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A woman leader in her community

March 2011

In the remote highlands of Ayacucho in Peru, traditionally, women are born to get married, have children and look after household chores.

Women's voices are seldom heard in local decision-making, a task reserved for the men.

However, the work of Christian Aid partner CEDAP is slowing changing this and allowing women to enter spaces that were typically reserved for men.

Lidia is one such woman who lives in a farming community. In the past, she spent hours watering her plot of land, a waste of precious resources.

With the training and support she received from CEDAP, she has built irrigation channels which speed up the watering process, preserves water and allows her more free time to do other chores.  

Training as a way out of poverty

The training Lidia has received has not just improved her farming techniques. It has also given her the knowledge and confidence to become a leader in her community.

Her new expertise has allowed her to travel to nearby communities to teach both men and women how best to grow and irrigate their crops, use pasturelands and make efficient use of water.

She is convinced that this training is a way out of poverty: 'Women need training, when they participate in the training organised by CEDAP, we can get out of poverty because we can learn how to plant and irrigate the land'.

In the past, women's participation in wider community activities was limited to their membership in mothers' clubs.

Now, the training from CEDAP allows many women like Lidia the opportunity to participate alongside men in their communities' assemblies and gatherings.

Today, women are being elected by their community to supervise and organise community work.

'Before, we didn't know our rights, now we are waking up with the training from CEDAP', says Lidia.


 

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