The National Capacity Development Support Facility (CDSF) in collaboration with its SNNPR regional office conducted training on the Women Empowerment Manual (WEM) and refresher training on the Gender Toolkit (GTK), Common Interest Group Business Guide Book (CIG BGB) and Nutrition in Shashemene town from November 23 – 25/2020 (three days). Participants were drawn from the 2 Regions – SNNPR and Sidama – as well as from Baseline Zones and Woredas and included experts from Women, Children and Youth Affairs, Agriculture and Natural Resource, Livestock and Fishery Development, Cooperative Agency, ZCDOs and Woreda AGP2 coordinators. In total, thirty-six participants, including eighteen women (50%), attended the training. The training was opened by Ato Abduljelil Naser (Ministry of Agriculture) and facilitated by W/o Soyome Alemahyehu (CDSF Gender and Nutrition Specialist) and Ato Sebsibe Teklu (Regional CDSF Capacity Development Specialist).
The major objective of the training was, to equip participants with tools that enable them to engage rural women, specifically women CIG members, in structured discussions about their lives and help them to build skills for enhancing their individual and collective empowerment. It also aimed to fill knowledge and skill gaps participants may have encountered in the application of previous lessons on the GTK, CIG BGB and Nutrition. In particular, the training was specifically focused on ZCDOs and interns working for CDSF.
During the training, participants tackled the following major concepts:
1. Women’s Empowerment
Key concepts on Gender and Empowerment: Equality vs Equity, Why Gender Equality Matters, Gender Stereotype, Gender Gaps in Agriculture, Different kinds of power, Women’s Empowerment and constraints.
How the WEM is organized and how to use it: Shown as “story based manual” and is organized in a way to reflect step by step of Module 1, personal change, Module 2, collective change and Module 3, community change, all to be carried out using adult learning principles.
2. Gender Tool Kit: Different tools and methods that can work effectively at the household and community level, challenging gender based bias, stereotypes and norms.
3. Common Interest Group Business Guide Book: Difference between cooperative and CIG, Business Feasibility Study, Business Plan Development, Financial record keeping and action plan preparation.
4. Nutrition: Nutrition situation in Ethiopia, Why should the agriculture sector care about nutrition?, Malnutrition and how it costs nationwide, Nutrition specific interventions, Agriculture and Nutrition and its pathways, Agriculture and Nutrition common problems and how agriculture can help for improved dietary diversity and entry points for NSA.
During the training, in addition to presentations, facilitators skillfully applied adult learning principles, using methods such as group discussions, role plays, think-pair-share techniques and panel discussions. In this, participants went through several different exercises for each topic area and presented their lessons back to the larger group.
Apart from these, the GTK refresher training which was facilitated by W/o Soyome, was conducted in the form of e-learning course, which is adopted as a system of learning to combat COVID 19.
At the end of the program participants expressed that the training was helpful in being able to fully understand their roles on how to apply the Women Empowerment Manual and promised to incorporate their learnings in their regular undertakings. Finally, participants completed a training evaluation and Ato Kedir Mohammed (Regional AGP CU Coordinator) gave the closing remarks, specifically acknowledging resource persons from the Federal level for their tireless support of the Region.