HOW GALS CHANGED LIVES OF RURAL WOMEN

Gender Action Learning System – GALS is a community-led empowerment methodology using specific participatory processes and diagram tools which aims to give women as well as men more control over their lives as the basis for individual, household, community and organisational development. GALS mainstreaming helps women and men to address gender issues important to the effectiveness of any development, including climate change. From 2016, SAFE in joint collaboration with IFAD has been implementing a project “Rural Women Economic Empowerment – RWEE” in Kirehe district to support women address gender related issues in their agricultural value chains. Throughout this project, whouseholds have demonstrated a great change in their power relations. Women have applauded the methodology since it changed their lives socially and economically. Men testify they have understood and found out giving women space for work and decision help the overall development of the household.

GALS 

GALS – A CHANGING METHODOLOGY

Modeste is a farmer, living in Gahara sector, Kirehe district. She lives with her husband, Samuel with their 7 children. The family lived in a small house in unceasing quarrels between them. The husband used to drink in excess and did not take care of the family. Modeste had done everything possible to find school fees and materials for their children to attend school but her efforts remained meaningless. After learning GALS, the family has started to adopt it and from since, they changed completely.

“This methodology has just arrived on time. I never weared a good dress, I never had time to express my ideas nor had time to think about our household’s development, because I was abused by my husbands. But after two weeks I introduced the methodology to him, he has recognized my rights, he is now a friend of mine. He no longer passes night drinking, and we sit and discuss how to manage our properties”. Modeste also added that one of their sons who used to spend all money he earned in billiard playing has then changed and has started to rear small livestock: pigs and rabbits. Samuel, Modeste’s husband has explained it took him around a month to accept GALS as a methodology that can help them to increase household’s income and behaviour change which is the source of conflicts with their neighbors and local authorities. He said that he lived on drinking beer only and quarreling with neighbors and local authorities after drunkenness.

FROM AGRICULTURAL VALUE CHAINS TO CLIMATE CHANGE RESILIENCE With regard to address the effects of climate change in Kirehe District, GALS has been taught and disseminated in a way to integrate it in climate adaptation for smallholder farmers who are likely to be at the frontline of climate related problems. The activity known as Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme - ASAP has been implemented in 2018 to help women farmers assess the local issues related to climate change, their impact and leveraged actions they can take to adapt using GALS. SAFE used a combination of Climate Vulnerability, Capacity Analysis (CVCA) and Climate Adaptation Plan using the Climate Risk Screening Tool Adaptation and Livelihoods (CRiSTAL) tools that were adapted to the context of the project. Applying GALS tools, women have identified the existing climate change issues in their region, recognized their role to address them and developed plans to do so. In their plans, women have given much priority to activities such as rain water harvesting, terracing and plantation of fruit trees and currently successful results are visible to the women’s farms.

GALS

FROM AGRICULTURAL VALUE CHAINS TO CLIMATE CHANGE RESILIENCE

With regard to address the effects of climate change in Kirehe District, GALS has been taught and disseminated in a way to integrate it in climate adaptation for smallholder farmers who are likely to be at the frontline of climate related problems. The activity known as Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme - ASAP has been implemented in 2018 to help women farmers assess the local issues related to climate change, their impact and leveraged actions they can take to adapt using GALS. SAFE used a combination of Climate Vulnerability, Capacity Analysis (CVCA) and Climate Adaptation Plan using the Climate Risk Screening Tool Adaptation and Livelihoods (CRiSTAL) tools that were adapted to the context of the project.

GALS 

Applying GALS tools, women have identified the existing climate change issues in their region, recognized their role to address them and developed plans to do so. In their plans, women have given much priority to activities such as rain water harvesting, terracing and plantation of fruit trees and currently successful results are visible to the women’s farms.