Supporting Business Opportunities for Rural Women in East and Southern Africa

    This project is conducted in Kenya, Zimbabwe and Uganda. Women in Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Uganda experience disadvantages and gender inequalities in labour and production. Although there is a supportive political environment in these countries for women's empowerment, however implementation is generally weak.

    The project seeks to investigate rural women's farming, agro-processing and other livelihood activities, and explore good practices in promoting decent employment, entrepreneurship, and empowerment. The research will identify factors and policy instruments influencing rural women's choice of activities, explore how best to make agriculture more rewarding, and determine the types of entrepreneurship that are likely to result in economic empowerment of women. It will also build the capacity of women involved in small-scale agriculture through partnerships with the private sector, especially around marketing and quality control.

    Project Objectives

    The project seeks to: (i) examine the structural barriers that constrain women from becoming more innovative and limit their ability to take advantage of the opportunities available for business development; (ii) identify and explore the opportunities that exist off - farm for rural women, including activities that tend to be male dominated and of higher value; (iii) contribute to evidence based policy advocacy on designing innovative interventions to empower rural women in business enterprises; (iv) build and enhance the entrepreneurial capacity of the women owned/managed businesses in rural areas; and (v) document and disseminate best practises that empower rural women to participate in business enterprises.

    Our research will examine the structural barriers that constrain women from becoming more innovative and those that limit their ability to take advantage of the opportunities available for business development. It will also identify and explore the opportunities that exist off farm for rural women, including activities that tend to be male-dominated and of higher value.

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