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This innovative programme aims to explore the extent to which economic empowerment can contribute to a sustainable end to gender violence. The pilot project targeted 1500 GBV survivors (15 to 20 survivors per council) in 10 Centres of Excellence for Gender in Local Government in each of 10 SADC countries – Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. 1359 women (91%) of those targeted, completed the three stages of the pilot programme. More on the programme can be found here. For first- hand accounts of the participants, link here.
Since the pilot evaluation results and lessons learned, this programme has been extended in more councils in Botswana and further strengthened through a mentorship programme in Mauritius. With the support of the European Union Decentralised Cooperation Programme, Gender Links Mauritius did a one year mentoring programme across 10 regions of the island. Click here for the report.
Key results of the pilot phase include:
- The average increase in income per month for the region is R526; the overall increase in income in 2015 as a result of the project is R10.8 million; a 66% increase.
- 59% added new products and 54% found new markets; 48% indicated starting anew business and 29% increased the size of their business; 41% opened a bank account and 35% increased email usage.
- 85% of participants said they now experience less or much less GBV. Overall, the relationship control index increased by four percentage points to 66%.
- Gender attitudes as measured by the Gender Progress Score (GPS) in the communities increased by two percentage points to 63%. At 70% the participants had a seven percentage point higher GPS than their communities.
- Councils provided almost R6 million in in-kind support to the project.
- Participants gave the councils an overall rating of 89%.