In the developing world two-thirds of the livestock keepers, that is a total of approximately 400 million, are WOMEN
The Brooke, a charity that focuses on working equines,(horses, donkeys and mules) is a major supporter of the women and of their working equines. The Brooke works in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East reaching over two million working horses donkeys and mules. The Brooke is not a rescue organization but with vets, animal welfare specialists as well as advocacy and development specialists works to improve the lives of working equines and to educate and support their owners.
Here is what the Brooke has to say about their work with women.
Owning and caring for equines, alongside earning income from their work, raises women’s social status and recognition in the community. Equines help with household chores, which frees up time for women to participate in other social and economic activities.
Brooke’s policy brief ‘Invisible Livestock – benefits, threats and solutions’ explains how working equines contribute to sustainable development goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 5 on gender equality.
Our ‘Invisible Livestock: Voices from Women’ report explores the role of working horses, mules and donkeys in supporting the lives of women from the perspectives of the women themselves.Invisible Helpers Report.pdf 7.29 MB
In many countries, women are the primary carers of equine animals, providing them with feed, shelter and in some cases, first aid. Despite this role, however, many women have no access to education and training in equine health.
With Brooke’s support, women are forming their own equine welfare groups. This not only gives them the opportunity to learn good welfare practices, but also increases their reliance on each other by working together as a group, sharing resources and saving money to support members during hard times. For example, if one woman can’t afford treatment for their horse if it becomes sick, she can dip in to the group fund to get a loan, without having to worry about long term debt.
Here is a Brooke video that shows women and their working equines. These horses and donkeys are not kept in the sort of stables our sport horses are.But they are fed well and looked after and with help and education from the Brooke these equines are healthy and able to help the families of their owners. Do take a look at this video. It is a glimpse into how equines can empower women .
If you would like more information on the history of the Brooke or the wonderful work they are doing for working equines then please take a look at their website. https://www.thebrooke.org/