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Progress for Women Is Progress for All

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Projects funded by UN Women make a difference to the everyday lives of women and their families around the world. UN Women supports this work through its fundraising activities and also collects donations that go to specific projects with no part being retained for administration. This year the focus of our fundraising will be the UN programme to tackle violence against women and three innovative projects which support economic empowerment.

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UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women

Violence against women is one of the most pervasive and systematic human rights violations in the world today. The UN Trust Fund, which UN Women manages, is a leading global mechanism to advance action to end this pandemic. It provides grants which support local and national efforts to reach women at risk and to generate change. Grants fund public education and awareness campaigns, establishment of support networks, training programmes for healthcare personnel and law enforcement agencies, and work to document the prevalence of violence against women. Many projects strive to alter community attitudes and involve men as allies.

Projects are selected annually and UN Women always receives many more excellent proposals than it has funds to support. The Trust Fund supports the UN Secretary General’s UNiTE to End Violence Against Women campaign which is mobilising action across the UN system

Find out more about Trust Fund projects

Kenya: strengthening the export competitiveness of women bead workers

Kenya: strengthening the export competitiveness of women bead workers

In Kenya, the Micro and Small Enterprises (MSE) sector is considered the primary driver of the country’s industrialisation strategy and a major contributor to the drop in poverty levels. The handicraft industry is an important element of this sector. Although the opportunity to expand into new and non-traditional products continues to grow, the full potential for commercialising handicrafts still remains untapped. Benefits are yet to be seen by grassroots producers, a majority of whom are women living in rural areas.

The UN Women initiative has three main components: providing business development services to enhance the entrepreneurial skills of the women, strengthening their export competitiveness and working to disseminate project activities and findings. The programme involves 850 Maasai women in groups currently producing beadwork. Membership of the groups ranges from 15 to 100 and they are spread throughout the Kajiado district; they operate as small business enterprises with an elected leadership.

Success will be measured by increased orders and profits and expansion into new markets.

Liberia: a cassava production and processing enterprise

Liberia: a cassava production and processing enterprise

In Liberia cassava is a staple food at the centre of the food security chain.  However, women are faced with significant challenges which constrain their productivity and their ability to earn substantial income from cassava production. These include a lack of appropriate processing equipment, transport to market, and farming tools and the inability to afford the necessary inputs for optimal production.

In Ganta (the largest city in Nimba County) and surrounding villages, 500 women are involved in the UN Women initiative to turn a small-scale women’s cassava production operation into an income-generating cassava production and processing enterprise. This is potentially a rich agricultural region with high productive capacity. However, at present the region is recovering from the civil conflict and operating at an unusually low level of economic output and crop productivity. New processing, marketing and management skills will be developed to establish profitable businesses measured through increased incomes, improved yields and expanded markets.

Peru: economic empowerment of women with newly acquired property rights

Peru: economic empowerment of women with newly acquired property rights

The Government of Peru implemented an Urban Property Rights Project (UPRP) which enabled low-income families to obtain formal titles for their properties. More than 50% of the total beneficiaries of the programme were women and they can use their newly acquired property rights to access formal credit and build small businesses.

The UN Women project is based in the metropolitan area of Lima and involves 660 women with small businesses. Microenterprise is one of the most important economic activities available to poor urban women living in this area. The project aims to develop their business skills, improving profits and sustainability. All participants receive general training in business and financial management, while half also receive integrated, individually tailored technical assistance. The project will also address the social and family issues that often constrain women’s development through a module on life skills and empowerment.

Success will be measured by increased sales, improved access to credit and business innovations.

Nicole Kidman: Why Support the UN Trust Fund

Find out more about the Kenyan beadworkers.

Zainab speaks about the Kenya project in New York

UN Women member Alice Fookes visits the project in Peru

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