Improving Women's Economic Participation

A business women depicting a gesture of willingness to act.The expanding food, textile and pharmaceutical industries of Ethiopia currently fulfil their increasing starch needs mainly through imports from abroad. But an indigenous plant, called enset or “false banana” has the potential to become a local source of starch – and to become an important source of income for many women in Ethiopia. New tools had to be developed to obtain the starch in the quality necessary for industrial use. Contacts with the producing industries were set up to guarantee the purchase. A newly established women's association empowers women to supply the locally grown and extracted starch in improved quality and quantity. But the women’s association goes beyond economic aims as demonstrated by, courses for HIV prevention alongside training courses.

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