14 June 2022

Gender-sensitive learning environment and promotion of female entrepreneurship (OKP-TMT.21/00180)

Wolaita Sodo Agricultural TVET College is one of the agricultural TVET Colleges in Ethiopia.

The College was established in 2001 and has total coverage of 72 hectares of land. It has the capacity of training many trainees (over 7000) in Animal Science, Plant Science, Natural Resources management and has 32 hectares adjacent land for practical/demonstration purposes. The total number of students is 2450, of which 1164 females.

Wolaita Sodo ATVET aims to create a gender responsive learning environment, a women empowerment programme and smooth transition to the labour market and self-employment for all.

Poverty, disability, gender, migration status and language barriers are some of the major issues that drive exclusion from education on all levels. Unfortunately, this results in a particularly high drop out percentage among female students due to among others their family situations, household responsibilities and limited economical opportunities.

The Covid-19 pandemic has only served to further entrench existing inequalities and has caused a bigger gap between individuals, of which women and girls are disproportionally affected by this crisis by among others increased victimhood of opportunistic sexual exploitation.

Also, agriculture and businesses are generally seen as jobs for men. While progress has been made to achieve gender equality, more must be done to equip new generations, especially girls and women.

Since agriculture is usually done by families in rural areas, cultural taboos and social norms are stricter there compared to urban areas. There are some emerging female owned businesses in urban areas, but not in the agricultural sector. It is not easy for girls/women to start their own business. This training series, therefore, will be focused on supporting the Wolaita Sodo ATVET staff on small business development skills linked to female trainee needs, with the aim to strengthen capacity among Wolaita Sodo staff to be able to train and support female students and community members on this.

Deployment of local expertise by partnering with YESS Ethiopia. YESS Ethiopia trainers bring in skills on youth entrepreneurship, life skills trainings and education quality related interventions.

Some of the training topics:

  • Personal growth and development services, especially targeting the needs of female students and graduates;
  • Gender responsive learning environment; Active/engaging (online) teaching and mentoring undertakings to motivate and stimulate;
  • Women empowerment programme tailored to their needs, focusing on leadership skills, entrepreneurial skills and socio-emotional skills.

This TMT training course enables Wolaita Sodo ATVET to better address gender and inclusion. The project aims to support girls and women in particular in forms of skills, knowledge, and best practices on how to tackle dropout numbers and ensuring a smooth transition to employment and self-employment.


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