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The Association Feminine Badeya Ton is a local women’s association consisting of 35 deeply motivated women. They seek to improve the quality of life for women in their community as well as facilitate a more active and productive role for women in Malian society.
This women’s association has set their sights on cultivating rice as an ongoing income-generating project. Despite their aspirations, however, women in Malian society are unable to acquire the capital necessary to fund the start-up costs of such a project, being routinely denied access to credit because they have nothing to offer as collateral. These 35 women meet weekly and collect dues hoping to save up the money needed to begin rice cultivation. They have raised the equivalent of nearly $160 USD and will provide $115 USD worth of labor. They need just over $800 USD so that they might begin farming in the coming season.
This project will unarguably empower these women. Traditionally women play a subservient, undervalued role in Malian society. Rice cultivation will provide 35 women the opportunity to work together to earn an extra income for themselves and their families. Not only will they manage the project, but they will cultivate the land and sell the rice for profit themselves. By taking on this responsibility collectively, these women will attain a degree of financial independence from their husbands while helping to raise their families’ quality of life.
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