In much of the developing world, women often bear a burden that taxes their strength and endurance. Often, as in the Sahel, women are responsible for over 40 percent of on-farm labor, 85 percent of transport of farm inputs and products, and close to 80 percent of food processing activities. They also bear most of the responsibility for household food security, fetching firewood and water, and taking care of the children. Research and experience shows that reducing gender inequalities and providing women with equal access to capacity, resources, opportunities and voice increases productivity and accelerates economic growth. Yet, women frequently still earn half as much as men, and are denied access to education, land and credit.
EWV pays special attention throughout project design and implementation to enhancing the participation of women in activities that improve the quality of their lives and the lives of their families. To accomplish this EWV makes sustained efforts to increase women’s access to development opportunities by:
- Educating governments and local partners about womens’ contributions and the need to recognize the value of their work and support them;
- Establishing institutional frameworks and decentralized processes which allow women to more easily participate in the economy;
- Identifying and designing interventions to remove barriers that restrict women’s access to technologies, and the financial and business development services that they need to increase the profitability and growth of their enterprises.