Poverty alleviation and empowerment of rural women

About the project:

rural womenA rural woman tries to earn by selling oranges at the road point. Photo Sonam Tsoki Tenzin © UNDP Bhutan

Together with the local NGO Tarayana, UNDP's support to the project is to ensure the provision of micro saving schemes and access to micro finance as well as to provide support to formation of self help groups in the selected project sites.

Poverty incidences are still very high in Zhemgang, Samtse, Monggar, Lhuentse and Samdrup Jongkhar as reported in the Bhutan Living Standards Survey 2012 (BLSS). Pockets of communities in remote areas in these districts are the most affected by poverty. Apart from subsistence farming, the people have no other income generating activities aggravated by lack of access to markets, electricity and internal road networks. Further, poor internal road network isolates a large proportion of rural people from markets and social services, and limits their livelihood opportunities.

The project will also study the expansion of income generating opportunities particularly for rural women. Provisions for skills training such as tailoring, handicrafts production and vermi composting will also be provided through this intervention.         

Project outline

The project aims to address specific needs of employment and income generating activities of rural women and men the most remote and least developed gewogs in Bhutan. Lack of motor-able road and the distance make development services difficult and costly.

UNDP through Tarayana Foundation will support the following 4 villages in 2013:

1) Sangkama with 26 households (92 m & 96 f);
2) Ngamphu   with 14 households (36m & 48 f);
3) Muktangkhar with 19 households (83 m & 66 f) and
4) Ringphu with 22 households (67m & 79 f).

The project focuses on the development of micro and small women-owned enterprises, income generating opportunities for rural women, and provision of necessary business and technical skills for the creation of a supportive environment towards rural economic empowerment. The economic empowerment of women in rural areas is also expected to help build their confidence and lead to an increase in their decision-making power in both the private and public spheres.

The overall objective of the project is to reach out to the poorest sections of society and address the issue of economic poverty, improve living standards and enhance empowerment in the rural communities by:

  • Providing access to credit facilities to start small micro enterprises at the village level
  • Expansion of economic opportunities to enhance their income and create employment; 
  • Providing skills training on tailoring, vermin composting, and similar activities
  • Enhancing market access and up scaling of handicrafts products.                                


Donors Amount (USD)
$ 72, 500

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