workplanning, and other intervention practices)
Mary Anabila Saves Time with New
Tractor in Ghana
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Rural farmers in eastern Zambia,
like Jessy Mbewe, struggled to
find good seed and fertilizer.
Now Jessy grows and sells maize
and sorghum seed and supplies
to farmers in her community
as an agrodealer. Thanks to
training from ACDI/VOCA, she
learned agricultural and financial best practices.
News of her entrepreneurial skills traveled far and fast. Some farmers walked 10 miles, even crossing the border from Malawi, just to buy inputs and learn from Jessy. She not only learned to successfully run a business, but also transformed her community. By selling to and teaching other farmers, she helped families learn about nutrition and grow more diverse foods.
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Time- and energy-saving technologies, along with control over household decisions and income, empower women and create opportunities for better nutrition.
How do we spread the message to others?
Watch how female leaders in Uganda taught their communities about health and nutrition.
produces milk during
With more time, women can earn more income and better care for their families.
Time-saving technologies coupled with childcare and shared household chores allow women to plan more nutritious meals for their children and to breastfeed.
Upon entering Cecilia Aurien’s
compound in Uganda, one is
greeted by an odd sight: rows of
energy-saving stoves. Cecilia
displays them this way so that
people who visit can purchase
Like many Ugandan women, Cecilia learned to cook using a traditional three-stone cooking fire, which requires a lot of firewood. With training from ACDI/VOCA, she now sells stoves that make firewood last twice as long.
“I knew other women would also buy them…It saves firewood and also saves them time going to the bush to look for firewood,” she said.
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After marrying at age 14 and
dropping out of school, Veronica
Lengrinas, of Kenya, started a
small business with money
from her husband selling hides
and skins with a friend. Because
they were both illiterate,
problems arose forcing them to
end the business. When they
decided to try again, this time they
sold their goods in Nairobi, instead
of rural Oldonyiro. Their sales grew five-fold.
With the profits, Veronica bought and sold cereals in Oldonyiro, making 4,000 Kenyan shillings each time. ACDI/VOCA helped build market stalls to shade the dry, open-air market, encouraging Veronica to keep going. Now 40, Veronica has sent her daughter to a university to study nutrition and adopted three other girls for whom she pays school fees.
“I feel, since I didn’t finish school, I should make sure these girls get the best education,” she said.
Haja Saio Conteh sustains
her family and build resilience
in a post-Ebola world.
Agriculture to Nutrition Pathway
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Woman Farmer Buys Tractor through Ghana ADVANCE II Grant Program
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Rislikhan Saidkosimova, a
23-year-old mother of two,
took on many household chores,
including milking her family’s
10 cows, when she married her
husband and moved into her
in-laws’ home. A proud smile
appears on Rislikhan’s face
when her mother-in-law refers to her as
her right hand. But her role offers more than just personal pride.
When half of the family’s cows received feed from ACDI/VOCA during winter, they brought in an additional $150 a month. “We are now more competitive,” Rislikhan said. Now feeding all their cows, her family produced and sold milk during the off-season, when demand was high, leaving more milk for their own consumption and more income to buy other, nutrient-rich foods.
Uganda RWANU Combats Deforestation with Energy-Saving Stoves
Haja Saio Conteh, of Sierra Leone,
lost her mother, father, husband,
and aunt to the Ebola virus.
During a 21-day quarantine,
no one in her family could tend
to their farm. Because they
farmed on credit—borrowing
peanut seeds and paying back
the loan with part of their harvest—
they emerged from the quarantine deep in debt.
ACDI/VOCA provided Haja Saio with cash transfers, which she used to buy food, settle debts, and pay her sister’s school fees. She also bought palm oil, rice, and onions to resell at the market. Her crops recovered and soon Haja Saio earned enough from sales to sustain her household again.
Cecilia Aurien sells energy-
saving stoves, preventing dangerous trips for firewood
Yegnanesh Aschale, of
bought 10 chickens to feed
herself and her family. When
the chickens produced more
eggs than expected, Yegnanesh
decided to sell them to her
neighbors at a profit.
Recognizing an opportunity, she leveraged her own money and support from ACDI/VOCA to build two chicken coops. In a year, she sold 7,200 hens to local poultry farmers and earned $6,000 in profits. Yegnanesh started sharing her knowledge with other farmers, including her husband, Adugna. He now works alongside his wife and the five employees at their farm.
This pathway must address the barriers women face. ACDI/VOCA leads the way by helping women access market systems, without adding to their already-heavy workloads, and by engaging men and other family members.
Jessy Mbewe transforms her community by sharing her nutrition knowledge