Globally, there is recognition that gender inequality and youth unemployment hold back social and economic progress. A central tenet of SNV's approach is to promote and support opportunities for women and youth with solutions tailor made to address the socio-cultural and economic challenges that these groups face. SNV integrates support for these groups into all our programming.

Women in developing countries earn and profit less than men from their efforts, due to multiple socio-economic gender constraints. Yet when women have equal access to income and opportunity it is shown that they are more likely to invest in their families; benefitting their communities and improving economic growth.  From the household through to the marketplace, SNV's Balancing Benefits product is working with both women and men to build equal income and business opportunities. A transformative gender approach Balancing Benefits is applied across all our work, integrating food and nutrition security, and climate resilience approaches. It explicitly aims to change gender norms and relations in order to promote more equitable relationships between men and women, and a more socially enabling environment. 

Women and girls traditionally handle household chores, including cooking and hauling heavy loads of fuelwood long distances. This affects their health, reduces their opportunities to attend school or engage in business, and exposes them to potential sexual violence and wildlife attacks. SNV’s clean Health and Wealth product puts women and youth first.

Youth make up 40% of the world’s unemployed, with 74.2 million young people seeking work. Meanwhile rural depopulation is on the rise and agriculture is characterised by an increasingly ageing workforce. Employment and economic inclusion for young people drives innovation, entrepreneurship and prosperity in developing countries and is essential to secure sufficient food for a growing population. SNV's answer to the challenges facing young people is Opportunities for Youth Employment, a solution matching market needs and business opportunities to customised training and enterprise programmes for young people. 

Sarah de Smet

Global Coordinator - Gender


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Our products

Balancing Benefits

Balancing Benefits is a transformative gender approach that can be integrated into any SNV project. Our product aims to change gender norms in order to promote more equitable relationships and a more socially enabling environment. We empower women to taken an active role in all their family's business decisions and processes and aim to increase women’s share of the family's income, enhance women’s entry and success in businesses and influence business environments to support women in agri-business, improving equity of opportunity.

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Balancing Benefits

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Balancing Benefits

Opportunities for Youth Employment

Youth unemploymend and underemployment is a problem in many areas in developing countries. Young people are not afforded decent employment opportunities. More than 25,000 young people have enrolled in one of our projects, connecting them with meaningful employment in the Agriculture and Energy sectors. We enable them to create sustainable employment for themselves and their communities, and enhance the employment ecosystem to be more responsive to their needs.

Acting as a facilitator between public and private sectors we train young people in market relevant business, ICT and soft skills, match them to employment and enterprise opportunities, and enhance the employment ecosystem through support for access to finance, and youth centred policies. We also aim to ensure equal access for young women to development and employment opportunities.

Learn more about this SNV product


Our projects

Opportunities for Youth Employment

Our experts

Opportunities for Youth Employment

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