Women's Voices from the Field for European Development Days
For this year’s European Development Days (EDD), the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to the Republic of Kenya took the initiative to run a local campaign to showcase how EU and member states interventions have impacted the lives of women and girls in Kenya. The Delegation sent a video production team to Makueni County to meet a successful women’s business group and capture their voices from the field. SNV has been working with the women’s group under the EOWE programme with funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands under the "Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women" (FLOW) framework, by facilitating behavior change around gender norms that restrict equal economic opportunity and by supporting the business group to start value addition activities in the chicken value chain to increase the profitability of their businesses.
This year's EDD will run June 5-6 in Brussels under the theme "Women and Girls at the Forefront of Sustainable Development: protect, empower, invest." The EDD bring the development community together each year to share ideas and experiences in ways that inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. For its twelfth iteration, EDD 2018 aims at bringing together the European Union's commitment to gender equality and women's empowerment with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Gender equality and women’s empowerment are at the core of European values and enshrined within the EU's legal and political framework. This is why the event focuses on the vital role of women and the need for their full and equal participation and leadership in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Under the main thread of "Women and Girls at the Forefront of Sustainable Development: protect, empower, invest," the EDD 2018 agenda is framed by three major themes emerging as key priorities in today’s current context: ensuring the physical and psychological integrity of girls and women; promoting economic and social rights and empowerment of girls and women; and strengthening girls’ and women’s voices and participation.
To bring voices from the field to the global platform and to showcase how the interventions of the EU and its member states have impacted the lives of women and girls in Kenya, the Office of the Head of Development Cooperation of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Kenya produced three-four minute videos which will be disseminated on various digital and social media platforms throughout the year.
The Ten Poultry Producers group in Makueni County, which is being supported by SNV under the EOWE programme, was selected as one of the cases to be featured under the campaign as they progressed a lot over the past two years through a combination of increased gender equal behavior and value addition interventions.
The women’s group expressed their interest in and started value addition activities in the chicken value chain to increase the profitability of their businesses. Instead of raising and selling live chicken the women’s group is now selling market-ready chicken meat. They have learned how to grow and prepare chicken feeds, how to keep their chicken healthy by vaccinating them properly and how to slaughter the chicken and package them for sale in supermarkets. In collaboration with EastMeat Supplies Limited, a leading specialist in pure indigenous chicken and beef meat processing in Kenya who is buying the market-ready chicken meat from the women's groups, their capacity has been developed to improve productivity and the value of their products and thereby increase their income and profit. This enables the women to invest more resources in their enterprises as well as allocate extra income to their household budgets. “We are grateful to SNV, its local partner BISEP and EastMeat Supplies Limited for their belief in us,” explains Jennifer Mutunga of the Ten Poultry Producers group. “Their support is enabling us to continuously develop our businesses and improve our livelihoods.”