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Self-help Group to increase women’s confidence

WE-Action, in association with Christian Aid, has been implementing the ‘Empowering Women and Girls for Gender Equality and Advancement’ in South Omo Zone of SNNPRS, focussing on Bena Tsemay and South Ari Woredas. The Action is building individuals’ skills and knowledge, support systems for service providers, and has established dialogue forums to strengthen the voice and participation of women in these districts. This brought about an increase in women’s and girls’ confidence levels, voice, influence, and improved their access to services and opportunities in South Omo Zone.

Almaze, 35 years old, lives with her six children in Goldya Kebele, South Ari district in South Omo. She is also a survivor of Gender Based Violence (GBV), having faced severe physical and mental abuse at the hands of her husband.

"I refused to be imprisoned. So, I joined the Self-help Group (SHG) and this has changed my life. I started saving 1 ETB per week which I gradually increased to 10 ETB following my improved income. Initially, I didn’t inform my husband about joining the SHG, fearing that he may be against it and may use it as a reason to intensify his abuse. However, he came to know about it when our little son got very ill, and he had no money to take him to the clinic. I disclosed my situation with my SHG members, and they advised me to borrow money from the group. So, I borrowed money and took my son to the clinic. Now, thanks to God and my savings, my child is alive. This was when my husband found out about the SHG and my savings. Learning of the amount of money that I am contributing to the family, he has gradually started to respect me, and now understands the benefit of supporting one another. Moreover, the family discussions we have regularly have brought massive change to my husband’s attitude. It has been a while since he laid his hands on me."

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