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“Promoting Angolan Women Through CSOs”

“Promoting Angolan Women Through CSOs”DW Angola 2014-2015. Diploma Award Ceremony for Training on How to Start a Business, 2015

Maria Mateus (Aunty/Tia Maria), 66 years old, lives in Cazenga district in Luanda Province for 40 years with her husband and six children. Her main occupation is at daycare Ninho D’Amor, which began in 2002. Since 2004, Tia Maria has also been the coordinator of 31 Community Centers Children of Cazenga. She also leads the Gender Development Network of Cazenga that was formed in 2008. She stated that they call it a gender network because it works with women and men through awareness and civic education campaigns.

Within the Development Workshop Angola partnership with UNDP Angola, the Cazenga’s Gender Development Network benefited from trainings on entrepreneurship, starting and managing small businesses and some of its members had also access to financial credit.

She said: “The training helped a lot, that’s why I doubled my money. The other women who also benefited from training and had access to financial credit for their clothes, food, ice cream and drinks selling business have doubled their money. Before, we worked without sheets reflecting the cashflow and now we all use this tool. Today, women who sell in the market and benefited from training before choosing their new products they go around the market to study the competition”.As beneficiary of the project “Promoting Angolan Women Through CSOs’, Aunt Mary received a credit of 100,000KZ. She has managed to double it through the sale of food products and will now invest the profit in the refurbishment of her daycare.

When asked about the perception of women’s rights and empowerment in the community, Aunty Maria said there has been an improvement and gave a testimony on men’s behavior stating, “Before they thought that their wives bringing money home would overcome them but since then things have improved a lot”.