“Before, I really thought that only employed people would prepare a planning and budget for farming businesses”, says Agnes Nyaruai, a small scale trader from Laikipia County in Kenya. Last six months, Mrs. Agnes and her husband participated in facilitated household dialogues in which they discussed around gender norms within their household and the community and learned how changes in these gender norms could enhance the success of their business. The facilitated household dialogues were organised under SNV’s ‘Enhancing Opportunities for Women’s Enterprises’ (EOWE) programme that is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands.
The household dialogues were implemented by local partners of SNV in eight arid and semi-arid counties in Kenya. In a six-month period, a total of 153 households participated in the 12 dialogue sessions to reflect on three key gender norms: time-use, control over and use of income and access to credit and decision-making. It is envisaged that behaviour change in these three norms can contribute to women’s empowerment thereby strengthening women’s entrepreneurship and improving their access to inputs and business assets in the sectors where the majority of women’s businesses operate: agriculture and renewable energy.