Well, in some of parts of India they already are.
A program called Project Mesha run by the Aga Khan Foundation and supported by Bill Gates foundation is training more than 200 women to be pashu sakhis in four communities in the Indian state of Bihar. The program aims to increase incomes for 50,000 of India’s poorest women by 30 percent.
Thanks to a team of health workers who are training rural women on how to gain financial independence by raising healthier goats.
The health workers are goat nurses known as “pashu sakhis,” which is the Hindi translation of “friends of the animals”. Pashu sakhis are poor women who are given basic training in how to vaccinate, deworm, and provide other preventive care to goats in their community.
Unlike other farm operations in India such as crops or cattle, goats are cheaper and exclusively managed by women. In fact, goats are nicknamed “ATMs” because of how convenient source of cash they are.
The best part is that the money women earn from their goats stays in their hands. With more control of their finances, women not only improve their status within the homes, but also hold more power to over their own lives.
The Aga Khan Foundation is working with the government of Bihar to expand the program in other districts in the state.
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