When women are treated equally and fairly, everyone wins

This basic iDE insight is gaining traction across the globe. Research shows inclusive business cultures outperform others in financial results and innovation. As journalist Sally Armstrong says in her new book, Power Shift: The Longest Revolution, “If women farmers had the same quality seed, fertilizer, and tools as men farmers, they could feed 150 million more people worldwide.”

But women in many countries are held back through overwork and harsh gender imbalance. In Ethiopia they perform the bulk of farm labour, working 16 hours a day on top of caring for children and the elderly. “Women in rural parts of Africa spend 40 billion hours a year collecting water alone,” says Andrea Hernandez Tobar, country director of iDE
Ethiopia. Plus, antiquated customs force girls into early marriages, keeping them from school and from taking productive roles in society.

These challenges are being met squarely by iDE Canada, which targets gender fairness in the global prosperity equation. It equips women to wisely select what to grow and to use their added income most effectively. It brings them better sanitation and safe drinking water. It lessens their vulnerability to systemic shocks and brings more predictability to their precarious existence. As they become more prosperous they earn respect and become influential female role models. iDE helps give them a voice.

iDE’s strategy includes:

  • Helping women address barriers so they can meet family needs, become agents of their own prosperity, and build a better future.
  • Developing a “woman-centered design” toolkit that powers markets, drives innovation and sets an example for others to emulate.
  • Encouraging top female talent – globally and at home – to become leaders, mentors and board members.

iDE Canada creates income and livelihood opportunities in developing countries around the world. We invest in local entrepreneurship, building businesses with a focus on agriculture and sanitation
With access to the right products, services and advice, farmers can transform their small farms into small businesses. With access to research and development, sanitation business owners can produce the life-saving products their customers want.

Over three decades ago, we recognized that those experiencing poverty were some of the savviest customers in the world, willing to invest in products and services that provide real benefits to their health and income. In partnership with iDE programs around the world—and with the crucial support of our donors — we have helped 30 million people so far.