Award-winning article on pastoral women in Kenya & Ethiopia
The PARIMA (Pastoral Risk Management) project in Ethiopia and Kenya found that sustainable ways to improve lives in pastoral regions in eastern Africa have more to do with raising hope and building local people’s capacity to solve problems and manage risks rather than pushing new technology or range-management innovations. Investments in building the capacities of pastoral women, men, girls and boys can rapidly improve human welfare. Identifying avenues where both sexes can jointly pursue development initiatives leads to a sustainable and equitable society. Once human capabilities and ambitions have been raised, this sets the stage for more effective diffusion of social and technical innovations. Women proved to be capable of remarkable achievements in collective action, livelihood diversification, micro-finance, and community-based wealth generation. They inspired other women to start new initiatives. Husbands supported women’s empowerment because household welfare improved. Women’s empowerment should be a major focus in pastoral development projects because of the positive community synergisms women create – as described in the 7-page article “Cross-border interaction spurs innovation and hope among pastoral and agro-pastoral women of Ethiopia and Kenya” published in Rangelands. This article won the EXCEL gold medal from Association Media & Publishing in the USA as the best feature article in a journal published by a non-profit organisation in 2013.