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Equator Initiative Case Study – Zenab for Women in Development

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Zenab for Women in Development mobilize and empower women, through the organization of local cooperatives into a larger union of women farmers. Established in 2005, the union has grown from 300 women in six communities to 3,000 women in 53 communities across the state of Gedaref, Sudan. The union provides a platform for women farmers to improve agricultural productivity and exchange good environmental practices. Training is provided in organic agriculture, crop rotation and the use of biological fertilizers. The organization has raised awareness of deforestation, distributed cooking gas to reduce the felling of trees for firewood, and engaged union members in reforestation and tree planting activities.
In addition to strengthening the land tenure status of women, the initiative offers extensive health education programmes which raise awareness about maternal health, family planning, HIV and AIDS prevention, and female genital mutilation. Union revenues are invested in rural primary schools, sanitation services, and fresh water access projects. The Equator Initiative brings together the United Nations, governments, civil society, businesses and grassroots organizations to recognize and advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. As local and indigenous groups across the world chart a path towards sustainable development, the Equator Prize--issued biennially by the Equator Initiative--shines a spotlight on their efforts by honoring them on an international stage. This project was awarded the Equator Prize in recognition of its contribution to local sustainable development solutions.

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