Bezunesh Dana and her husband live in Ethiopia with their 4 sons and 1 daughter. As farmers, living in a poor area, it is difficult to provide enough for their family. In 2018, Bezunesh joined a self-help group run by Tearfund’s local partner, the Terepeza Development Association.
Joining the group helped her to feel like she had some sense of independence, something many Ethiopian women do not experience. In Ethiopia, men traditionally make the majority of family decisions solely on their own. So, when Mr. Dana first heard about his wife joining the group, he was hesitant. Despite the hesitancy, Bezunesh was determined and ready to try anything that would help them.
Eventually, Bezunesh saved enough to purchase a bull for her household. It gave her great confidence as she had found a way to help her family. But her husband was not impressed. He felt shame – people in his community would think that he could not provide enough for his family. Without Bezunesh’s knowledge, he went and sold the bull in the local market.
Thus, began a heated argument and subsequently created a rift between the couple.
But breaking the barrier of shame for women earning an income for their family is something people like you are helping to eradicate with your support of Tearfund.
Not long after their quarrel, the local church invited the couple to attend a training on various topics surrounding family relationships. Bezunesh says, “the training changed the way we interact as a family, my husband now consults me on decisions.”
Between self-help groups and church training, the Dana family has also been able to start a small business selling butter which has improved their economic situation.
Mr. Dana told us, “I thank God and the church for helping us become better partners and parents. We now run our household using the principles taught to us by Tearfund.”