Women Aid & Empowerment
Our commitment to gender equity does not simply involve including more women in our programming. It calls for us to understand the gender dynamics between men and women within each program’s context and to integrate interventions that address these dynamics. This process can be expensive, difficult and time consuming but we have found relatively cost-efficient ways to incorporate two important tools—gender analyses and gender assessments.
VACK works to empower people (women and men) in Kenya to succeed in the local and national economy. We have learned through years of experience that when it comes to achieving successful and sustainable economic development, women are essential.
We consider our work to boost community economies. Women grow, buy, cook and sell food, and in many counties, they play key roles in more expansive business. To achieve crucial improvements in agricultural production, business, marketing, lending, nutrition, food security and other endeavors, our programs must address the opportunities and obstacles women face.
A first step in doing this is to understand the gender dynamics between women and men in a given social setting. Information gleaned from analyses provides important insights that improve program design and implementation and yield specific indicators for project success.
The participatory, stakeholder-driven approaches we use in our community development programs increasingly address gender-based needs to help women and men rebuild their lives in economic development. In these contexts, recognizing gender roles helps us ensure that marginalized people gain a voice in their own communities.
At VACK, we have learned that using gender analysis and approaches in our programs is simply working smart.