ECOWAS Response and Leadership
To reverse the trend and promote women’s empowerment, the ECOWAS Commission, with the support of its technical and financial partners, specifically the Spanish Cooperation, with a grant of five million Euros, has enabled the ECOWAS Commission, over the past six years, to give priority to women, children, and youth in the implementation of its support program for national social safety nets.
Building on the lessons learned from the 19 field pilot projects of the regional program to support national social safety nets in West Africa, co-funded by the Spanish Cooperation and the ECOWAS Commission and implemented across the 15 Member States, it comes out that involving women in productive social safety net programs expands sources of income and contributes to household development.
This is achieved through various instruments, such as the distribution of agricultural inputs to male and female producers, technical support and capacity building for male and female producers, and the design and adaptation of social safety nets to the pastoral realities of the fragile zones of the Sahel, through for instance, the distribution of animal kits.
The field actions have highlighted two major facts.
Going forward, it has clearly been established that mainstreaming gender in the targeting of vulnerable groups makes it possible to respond effectively to household food and nutrition problems. The ECOWAS Commission will therefore continue to support women’s income-generating activities and to enhance their crucial role in food and nutrition security. This will be done through three key actions.
In this context, the Spanish cooperation wishes to continue its collaboration with ECOWAS in supporting the most vulnerable households in West Africa. Other technical and financial partners are also called upon.
As a reminder and for information purposes, here is the link to the video on Strengthening Livelihoods and Gender Mainstreaming in Social Protection Programs: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1bF3EevBMpMLyyvjs7DHr91LV8hgv-9wB
November 16, 2023
September 22, 2023