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Measuring Change in the Decision-Making Role of Pastoral Women at the Household Level as a Result of Their Financial and Social Empowerment

Kathleen Colson of The BOMA Project, Inc. in Kenya will investigate, measure and document how participation in BOMA's Rural Entrepreneur Access Project (REAP)--a holistic two-year program of sequenced interventions--translates to such gender-influenced outcomes as increased household financial decision-making by women, increased education opportunities for girls and increased food security and use of healthcare by the household. REAP is a high-impact poverty graduation program that addresses the geographic and socio-economic context of the arid and semi-arid lands of Africa, where the harsh effects of climate change and endemic extreme poverty persistently undermine the well-being of women and children. The project provides ultra-poor Kenyan women cash grants, business skills training, mentoring and the opportunity to set up their own business to help lift their families out of poverty. Giving women more power over household spending tends to lead to improved family health care and education. They will recruit 750 women living in extreme poverty in pastoral communities to their two-year poverty graduation program. Upon these women exiting REAP, they will analyze its impact on improving the education and social standing of women and girls, and the physical and financial wellbeing of their families.

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