The Atlas Network project, Eradicating Barriers to Economic Freedom for Women, has witnessed huge successes in policy reform. To celebrate this achievement, our colleagues at Atlas Network have shared some inspiring success stories from the past year, effectively demonstrating the wide-reaching impact of both this project and their local partner organizations.
Atlas Network partners from Burundi’s Centre for Development and Enterprises (CDE) Great Lakes worked with the Burundian government to utilize research, media coverage, strategic partnerships, and grassroots efforts to affect important policy reforms:
- Reform of the land code which guarantees the access of wives to land titles.
- Reform of the personal and family code which recognizes the existence of women in the management of land in Burundi. Before, women did not have the right to manage income from the land. Now, they can cultivate their property and enjoy the fruits of their labor through renting or selling land.
- Reform of the bureaucracy and barriers surrounding cross border commerce, allowing traders—many of whom are women—to conduct their business free of stifling regulations or the fear of harassment, extortion, and sexual assault.
A new Atlas Network film, released in November 2022, tells the compelling story of Nasra, one of thousands of Burundian women supporting her family through cross border training. “An Open Road for Women Entrepreneurs in Burundi” shows that trading goods across the country’s borders was fraught with risk, particularly for women and girls who faced victimization at any of the 19 checkpoints on the Burundian side of the border. CDE Great Lakes’ successful reform efforts protect traders and increase the economic rights of women entrepreneurs by replacing barriers with an open road to opportunity.