Women Groups Key In Improving Livelihood In South Sudan
Women are key drivers in improving the quality of life of their families and communities in South Sudan. They provide the largest percentage of labour force in food production at family farms which constitute the primary source of livelihood for over 80% of the population living in the rural areas. However, the huge potential of women as food producers is currently constrained by factors such as limited access to land, inputs, training and financial services that holds them back from creating better lives for themselves and their families, according to the United Nations Food Agriculture Organization (FAO). Thus empowering women through the provision of key resources such as access to land, farm inputs, technologies, extension services as well as financial services are vital links in boosting food production. Women groups work is widely articulated and viewed by many as a catalyst for change in South Sudan. Majority of women join groups with the hope of generating income for their families but most of these groups are often unable to generate the required startup capital and as a result miss many opportunities that come along their way. Many count on aid agencies for support such as Yembe Women Group in Yei River County who received support from the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) through a revolving small grant, to enable them produce food to meet local market demand. Yembe Women Group was formed in 2002 initially to meet the immediate food needs of the members, according to the group chairperson. “But later we realized that by farming in a group we can earn more money to cater for medical bills, tuition fees and other family needs” Kiden said.
United Nations Photo