In the past three years, the HRF through the Youth and Women’s Economic Empowerment Program, which is one of the three programs, has focused on pastoral and semi-pastoral areas that require special attention, particularly in the South Omo and West Omo zones, to promote gender equality and reduce women’s economic disadvantage.

Efforts are being made to promote gender equality and address social and cultural barriers that hinder women’s economic empowerment. This includes initiatives to uplift women’s education through advocacy, ensure that they have equal access to financial services through engaging in income-generating activities, and encourage women’s participation in decision-making processes.

The HRF has been carrying out activities that can solve the initial capital problem of female pastoralists in South and West Omo Zones. Based on this, the HRF, in cooperation with the South Omo zone, has been implementing various initiatives to engage destitute women in income-generating activities. Over the course of the last three years, these initiatives have enabled the identified needy women to receive training in entrepreneurship and business skills. Following this, they have been given seed money to pursue their preferred business ventures, such as small-scale ruminant fattening or local food processing.

As part of this year’s support, 90 female users from Turmi City Administration, Hamer and Bena Tsmai Woredas/Districts—which were organized into enterprises—were given business skills and entrepreneurship training from November 1-3, 2023, in coordination with the South Omo Zone’s administrative structure, according to Mrs. Debrework Leulseged, the senior expert of the HRF’s youth and women’s economic empowerment program.

Concerning the cooperatives’ structure, she explained that forty recipients in Bena Tsemay had received training in gardening and raising day-old chicks, while twenty-three recipients from Hamer Woreda/district and 27 recipients from Turmi city administration had received training in fattening goats. Thus, in total, 90 female beneficiaries of the South Omo Zone received startup capital and entrepreneurial training.


Hailemariam & Roman Foundation

November 2023, Addis Ababa

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