POWER project learning hub

As you’ll learn by exploring the modules on this site, POWER empowered thousands of women to claim their rights and bring prosperity to their lives.


ActionAid’s Promoting Opportunities for Women’s Empowerment and Rights, or POWER, project was a five-year initiative that ran from 2016 to 2020. The project worked through local partners in Bangladesh, Ghana, Pakistan and Rwanda to raise awareness and to mobilise and organise rural women to claim their rights as farmers and carers.


In this context, agroecology involves using ecological processes to design farming systems which are more productive, more sustainable, and less vulnerable. These are crucially important for making smallholder farms more resilient.

Unpaid care work

In general, women do far more unpaid care work than men. The burden of this work affects all women to some extent, but the disparity is greater and the consequences are most serious for women in poverty.

Violence against women

Violence against women perpetuates women’s position of economic, social and political subordination, marginalisation and inequality. It can restrict women’s movements and access to markets, limiting their opportunities to earn money.

Where POWER happened


Ghana has recognised the importance of gender inequality in many different ways, but challenges still remain.

It ranks high for climate vulnerability on the ND GAIN (University of Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative) Country Index and the Global Climate Risk Index. Gender inequality persists, because of deep seated traditions, customs and attitudes. One woman in three is affected by some form of gender based violence. But there are good opportunities to work with others to address these issues.

ActionAid Ghana worked with six local partners to implement the POWER project activities: SONGTABA, BONATADU, Widows and Orphans Movement (WOM), Global Action for Women Empowerment (GLOWA),Social Development and Improvement Agency (SODIA). For more detail read the final evaluation report from Ghana and look at the modules on this website to hear the voices of rural women in Ghana.


In Rwanda 64% of parliamentarians are women, gender rights are enshrined in its constitution, and a number of different laws have given women the right to inherit land, share the assets of a marriage and obtain credit.

However, the uptake of policies has been limited due to underlying structural barriers: the patriarchal system and traditional cultural attitudes and behaviours that marginalise women, cultures and attitudes towards girls in schools, as well as limited resources to implement existing policies.

The main problems are the burden of unpaid care work, violence against women, extreme poverty in rural areas, particularly for women and low active participation of women in decision making at all levels.

Limited gender equality and women’s rights skills among service providers, limited access to finance, poor value chains and limited access to markets, climate change and variability effects, farmland scarcity, infertility and inadequate agricultural inputs all contribute to these problems.

ActionAid Ghana worked with three local partners to implement the POWER project activities: Faith Victory Association, Duhozanye Organization and Tubibe Amahoro. For more detail read the final evaluation report from Rwanda, and also look at the modules on this website to hear the voices of rural women in Rwanda.