The Women’s Groups:
Over a 3-month period, participatory Community planning meetings and discussions were held with women’s groups (34 people total) from two villages – Amsouzert and Aguerzrane. During these meetings, and building on the information from prior group meetings, women were very positive about their idea for a Cooperative that includes the economic craft activities of dress- and carpet-making, and knitting projects. In addition, the participants voiced their hopes for a literacy-program and a child care center, which was also identified by men’s groups. Many women (and men they separately stated) support the iris planting idea. The 4 total field facilitators were mostly listening during these discussions, and assisted the pairwise ranking activities (results below), where the women prioritized the kinds of Cooperative activities they preferred. The women proposed their suggestions to the president of the Commune (who is highly supportive of the idea), as well as other heads of associations. The Commune began the processes of identifying land for the women’s proposed Cooperative.
The women’s groups explained, in different ways, that they have either never been to school or left at an early age, and they want to fulfill that need of knowing either by learning how to read and write or by developing other craft-related skills. This exclusion of women and girls from the socio-economic sphere is due to a range of causes, including: limited financial resources within the household; the burden of household chores assigned to young girls, particularly in rural areas; the absence of adequate educational, communication, and transportation infrastructure; and beliefs that prioritize the education of the male child in the family. Personal status codes also discriminate. The women believe that they will be able to improve their lives and those of their families with a co-op.
The attached charts show the results of participatory planning activities that helped them prioritize their desired activities for the co-op.
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