Where we work in Ethiopia, in the South Omo Zone, tribal traditions do not value education, and education for women, especially, is frowned upon.
But how do you vote, how do you access government health services, and how do you negotiate fair prices at market if you can’t read, write, or count?
When communities ask us to work with them, we offer integrated literacy and livelihood classes for men and women. This is life changing for the women as they acquire the skills, know-how, and confidence to negotiate with men and engage in a small business.
Their new ability to self-advocate then leads to better social standing: the women are recognized for their new knowledge and skills, and they participate more in community decision-making and governance.
What’s in a name? A whole new world of opportunity!