Pieces of the picture:
a. Basket of fruit: Women provide daily sustenance. They prepare meals for the whole family as well as relatives and friends. This alone is no light task, it is a very long process when using all raw foodstuff and charcoal or wood burning stoves/fires.
b. Hoe: They maintain the family gardens, which provide food for the family as well as surplus to sell (money that caters for other household needs). This often entrails very hard manual labor, under a hot sun.
c. Pregnancy: Workload and responsibilities do not lessen during pregnancy and for cultural and religious reasons women are pregnant a lot.
d. Baby: Women raise the children. They attend to their medical needs, educational needs, and provide daily nurturance through food and love.
e. Smile: Women get very little credit for any of the above and are respected and valued much less than men. The women here do EVERYTHING and yet often do not have a voice even in their own home! But, they persevere and they persevere with a smile on their face.
The big picture
In the woman’s right hand she carries the home, but it is not just one single house that she is carrying; women carry the community.
I am often asked this question: Why only women in roles of leadership? Why only women borrowers?
WMI’s goal is not for women alone to prosper. Our goal is for the whole community to thrive. By empowering a woman, you empower a community. By educating a woman, you educate a community. But up lifting a woman, you uplift a whole community.
1. Study after study, from all over the world, show that when women have access to more money it goes directly to the family in the form of school fees, more nutritious meals, home improvements, and better attention to family health care needs. This is not always the case when men have more access to money. A larger percentage is generally spent on personal luxury items such as alcohol, rich foods, and other women.
2. Women have a better payback rate.
3. Many men already have access to formal banking (which women do not). All land and other possessions of value that can be used as collateral for a traditional bank loan are in the man’s name.
4. By empowering women, helping them to gain leadership skills and respect, you bring about 50% more “manpower” to that community (half the population that was not participating in the public sphere is now contributing).
5. By giving women access to increased monetary resources you slowly start to change the power dynamics, you bring more equity, peace, and mutual respect into a home and into the society at large
Many many thanks to all the men that continue to support and aid WMI!
Even though we aren’t lending to your fellow males, please be assured we love and respect both genders…We are here working towards equality after all!