Rural women councils and women leaders represent a driving force for rural development. Their educational, entrepreneual, and cultural activities are crucial for involving the community in decision making processes and creating additional income generating opportunities.
The Sustainable Forest Management for Rural Development Project has been actively working in target regions to find the right community project ideas that feature women who are determined and have leading qualities. As a result, the project established women’s councils and various non-formal groups in the regions of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, Kakheti, Adjara, and Mtskheta-mtianeti.
From 21-25 August, 2020, a three-day long training and work meeting was held in the Keda municipality for members of the selected women’s councils.
The members of the women’s councils in Keda hosted the participants in their own guesthouses giving opportunity to the participants to share experiences in running guesthouses and own businesses. The space in which the training was held was provided by the family-owned hotel Chataeu Iveri, who are the winners of the CENN and EU ENPARD grants programme.
Throughout the three days, women’s councils attended courses on the following topics:
- Use of non-timber forest resources
- Family hotel management
- Project management and the benefits of collaboration
- Fundamentals of financial management
On the final day, the women councils developed community projects based on the sustainable use of forest resources.
Starting in 2021, with the financial support from Austrian Development Cooperation, CENN is planning to announce grants competitions for women’s initiatives that will give women who participated in the trainings an opportunity to realize their own project ideas and contribute to the development of their communities. Until then, rural women will benefit from the aforementioned project through capacity building and financial support for all related costs.