Women’s Empowerment Project: Bee the Voice

Categories: NewsPublished On: 19th June, 2023418 words2.1 min read

Women’s Empowerment Project: Bee the Voice

Categories: NewsPublished On: 19th June, 202319 min read

Empowering women through beekeeping in Adjumani, Uganda

This blog post is part of a series on projects funded by a Women’s Empowerment Grant. Here, Bees for Development, which received a grant of £50,100, reflects on the success of its project.

“Before this project, I didn’t know women could take part in beekeeping. But now I know it’s possible. I have learnt a lot, like weaving hives on my own, baiting hives and establishing an apiary. I believe when my hives are colonised and I start harvesting, I will be able to send my children to school and buy some basic needs for my family.”

Felista Mokomiki is speaking about the Bee the Voice Project, in which she was a participant. The project aimed to tackle gender inequality through beekeeping in the Adjumani District of northern Uganda, where women have less access to education, employment, and land ownership than men. The project facilitated workshops, where both women and men could learn about beekeeping and how it can benefit everyone.

The project also trained 13 young women to become apiary mistresses, whose role is to provide technical advice and support to beekeepers such as Felista. Rebecca, one of the new apiary mistresses, is proud of the fact that “there has been a mindset change amongst women,” enabling them to adopt beekeeping as a way of earning money. Hope Agwang, the project officer, said: “Beekeeping opportunities have been created for people from all walks of life in Adjumani: that is the 126 beekeepers, both female and male.”

As a result of the Bee the Voice Project, the highly motivated female beekeepers tell us they are now hoping to send their children to school, as beekeeping is providing a new income. Rose Chandia, a participant, said: “Through beekeeping, I am also able to pay my children’s school fees. I don’t want to leave beekeeping anymore. I know how important it has been to my life.”

The men involved tell us that they have changed their views about women keeping bees and will now consult them on the topic. Hope says: “We have noticed there is a high number of men now consulting women on beekeeping, how to establish apiaries, and more men are allocating land for their female counterparts to establish beekeeping projects.”

The traditional belief that women are not able to do beekeeping is gradually being replaced by the view that women are just as capable and can financially provide for their families by caring for bees and their environment.