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A new voice for women in Ethiopia

March 2014

In England and Wales, the average woman is having her first baby at nearly 30*. In Ethiopia, at 30, Adi Duba is already a widow and a mother of five.

Living independently as a widow is incredibly tough. And within the Borena community in southern Ethiopia, re-marriage is only possible for Adi through ‘inheritance’ by male relatives of her deceased husband.

Adi was destitute. But with our partner, HUNDEE’s support, life has started to get a bit brighter.

A cup of butter can provide an education

A young Ethiopian woman with her cattle and goat

Adi Dubi with her livestock

Adi’s community recognised how vulnerable she was as a single mother. She received one cow and two goats through the UK aid Programme Partnership Arrangement scheme.

Life has changed for Adi. Not only is she able to provide milk for her children, she is also producing a cup of butter a week, worth about £2, which is enough to send her eldest daughter to school.

Most importantly, now that she owns livestock, she is viewed as ‘Guma Gutu’ (an owner of cattle and goats), meaning she now has a voice.

Adi is able to participate with men in community meetings, challenging social norms which discriminate against women.

Challenging social norms

Working together with HUNDEE, women are now challenging early marriage, marriage abductions, the inheritance of women by relatives, polygamy, and prioritising boys over girls for schooling. 

Working with 1,135 women, we see this as an incredible achievement.

Not only has ownership of livestock given women like Adi financial independence, it has significantly increased their status in a traditional and male-dominated society. 

How you can help

With your help, we can support more women like Adi to live independently.

Find out more

*Reference: the Telegraph website.


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