This project empowers families and especially women in rural Bolivia to start small businesses by planting tara trees. The families are educated on subjects such as health, nutrition and entrepreneurship. By enabling them to generate a stable income for their families by growing and harvesting the tara plants, womens' role in rural Bolivia is strengthened.
Rural Bolivia is characterized by strong patriarchal structures: Women only have a say in 2 % of the socially relevant decisions [HSI, 2014] and illiteracy is widely spread among females. Income is usually not perceived to be mutually generated in families so that in most cases, only men get to decide about property. In addition to this general discrimination, 70 % of women fall victim to physical, sexual or psychological assault making rural Bolivia the most badly affected in all Latin America.
This project gives more freedom and self-determination to 400 Bolivian women by providing education and a basis for them to generate a stable family income. Both women and men are schooled together to work hand in hand in order to build small family businesses. The families are provided with material as well as knowledge to start growing tara trees which are indigenous plants suited for the dry Bolivian climate. The tara seeds can be sold for use in manufacturing leather or food supplements.
Building family businesses is a way to gradually weaken the patriarchal structures. Men and women are equally involved in the tara production and are schooled in entrepreneurship only together. With the opportunity to generate income, women in rural Bolivia will slowly be able to acquire an increasing say in socially relevant decisions.