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In Benin, women cotton growers embrace organic agriculture

Each year, on average, Benin produces 220,000 tons of cotton, representing 45 percent of its fiscal income and 13 percent of its Gross National Product. Yet, in the northern municipality of Banikoara - Benin’s top cotton-producing region - the excessive use of chemical fertilizers by some cotton gromore

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Bangladesh: Empowering women to fight poverty

Shyamola Begum, 43, says she understands why her husband left her. Under the pressures of crippling poverty, with too many mouths to feed, he left their one room shanty in the capital one morning and never came back, she explains. “We came to this city looking for a better life but my husband Jamalmore

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Yemen: Women painters brush up on job skills

Beside stuccoed walls at the 7th of July Girls School in the capital city of Sana'a, there is an unusual sight for Yemen: seventeen young women in light blue aprons are hard at work painting. “I'm happy to learn this new skill so I can take care of my 3-year-old daughter,” says Yusra*, an 18-year-olmore

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Chad: Micro-finance networks boost business initiatives by women

"Let’s get up and get to work — the slogan of a new savings cooperative for women in the village of Balimba, in the south of Chad — bears witness to their motivation and entrepreneurial spirit. "With our modest capital investment, we weren't getting very far," Florence, a member of thmore

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Bangladesh: Transforming life in the slums

Shabdi D’Costa was in her forties, barely surviving with her three daughters on her husband’s Tk 1,800 (US $22) salary, when she decided to find a way out of poverty by taking charge of the family finances. “We barely had enough money to feed and clothe ourselves,” said Shabdi. “I needed to learn tomore

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Guatemala: Coffee with character

Sonia Leticia Recinos Pérez is a member of a Small Coffee Farmers’ Association in the Department of Huehuetenango, one of the poorest in Guatemala, with extreme poverty rates over 30 percent. Her association has 140 members, including 69 women. Together with the other women, Sonia has contributed hemore