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news | August 21, 2017 | Jordan | Rehabilitation

Home-based gardening to empower rural women in Jordan

There’s no doubt that rural women in Jordan play a vital role in contributing to their household income and improving the quality of life for their families and children. In some parts of northern Jordan, over 50% of the female population work as farmers, and every day this figure continues to grow.

In a series of community initiatives in Balama municipality, as part of the EU-funded LEADERS project, ACTED is empowering women with the knowledge and skills to succeed in the agricultural sector. On July 17th, ACTED, in collaboration with the community of Balama’a, organised a day of theoretical and practical training for home agricultural projects.

One attendee, Soafah, stated: “On this day of training, I learned the importance of home farming because of the environmental, economic and health benefits, as well as about the benefits of home food processing. After this session, I really came to believe that growing crops at home is much cheaper than buying them, and more environmentally sustainable.” Soafah expressed her “deep thanks and appreciation to everyone who attended, contributed, participated and organised this day” and hopes the event is repeated so that even more women can attend.

The training session was attended by 34 women of all ages from across the municipality of Balama’a. It encouraged women to start their own home gardening projects, and allowed for an open discussion about the importance of home gardening in achieving self-sufficiency, providing nutritious food to their children and families, and mitigating the negative effects of climate change. Later on in the day, the attendees took the session outdoors to participate in a practical training session, and for the women attendees to practice the sustainable agricultural techniques they had learned.

Another participant, Fatima, discussed how much she enjoyed the training session and what she learned: “I appreciated in particular the focus on the education of women in this sector, because of their importance in building the community. From my point of view, and as I understood from the views of my colleagues, this will greatly benefit the community as a whole when we are able to apply what we learned from this training. We’ll be able to produce healthy and nutritious food for the whole community which will be cheaper than buying them from the market.”

ACTED is already planning to soon conduct a second session, with the aim of reaching even more women across Balama’a municipality.