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March 20th, 2009
12:00 PM ET

Women and economic recovery

CNN's Christine Romans speaks to Jacki Zehner of the Women's Funding Network, about the role women play in the economy.
CNN's Christine Romans speaks to Jacki Zehner of the Women's Funding Network, about the role women play in the economy.

The nation's unemployment rate is still climbing, but it's affecting a lot more men than women.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts unemployment over eight percent for men, but under seven percent for women. That has some experts wondering – could women be key to our recovery?

For more, we talked to Jacki Zehner with the Women's Funding Network and Linda Butler who's benefitted from that network.

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Filed under: Business • Economy
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Norma

    Bravo CNN. Women are the backbone, the essence of society.Please continue to keep this issue front row center., reporting frequently on women's economic recovery and the role of the funding networks

    March 21, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  2. DORCAS KOSKEY

    Greetings to you all from JUMUIYA WOMEN GROUP, KENYA.

    I want to join the rest of the women of the world to congratulate CNN for highligting womens contribution to poverty alleviation.

    We in Kenya would like to share our story too on how we intend to tackle the abject poverty among rural women and wish to invite any philanthropist to come forth and fund our DAIRY GOAT PROJECT

    JUMUIYA WOMEN GROUP is a welfare group, registered in 2001 as a Community Based Organization (CBO) with an active program on advocacy and lobbying. It aims to achieve its goals through networking, civic education, training, research, advocacy, lobbying and information collection, packaging and exchange. The group derives its strength from the diversity of expertise and experience of its membership and allies. It strives to articulate plurality, human rights, health, security, dignity, freedom, environmental protection, justice and peace for all people and open up democratic space for women’s organizations in North Rift from its base in Uasin- Gishu district, KENYA.

    We wish to appeal to any partner to assist us by fundraising a minimum of US $ 100 and a maximum of 2,500 per organization towards the purchase of 36 pure-bred dairy goats, to construct a dairy unit that will finally accommodate 100 goats, a training centre, two hostel units; one for men and another for women. The total project funding that we require is US$ 35,000. We are ready to share the proposal that we have developed with any group that wants details of the project.
    .

    The aim of this project is to rear dairy goats for distribution to the poor rural women who have become even poorer following a number of problems that include the death of their husbands due to the dreaded HIV/AIDs disease. Others are simply single women who have large families to raise with little sources of income. Apparently the opportunities arising from dairy goat rearing are enormous and can turn their lives and livelihoods for the better. From one dairy goat, they can get milk to drink, extra to sell and can also sell the she goat for money too.

    The dairy goats also feed on less pasture than a dairy cow.

    JWG recently founded a dairy goat initiative in North Rift that intends to promote dairy goat and her products through individuals members’ and other organized groups; by establishing the North Rift Dairy Goats Multiplication/Breeding centre- on a leased 5-acre land near Eldoret town. The farm is just 3 kilometers from Chepkoilel Campus of Moi University. The campus has been approached to consider working with the group by providing technical services as well as using it as a training centre for students.

    JWG intends to turn the centre into an excellent demonstration and training facility, where pure-bred dairy goats are raised and later given to poor farmers from all the districts of North Rift. They will have to come through the respective District Livestock Offices- for this will ensure; first and foremost that they will have been assessed and given prior training. Later they will also be given technical support when they take delivery of the dairy goat. Some of the categories of persons to be considered include those institutions caring for orphans and PLWAs. One of our conditions is that every farmer who wants to receive a goat will be given intensive training by the JWG extension worker, to ensure that these valuable animals will be properly looked after.

    The specific objectives of our dairy goats’ project are:
    1. To advance the cause of the dairy goat
    2. To operate a dairy goat multiplication centre in the environs of Eldoret town
    3. To promote and encourage the improvement of dairy goats thru selective breeding
    4. To educate the public about the benefits and value of dairy goats, and caprine products.
    5. To seek out professionals knowledgeable in the areas of caprine studies, for the purpose of educating the club members and other interested parties
    6. To facilitate the exchange of useful, and helpful ideas among capriculturalists
    7. To foster and promote the exhibition of dairy goats at fairs and other shows
    8. To promote closer fellowship among goat owners and enthusiasts and other related associations.
    9. To provide in general for the mutual protection, benefit, and welfare of this association. ]

    Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this matter. We will appreciate and indeed acknowledge any donation given to us.

    The women we serve have vowed to be the change they want to be. Kindly come forth and assist them.

    March 21, 2009 at 3:13 am |
  3. Emeka Anuforo

    Thank you for highlighting the crucial work women's funds are doing to support women-led economic recovery in communities across the U.S. and around the world. Please continue to report on the challenges women face and the solutions women hold to rebuild the global economy."

    March 21, 2009 at 2:05 am |
  4. Stephanie Clohesy

    What an important story! The "women effect" is real and Jackie did a great job in explaining the significance of women in the economic fabric. Structural underpayment of women is dangerous to our families, communities and economic structure. Women's foundations all over the country are helping women to individually transform their lives but also to change the policies and institutions that have allowed inequality to thrive.

    March 20, 2009 at 8:25 pm |
  5. Marj

    I join my thanks to CNN for highlighting women's contributions.

    March 20, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  6. America schroh

    Dear CNN representative I'm thanking you and everyone who participate in the coverage of women in the gloval economic recovery

    March 20, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  7. Megan Cayler

    Thank you for bringing international media attention to the vital role women have in re-building our society and economy!

    Thank you for highlighting the crucial work women's funds are doing to support women-led economic recovery in communities across the U.S. and around the world. Please continue to report on the challenges women face and the solutions women hold to rebuild the global economy.

    March 20, 2009 at 4:22 pm |