Women Economic Empowerment

Sustainable Development Goal 5 aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Women’s participation in the key development projects increases their chances of having more empowerment through control over resources, helps in increasing household income and contributes to macroeconomic growth. Women constitute half of the world's population and in Uganda alone, women constituted 50.47 % by 2022, according to the World Bank collection of development indicators.

Women continue to face numerous barriers to economic empowerment such as cultural norms and societal expectations, limited access to resources and financial services, gender-based violence among other factors which relegates them to traditional roles as carers and homemakers, limiting their opportunities for education, employment, and entrepreneurship aswell hindering them to start businesses or access credit to invest in their economic ventures.

Empowering women economically leads to greater gender equality and social cohesion. As women gain financial independence and decision-making power, they challenge traditional gender norms and stereotypes, paving the way for more inclusive and equitable societies.

Get Water Uganda affirms her commitment to breaking down barriers and building inclusive economic landscapes where women can thrive. By working with different partners and stakeholders, we are unlocking the full potential of women and creating a brighter and more equitable future for generations to come. Our Approach to Women Economic Empowerment

• The Digital Village Savings and Loans Associations

Get Water Uganda works closely with the community local structures to support in mobilization and formation of smaller self-selected manageable groups of 25 to 30 people with at least 80% being women. These groups are known as Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs). They meet regularly to contribute small but significant amounts of their earnings to a pooled savings fund, traditionally stored in a lockbox. The VSLA uses their combined savings to provide loans to individual members, who then pay it back over time with a small amount of interest. This is a life-changing, sometimes life-saving, resource for the women. It enables women to take loans to start or invest in their smaller businesses, pay school fees for their children and support domestic errands at their households.

Currently, Get Water Uganda supports over 3,000 women through her VSLA approach. These VSLAs are highly trusted by the group members who share a similar development agenda. Despite the trust, the traditional approach of VSLA operations presented a number of limitations in regard to bookkeeping, financial management and avoiding human error. Through an innovative approach, Get Water Uganda is working with her partners in digitalizing VSLAs to address these limitations. The traditional approach has been advanced into an online system supported by an online application called ‘’MOBISAPP’’ which helps the VSLAs to conduct their transactions easily. Women are transforming their livelihoods through entrepreneurship, savings and investments and some have been trained as 'Digital Champions', gaining advanced skills on the app to troubleshoot and manage their group's financial transactions, records and meetings.

• Business Training and Financial Literacy

Equal access to financial literacy and advancement is a human right. However, the deeply rooted social norms coupled with gender biases have greatly fueled the financial hardships women face in Uganda. Having a solid foundation in financial literacy is a gateway to autonomy, decision-making power, and long-term financial security. Get Water Uganda equips women with the knowledge and skills to manage their own finances, reducing dependency on others for economic support through empowering them with ideas in business incubation and management to financial literacy training and tools to improve financial wellbeing. Our advocacy for increased financial literacy practices is key to relieving the economic strain on women as it helps remove a critical barrier to financial inclusion. This also paves the way for improved risk management, increased usage of financial services and empowers women to gain better control of their savings and to build financial resilience. By providing women with equal opportunities and knowledge on business and financial management, Get Water Uganda has significantly contributed to the improved financial empowerment among women in Uganda.

• Sustainable agriculture through solar water irrigation schemes for food security and nutrition

In rural areas of Uganda, women take the lead in growing food to sustain their households. However, the adverse effects of weather and climate changes hinders the continuous cultivation of both food and cash crops throughout the year. The impact of irrigation on food security and nutrition is significant as it allows farmers to utilize the plentiful reserves of surface and groundwater to harvest all year round.

Get Water Uganda is boosting and empowering women by promoting irrigation farming in Eastern Uganda using small scale irrigation caravans distributed to VSLA groups. Currently five women groups have benefited through this program, each group received two solar irrigation caravans to boost their production of food crops to prevent the adverse effects of food insecurity and nutrition challenges. The supported women groups are able to grow crops such as potatoes, vegetables and tomatoes for food and can surplus is sold to provide income to the families. This has enhanced food security, nutrition and income among women.