In Mali, women can commonly be found carrying large loads of around 50-75Kg. They can easily move with a child of 25Kg on the back, a 30Kg jar of water, beverage or a bag of goods of the same weight, and carrying in hand other item weighing 15-20Kg. They climb rocky mountains with their load, going back and forth between destinations. Women carry loads for their families and items that they sell, such as bananas and bread.
It is said in Mali that women are the ultimate multi-taskers because they are able to take care of their husband and children, carry heavy loads and participate in agricultural tasks, often all at the same time. Yet, they are still marginalized in business relations and lack control over access to resources such as land, improved seeds and fertilizer, credit and technology.
Common Pastures is seeking to change that, by teaching women how to care for small ruminants and grow trees, so they can create businesses of their own to care for their families. We are also helping them to better understand nutrition and teaching them how to cook with healthy ingredients available right in the village.