Women Economic Empowerment and Market Development (WEEMD)

Women Economic Empowerment and Market Development is a project in Peshawar, Charsadda and Nowshera. Funded by AusAid, this project is contributing to provide sustainable livelihoods for the marginalized communities with a special focus on women. 72 villages of the three districts are benefiting from this project.

The salient features of this project are

  1. Increased employment opportunities, market access and incomes for poor and marginalized groups, particularly women
  2. Greater Participation of Women in economic activities and benefitting from it.
  3. The project improves value chains and facilitate access of poor and women to viable markets with appropriate products and services, improved value of labor by the poor, increased access of women to financial services and income generating activities and improved literacy & functional skills, and leadership opportunities for women.

Major Activities

Social Mobilization

To prioritize community action toward common problems, total 2,065 HHs were organized into 71 WCOs and 04 MCO memberships. 71 WCO are federated into VOs.

Social capital 1ST Year CO Formation Membership 2ND Year CO Formation Membership Total Membership Total MCO/WCO/VO/LASO
MCO 0 0 4 96 96 4
WCO 34 890 37 1079 1969 71
VO 0 890 0 1079 1969 0
LSO 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 34 890 41 1175 2065 74

Market Development

To stimulate local economic development, contrary to conventional concepts of pro-poor development, which focus exclusively on income growth and neglecting the non-economic dimensions of poverty i.e. enhanced capacity of people to sustain their well-being, Value chain approach was adopted to enhance the income of 975 women and men. Total 6 potential subsectors i.e. Fresh Milk, Meat, Marigold, Garlands, Cloth cluster, and Textile Made-Ups has been identified in 3 program districts of WEEMD. During the first year of program, Fresh Milk Value chain was initiated as a common trade in all 3 districts. Under the said trade, 340 farmers (223 women and 117 men) have been organized, trained in to improve supply efficiency, quality production and linked into middle and high end markets. In second year of the program, Meat value chain was intervened, where 325 (309 women and 16 men) farmers from all 3 districts were put on latest practices. Adding to the value chain development, 60 farmers from Marigold subsector was benefited in District Nowshera through trainings and conversion of tube wells to solar system in second year. The adoption of newly learned skills and access to support services enabled the target beneficiaries to optimize the profit margin. A total of 725 men and women target beneficiaries (133 men &532 women) business performance were improved.

Community Investment Fund

CIF is playing a very crucial role by creating funds market, for low income poor women and self-employed, with innovative strategies to deal with the wide spread word of poverty at rural level. Women with access to financial resource under CIF, is making more use of their entrepreneurial knowledge than rest of others for economic wellbeing. During the period, 1,321 households accessed and benefited from CIF in terms of 216 Income generating grants, 964 Community Investment Funds and 141 Enterprise Development Grant in 18 village banks. 438 women were trained in credit management and 18 women hired as Credit Extension Workers. Under the CIF revolving fund total 3,471 women were benefited from 50 village banks, making 114% progress against the target.

Adult Literacy Centers

The component aimed to develop/increase the literacy ability of 480 women through 24 adult literacy centers throughout the program. In first year 180 women have been enrolled in 9 Adult Literacy centers for five months to increase their ability to decode and comprehend language at a basic level. A teacher was trained for each center to run it. Second year of program witnessed the training of 9 teachers to operate 9 centers and 180 women enrollment for 5 months, who passed through 9 Adult Literacy centers. A total of 360 women passed out through 18 ALCs.

Technical & Vocational trainings

To acquire job/employment, WEEMD is committed to produce 900 men and women into services sector. The program enabled 300 men and women (170 women &130 men) to access jobs in different sectors, i.e. solar panel installation, motorcycle repair, plumbing & electrician, UPS, Mobile and Generator repair, while women in Adda work Crochet work, Fashion designing, Hand purse making and machine & Hand embroidery. Following the first year, 300 additional men and women (178 women & 122 men) were subjected to diverse courses including Fashion designing, Machine embroidery & Piccu, Adda work; Crochet work, Winta wool, Afghani lace, Solar panel installation, Generator and UPS repair, and Plumbing etc.

Women Business Center

To provide a training and show casing facility to the rural women, the program will establish total 24 Women Business Centers (WBC). To run the centers independently and on sustainable basis total 144 master trainers will be capacitated in program life. So far 18 WBCs (9 WBC in 1st year and 9 in 2nd year) has been started working with 108 (54 MT in 1st year and 54 in 2nd year) master trainers trained in 3 Districts Peshawar, Nowshera and Charsadda.