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Solar energy and biotechnologies for women entrepreneurs in the mangroves of Ramsar Site 1017 in Benin (SEWomen)

The objective of the project is to promote the widespread adoption of clean and environmentally friendly technologies for women entrepreneurs in the mangrove regions of Benin. This reduces the workload of women and improves their income and well-being while reducing their carbon footprint.

The specific objectives are to promote the adoption of solar cooking technology in salt production and fish smoking in the mangrove areas of Benin; to document the impact on the living conditions of women and on the environment; and to promote the production and use of compost in market gardening. The project also intends to safeguard Benin’s mangrove areas, promote ecotourism in these areas, and improve living conditions for women in the region.

Project ID
Project Status
36 months
IDRC Officer
Bouba Housseini
Total Funding
CA$ 503,000.00
Employment and Growth
Institution Country
Project Leader
Elie Padonou
Université d'Abomey-Calavi


Effects of unpaid caring activities and social norms on women’s employment in mangrove areas of Ramsar site 1017 in Benin (West Africa)

Effects of unpaid caring activities and social norms on women’s employment in mangrove areas of Ramsar site 1017 in Benin (West Africa)


Social norms drive women to practice unpaid caring activities that constitute an important barrier to their access to paid activities within the labour market in Benin. Assessing how far unpaid caring activities affect their business activities will help to improve the livelihoods of women. A survey was carried out in the district of Ouidah, with 300 households randomly selected to be issued with a questionnaire. Four types of households were identified according to their different characteristics. Payment for domestic work varied from one household to another. Most of the household types entrusted the care of their children to family members. Childcare, eldercare, and other home tasks were assigned to women according to the social norms, with men carrying out the more physically demanding roles (coconut harvesting, moto riding, basket lixiviation, palisade construction, fishing). The time allocated to work by women decreased with the increased coverage of the households’ needs and the education level of women in the household. This study provides knowledge that could help decision makers to design appropriate strategies to reduce women’s unpaid domestic work and to close the gender gap in the different households in mangrove areas of Ramsar site 1017 in Benin.

Author(s): Padonou, Elie A., Avocevou-Ayisso, Carolle M.A., Zanou, Murielle, Obe, Maxime M., Agbahoungba, Symphorien, Sinsin, Brice

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Language: English

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