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Woman milking cow

Economic security:

Village women take control

In Pakistan, after Qudsia completed training about management and gender equity, she became an executive in her village’s new milk co-operative, one of 330 co-ops supported by our national partner organization, Empowerment Thru Creative Integration. “I found courage in joining,” said the 20-year-old farmer, adding that she shares her knowledge with other women. “We gained encouragement that we can do work that our men believed only they could do,” she explained. “We know these skills will lead to women’s greater role in household and community decision making and financial management.” These were remarkable statements, ones replicated by 660 other women in a project that’s benefitting 12,250 livestock farmers, two thirds of whom are women. Women account for 90 per cent of Pakistan’s dairy industry, but men control the business. The project has specific goals to increase incomes and improve gender equity. “Village women have started realizing that they’re important within the community, and this is a good feeling,” Qudsia said.