Women’s Empowerment Collectives
Gender inequality remains a major obstacle to the eradication of extreme poverty in Togo, where 50% of the population live in extreme poverty.
Togolese women do not experience the same educational or economic opportunities as men: they are less likely to finish secondary school, access financial services, or know their basic human rights.
Whilst nine out of ten Togolese women run their own businesses, they lack access to essential services and often struggle to grow their income. Many of these women remain financially dependent on men, unable to work their way out of poverty or shape their own futures.
Our Women’s Empowerment Collectives (WEC) simultaneously address gender inequality and poverty. We do this by providing women with the opportunity to access financial services, develop. new skills, learn about their rights and become women’s empowerment collective leaders.
All of our WECs meet fortnightly, where they receive livelihood development loans, swap advice or receive training on a variety of topics: from customer service, to women’s rights or family planning. As a woman grows her skills, business and confidence, she is supported in accessing larger loans. After four or five loans, it is our aim for a woman to have grown her business so she no longer requires our support. At this point she may become a WEC mentor or graduate to formalised banking services.