Agricultural Livelihoods

Empowering women around the world to create better opportunities

The IKEA Foundation and our partners are helping young women in poor communities grow their ambitions and learn the skills they need to find a job.

As International Women’s Day (8 March 2019) approaches, we’ll be sharing the ambitions and achievements of young women living in some of the world’s poorest communities. We want to celebrate a generation on the move towards creating a fairer, more balanced world.

For every 100 young men aged 25–34 living in poverty, there are 122 equally poor women of the same age.* Many factors contribute to this disparity. Young women living in poverty are more likely to marry early and have children. This means they often lose the opportunity of an education and with it the possibility of decent work and a better income.

Women do at least twice as much unpaid care work as men, which includes housework and childcare. In some cases, subsistence farming adds to their work burden.

But when women have decent work for fair pay, they can invest more in the health and education of their families. They also lead the way for younger generations of women and start to change the stereotypes that keep so many young women in poverty.

With our partners in South Asia and East Africa – such as Going to School and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) – we’re helping young women develop the skills they need to get decent work, start a business or study further.

Photo credit: UNDP 19-year-old entrepreneur Nikki from Garhibohr village, India

Nikki lives with her parents in Garhibohr village, a few kilometers from Rohtak City Centre in Haryana. At just 19 years old Nikki, from a room in her parents’ house she runs her own tailoring cum beauty parlour shop. With the support of Disha Project, she followed a three-day start-up training, with follow-up hand-holding by Humana People to People India. In her order book, she has tailoring orders from 40 different customers! Her plan is to expand her business and set up her very own shop in the main market.

Photo Credit: Kepler Rosette Muhoza co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of My Green Home

Rosette Muhoza is another shining example to budding entrepreneurs. She is the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of My Green Home, and a current Kepler student in healthcare management. Our partner Kepler provides students in East Africa with a high-quality university education that is affordable and relevant for the job opportunities around them. Graduates receive a US-accredited degree from Southern New Hampshire University, a leader in global higher education.

Following a class project on raising awareness of environmental sustainability issues, Rosette Muhoza and her partner David Kinzuzi founded My Green Home to develop efficient waste-management and recycling services in Kigali. Her award-winning company turns food waste into organic fertiliser and plastic into paving stones. Since starting My Green Home, Rosette has learned that “entrepreneurship is a journey like any other, and to move forward you need hard work, persistence and a zeal to learn from your mistakes.”

Join us on social media as we stand in solidarity with these young women and share their hopes, dreams and achievements.