In the villages where we work, women play a central role in farming, raising livestock and the economies of their households.
When it comes to opportunities for income, education, health, asset ownership, economic rights and influence, however, women are frequently disadvantaged in their households and communities.
BB2C’s programs help poor families generate additional income. We know this new income improves the position of poor women. Research has shown that when women have more control over household finances, the positive results are extensive: improved family nutrition, increased access to health care, greater access to education for both girls and boys and reduction of labor required for subsistence.
BB2C recognizes that social, cultural, political and economic dynamics within communities and households are diverse and complex. We always seek to work from a position of respect for cultures, traditions and customs in the villages. While research shows that empowering women is critical to overcoming poverty, BB2C does not wish to tinker with the culture, religion or family relations of a society which we often don’t fully understand.
In their book Half the Sky, Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn write that in the 19th century the central moral challenge was slavery, and, in the 20th century, the battle against totalitarianism. The authors believe in this century the paramount moral challenge will be the struggle for gender equality. When we feel dispirited by any setbacks or hardships, we reread the first chapter of their book about the plight of women in Cambodia and rededicate ourselves to this work.