Name of the project: Women’s Power
Total fund: approximately 1.7m
Duration: 3 years
Agriculture, which is a sector highly dependent in employing majority of people, specifically women, across all ages, faces its own gender related challenges. Due to reproductive roles women have restricted mobility, a thing that limits them to effectively engage in marketing processes and their dynamics. In turn this hampers their ability to access markets that are beyond their vicinity and hence do not enjoy good pricing for their products. Furthermore, it is worth noting that in this key sector, while land ownership is predominantly male dominated and thus deny women access to and control over productive resources, several conditions amperes their capacity to maximize its potential. Women continue to face heavy workload in this sector while being denied ownership to cash crops. They lack access to sophisticated equipments, and extension services such as training, information, credit to mention just a few. Worse still women are not only affected by vagaries of weather, but also increased impact of climate change related challenges such land degradation, soil infertility, extensive deforestation and sustainable use of firewood for energy have led to femization of poverty.
It is worth noting further that Tanzania women face many socio cultural, legal and economic barriers impeding the growth of their enterprises. In spite of the fact that Tanzanian constitution provides for the equal rights of women and a National Gender Policy exists, there are still serious differences in the legal status of women that affect their rights and protection accorded by law. This includes land property rights, which impacts on women’s ability to access monetary and financial services, as well as freedoms they need to advance their enterprises. Women entrepreneurs often fall into the “missing middle” of financing when trying to pursue growth opportunities in their enterprises, as they are neither served by MFIs nor commercial banks. They are less likely than men to be able to offer land titles as collateral security for bank loans and often they lack the necessary skills to develop acceptable business financing proposals and to negotiate larger amounts of credit.
Objective of women’s power project
As mentioned extensively in the problem analysis, Women’s power project will continue to improve and diversify rural women’s livelihoods systems by facilitating women’s employability and wealth creation. Thus more specifically the goal and objectives of women’s power project remains;
2.1 Goal: To enhance women socio economic empowerment by addressing income poverty/insecurity
2.3 Specific Objectives
(iv) Develop plan for sustainable winding up of project support in the area
Target group and areas: While targeting 3,600 women in this new phase, Newala District, Mtwara Region, Ruangwa and Lindi Rural Districts, in Lindi Region, Kibaha in Coast Region and Mvomero District in Morogoro Region.
In implementing GEWE II interventions multiple strategies were used. First, the Government machineries from Districts to all 40 villages were actively involved from introduction stage to the implementation. Secondly, extensive mobilization strategies were employed to rally men, women and youth to the project course. Thirdly, capacity building was an overarching strategy where using participatory methodologies, popular theatre, popular educational materials, Training of Trainers and farm field schools education was passed over to the target group. All training provided was tied up with action so as to enhance adaptation and utilization.Lastly, considering the fact that this was a beginning of most interventions and in ensuring WISE remains cost effective and add value to women time and efforts all facilitative supervisory monitoring visits were combined with strategic and technical guidance provided to women in all targeted areas.
In its first year of operation the following have been accomplished;
The following achievements registered; in realizing component one GEWE II was able to mobilize 718 groups composed of 3589 women across all regions. Moreover, the programme exposed 174 groups of 819 women in business development and management. This was followed up by business clinics which reached 583 women from 238 groups representing 70% of targeted women (832).As a result of this, current data show an individual small holder farmers (SHFs) got an average of 300,000/=Tshs as a profit. SHFs, through their Farmer’s Organizations (FOs) were given 14,280,000/=Tshs as loan to run a poultry farming as part of business diversification. Lastly in addressing literacy related challenges facing women’s SHFs in the area, 107 women participated in the functional literacy training.
In enhancing capabilities, skills and access for women’s micro enterprise GEWE II built capacities of FOs and SHFs on how to strengthen market supply networks where 96 Executive Committee members from 16FOs were trained and letter on trainings were done to SHFs in all areas. In helping women add value to their products in kind loans in form of seeds and insecticides worth 25,830,000 Tshs were given to SHFs out of which 14,384,300/=Tshs approximately 56%has been recovered. 16 FOs have been established and among them 14 are already very active with bank accounts and members paying their subscription fee respectively. In facilitating linkages with intermediary firm, 10 firms willing to work with women FOs have been identified where some of them bought women produce this year. Capacity needs assessment was conducted and issues highlighted informed the public awareness raising session which reached 1,116 people respectively. In enhancing sustainable wind up of support in targeted areas, GEWE II developed an M& E framework and Financial Checklist respectively. Through their FOs, GEWE II exposed the women to resource mobilization and sustainability strategies development processes. All 16 FOs have developed their resource mobilization and sustainability plans respectively. Lastly, as part of technical support, WISE embarked on evaluating its previous strategic plan and developed a new strategic plan respectively. The document is ready for consumption.
 It is very alarming to note that firewood, which is a sole source of energy for almost all rural households, is increasingly becoming very scarce in rural setting leading to more time spent for it. Due to gender roles, women are the one who suffer most.