Women Empowerment

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Socio-Economic Empowerment and Livelihood Promotion of vulnerable women and youth


The problem and importance of the intervention

Sustainable development will not be achieved unless the needs of all people are fulfilled, especially those women/girls and youth living in poverty, vulnerability or otherwise discriminated against. Beyond the harm faced by women, adolescents and youth, it stalls development progress, reduce economic efficiency, hinder growth, threaten social cohesion and stability, and undermine human capital accumulation. Priority must be placed on ending gender inequality along with equal attention in women/girls empowerment.

On the other hand, vulnerable women, adolescents and youth are the largest groups facing systematic inequality worldwide. In this regard, improving the existing state among women, adolescent and girls across the range of social, cultural, economic rights, including in accessing social benefits, health services, educational and employment opportunities, in forming a family, in fulfilling their right to self-expression, to seek and impart information, and to freedom from violence and harassment, regardless of sex, age, race, ethnicity, income, occupation, marital, HIV, disability or migrant status, sexual orientation and gender identity, or on any other grounds are very important.

In Ethiopia many adolescent girls, youth and women migrate from rural to urban areas and abroad to escape poverty, early marriage, marriage by abduction and looking for better life. The rural-urban migration trend in Ethiopia can be explained by a number of so-called push and pull factors. The main push factors in Ethiopia as being overpopulation, youth landlessness, famine, poverty, land scarcity, lack of agricultural resources and insignificant rural job creation. On the other hand, major pull factors are promising job opportunity, better education urban light and the like. Related to this, realistically most of promising factors are not exist in urban areas.

Related to this, especially migrant adolescents, young female and women labor migrants are vulnerable to mistreatment and physical and sexual abuse since they arrive without the necessary psychological and social preparation. Majority of them are uneducated and destitute with no means for personal support. These migrant girls face a multitude of challenges which endanger their lives and health conditions. Much to the complication of the situation, a large number of the migrant girls have no host family or reliable relatives to assist them. They don’t have a clue as to where to go or whom to talk to for support. Considering the nature of the rural setting they were accustomed to, it is not difficult to imagine how difficult things would before them when they encounter overcrowded and busy cities such as Addis Ababa, with no one to rely on or guide them. Furthermore, currently, significant number of adolescent girls, women and youth from all corners of the country to Addis Ababa looking for job and/or with the intention of going abroad mainly to the Middle East. South Africa, Europe across Sudan and Libya through Sahara desert along with several grave challenges.

Vulnerable women and youth could be empowered when they have both the ability to succeed and advance economically and the power to make and act on economic and other decisions. To help them achieve economic empowerment, programs must address the range of factors that shape their lives.

Generally, due to socio-economic and cultural reasons large number of adolescent, youth and women are being vulnerable and seeking socio-economic empowerment and livelihood promotion Therefore, holistic intervening efforts from all stakeholders against the problem is very important; and that is what this programmatic intervention tries to accomplish in itself.

Strategic objective

Improve the social and economic status of the target groups by increasing their physical and human capital assets through income generating activities and other livelihood interventions.

Immediate objectives

  • Build the capacity of the private sector, CSOs and government partners offices pertinent to the goal of employment generation for vulnerable but trained women
  • Increase physical and human capital assets of 500 households through adoption of new and better methods of production in rural and urban areas of the project sites
  • Increase the number of women and youth groups in urban and rural areas engaged in employment and income generating activities
  • Integrate talent development trainings such as Art, Beauty, fashion designing, catering, and Culture to life and vocational skills to 1500 young women and men in across the operational areas
  • Establish and promote 10 Sink-Bets in the SPM period

Selected intervention areas

  • Supporting parents particularly mothers of children with different abilities and disabilities in any way possible
  • Socio-Economical, psychological, emotional, training, awareness, and referrals programs
  • Creating access to Socio-Economical support – Provide basic assets for income generation to vulnerable women and girls
  • Vocational training and Life skills training programs
  • Promoting discussions on the Psycho social support and mitigation mechanisms to the challenges of vulnerable women, migrant returnee and CSWs
  • Promoting RH/FP mainstreaming discussion forum
  • Build physical and human capital assets of communities
  • Establishing and promoting “Sink-Bet’s” across all operational cites – rehabilitation and excellence center for vulnerable women and young girls

Direct beneficiaries

  • Adolescents
  • Migrant and vulnerable youth
  • Migrant adolescents and young women looking for job in Addis Ababa
  • Vulnerable adolescent girls involved in commercial sex
  • Young women intending to migrate to the Middle East, South Africa and Europe across Sahara Desert, Mediterranean
  • Person with disabilities

Intervention Strategies

  • Providing BDS and IGA with startup capital
  • Training of life skill and awareness
  • Community mobilization through sensitization workshops
  • Awareness and Media Engagement


As a result of the various social, psychological and economic organizational interventions we have made through the years, we have been able to see real changes in the lives of young girls and women including mothers of children with differently abled children. Some of them are:

  • Nia has saved lives of young people who lost hopes for encountering difficult circumstances to a point of committing suicide – Transferred their lives to be filled with greater optimism, hope, vision, with quite of them being self-reliant, productive and model leaders with exemplary life styles
  • We provided counseling for more than 3500 family members with a child with autism – this is the direct result of our efforts on awareness creation and education on the issues
  • Economically empowered 1,500 vulnerable women and girls (These include low income parents and guardians of autistic children) out of which most of them are running their own small scale businesses.
  • 330 young women and girls that include victims of human trafficking, returnees from migration, seized previous CSW are provided with the protection, psychosocial supports and resources and skills to lead a descent life and promote “Instead…, Sale your Talent”
  • 6,500 women and girls trained on vocational skills such as art and fashion, in which quite most of them started to lead decent work life and/or run their own small businesses
  • The Foundation is now embarking in broader empowerment agenda through supporting organized women activities around economic and social issues through establishing “SINK BET” (Equipping and Inspiring through Consecutive Training and Mentoring Services to be able to kitting them with the necessary Tools to deal with their day-to-day lives) that serve as Centers for rehabilitation, and empowerment, feeding and shelters for vulnerable and abused women and girls
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