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Research - Teaching - Action
"Empowerment and Gender"
Political Expertise
History Support Commitment Politics-Strategy Organization Contacts
The micro-enterprises network:

In Mali, the 80s general economic crisis has devalued all raw materials in the international market. The phenomenon is general, the prices of seeds and oil are increasing causing inflation and recession in the industrialized countries. Mali is particularly affected by the devaluation of cotton, which has worsened the economic and social situation and the deficit in its trade balance. The slowdown of exchange processes on the international market has contributed to the implementation of structural adjustment programs, the latter supported by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. It is in the mid-80s, and more specifically towards the end of 1987, the Malian government has embarked on a series of economic reforms.


Thus, by encouraging the creation of jobs and opportunities for revenue gains, small and medium enterprises were able to take advantage of changes in the environment, while others were faced with increased competition, financial difficulties, and an unfavourable business environment. Women as the least skilled social category, mostly illiterate, were the first affected by the crisis and social exclusion.

Meanwhile, development priorities have been particularly focused on processing activities; commercial activities. Although the national policy has recently reinvigorated several sectors of production, including cotton, Malian women remain in entrepreneurship on the margins of the benefits of globalisation. They are indeed largely micro-entrepreneurs rather than small entrepreneurs (39 per cent in Mali). The difference is crucial because women are still the majority in the informal and precarious sectors. Their activities are concentrated in the manufacture of food, textiles, clothing, and in the manufacture of soap and cosmetic products made with precarious income, without any consciousness of the devastating effects to their health and environment. In some parts of Mali, in order to survive and maintain a steady income, women are willing to work in dangerous conditions.

Micro-enterprises gathered in the micro-enterprise sector suffer from a lack of access to raw materials and equipment and sought today external private investors who prefer equitable social development and the ecological capital preservation of their region. This requires training that improves the efficiency of their management, their accounts and their ability in the conduct of defending their interests and their human and physical environment. By organizing advocacy and lobbying of local authorities, women network of micro-enterprises aim at generating sustainable resources. Access to ICT as well as taking into account by our organization of the first constraints encountered concerning credits or communication problems with policymakers can gradually enable women to achieve their self-reliance and problem-solving systematic renegotiating including roles genres in order to give another image of women in the production and exceed the status of mother, chores or small trader in the markets. "The training of trainers" will educate officials on these issues by giving them a more external visibility, guaranteeing more jobs efficient and rewarding who in return have impact on the representations of other groups. In the workshops, associations innovate and develop new strategies of action to address their problems ... access restricted to members and partners...

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