”Gender Equality” a way to contribute with Honduras growth
La Unión, Copán.- The “Agricultural Producers Competitiveness Project”, implemented by PILARH Association in Copán and Lempira, and funded by the Millennium Challenge Account-Honduras, is developing within its execution strategies, Gender Equality, giving primary attention to the existence of differences in roles, responsibilities, access and control over resources, participation in decision-making and needs of men and women. In other words, the "fruits" of the project will reach both men and women.
The entrepreneurship spirit that the women in the Project have is admirable; they have organized themselves in groups, with the purpose of starting a productive entrepreneurship according to the needs that exist in the community and accomplishing to be protagonists in the economic development processes.
“I started in the Project by assisting to the workshops, and I am part of the irrigation system’s beneficiaries”. Mrs. Maria Josefina Ayala, president of the group “Mujeres al Desarrollo”.
Group of women “Caminando con Jesus” from El Matasano, La Iguala, Lempira.
Group of women “Mujeres al Desarrollo” in Copantillo, San Andres, Lempira.
The President of the “Luz y Vida” group, in El Trigo, La Union, Copan.
Group of women "El Trigo", La Union, Copan.
With small productive projects, but with an entrepreneurial mind, the women are encouraging integrated development in their community, generating direct benefits for themselves as well as their families and communities, laying the foundations for better living conditions.
The women’s group “Luz y Vida” (Light and Life) was organized in the community of El Trigo, in La Union, Copan, with 11 members, an organizational structure, and Board of Directors. They efficiently run an agricultural supply store, which was a feasible business idea due to the community’s demand, as well as for the support and assistance that the group may receive from the Project’s facilitators, pointing out also that the area does not have similar projects to cover this demand.
Another group of seven women, called “Caminando con Jesus” (Walking with Jesus) was formed in the community of El Matasano, in La Iguala, Lempira. They started a farm of broiler chickens that are raised and sold in the community.
Another group of women was constituted in the community of Copantillo, San Andres, Lempira, called “Mujeres al Desarrollo” (Women for Development), formed by 13 women. Their main activity is cultivating herbs such as coriander, chipilin plant, basil, mint, valerian, and celery.
The organization of these groups has enabled Project’s female partners to create participation spaces, and above all to develop entrepreneurial potential to generate new incomes for their families, contributing also to local and regional development.
They receive training on such topics as business administration, self esteem, gender, and also receive motivational courses on how to develop new activities and projects.
These benefits have been fulfilled through the implementation of a gender policy known as: "Gender Incidence Strategy", which ensures the promotion and participation of 50 women from five communities where the Project has coverage.
To this date, the results of the “Agricultural Producers Competitiveness Project” register a direct participation of women of 16%, many of which hold directive positions within the organizations of each agricultural group. This is how, through Gender Equality, the Millennium Challenge can involve peasant women in Honduras’ economic growth.
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