As wild weather hits crops, Ethiopian women turn to savings

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Workinesh Denda, a stocky middle-aged woman, arranges hand-made stoves in a neat line in a small shop in Ganta Kanachama village, in southern Ethiopia.

“Before we had these (stoves) we could barely get by,” she said. “Endless drought would destroy our corn and teff harvests, leaving us with nothing to (sell) at the market or even feed our family.”

Increasingly erratic rain and recurring dry spells have slashed harvests and killed livestock in swathes of Ethiopia, raising fears of increased food insecurity.

Women often bear the brunt of such climate pressures, experts say, particularly as they usually have less power over their lives and are chiefly responsible for feeding their families.

“In Ethiopia’s rural areas, which are dominated by patriarchal attitudes, women rarely have a say in household finances,” explained Sintayehu Tsegaye, microfinance specialist at Mercy Corps, a charity.

Photo courtesy of Ministério do Desenvolvimento Social.

Source: Reuters (link opens in a new window)

climate change, microfinance, savings