Skip to content

Meet the women tackling gender inequality

Meet the women tackling gender inequality - from the frontlines of the climate crisis

At Tree Aid, we know that women are powerful agents of change. To #EmbraceEquity this International Women’s Day, we're celebrating the story of incredible women tackling gender inequality, and helping their communities thrive in a changing climate

Meet Ane

Ané is a mother of three, living in the Ségou region of Mali. Although Ané has access to trees to provide her food and income, gender inequality prevented her from owning and cultivating her own land. It also meant that she did not have access to safe healthcare, education or a means of supporting her family.

Image above: Ané who is part of the She Grows project, embracing her child outside her home

Image: Ané who is part of the She Grows project, holding her child outside her home

“My own parents didn’t enrol me in school. I think it is because I am a woman. In our family, a woman is not allowed her own field. I felt basically useless in the family.”
Ané, Ségou, Mali

On top of these daily stresses, intense deforestation of the region where Ané lives has heightened the effects of the climate crisis, putting Ané and women like her at the mercy of both poor soil quality and drought; an impossible combination for growing a reliable source of food to feed her family.

Recent research has shown that deforestation has an extremely detrimental impact on local levels of rainfall. The study, which looked into how far the Amazon was from being able to generate its own rainfall found that the more forests are cleared, the less local farmers will be able to depend on rain for their crops – a situation that women like Ané know only too well.

Working together: women’s cooperatives, climate change and the fight for gender equality

Through Tree Aid's She Grows project, Ané has transformed her life and the lives of other women in her community. She received the training and tools she needed to work with her community; to plant new trees, regrow the forest, and create an income - by selling shea butter and shea soap. Thanks to the project, Ané is now able to provide for her children and pay for their education, which she never had the opportunity to access herself.

Image right: Ané showing her child how to grind shea nuts to make shea butter, which she learnt as a member of the She Grows project

Looking to the future

Ané’s story is a powerful example of the impact that women can have when they are given the resources and support they need to succeed. By championing the potential of women like Ané, Tree Aid is not only tackling the effects of the climate crisis, but improving the lives of women in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.

For Ané, meeting and working with other women in her community has been an important aspect to the project, and has helped her to feel empowered. 

Image left: a woman from the She Grows project in Mali, demonstrating sustainable growing techniques with her women's cooperative.

‘It’s like a kind of freedom. We are lucky that the project brought us women together and equipped us. We learnt to make good shea butter. It allowed me to sell and have money for myself.’