The project addressed two problem areas: (a) the institutional capacity constraints of the Women’s Affairs Structure by improving the institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women and (b) the lack of economic empowerment faced by women by providing entrepreneurship and leadership skills to help lift women out of poverty.
The project activities were aligned to the actions foreseen in the Ministry of Women’s Affairs’ (MoWA) Core & Action Plan for Harmonization and Alignment, which is the main strategic document for MoWA.
Under the entrepreneurship component market opportunities and skill gaps in selected regions of the country were identified in view of better matching services to the specific needs of women and of tailoring the training packages to women’s needs and local market requirements.
Specific entrepreneurship/business development skills and vocational training was provided to selected groups of women to allow them to engage in Income Generating Activities and access employment by engaging in the most profitable sectors of the market. Follow-up assistance and counseling service were also provided to ensure linkages with the private sector, associations, cooperatives, other existing initiatives and formal networks. As a result women engaged in the informal sector thereby received recognition and legal protection and those who were unemployed gained access to employment in view of improving their general livelihoods.
The capacity building component was carried out nationwide throughout the Women’s Affairs Structure involving MoWA, the Women’s Affairs Departments in line Ministries and Government Agencies at Federal level and BoWA’s at regional and district level. The entrepreneurship component of the project was piloted in three urban areas (Diredawa, Harar and needy Kebeles of Addis Ababa) and Jijiga representing emerging regions.