Dr. Belete Deribie Woldegies is a 2014 graduate of the Ph.D. Program in Leadership & Change at Antioch University

Dr. Woldegies [Center] shown here at his Dissertation Defense [Yellow Springs, Ohio, 7/31/14] with Dissertation Committee Members, Dr. Laura Morgan Roberts, Committee Member [Left] and Dr. Philomena Essed, Committee Chair [Right].

Not Shown: Dr. Norma Romm, Committee Member


married women, income generating activities, economic empowerment, entrepreneurship, Ethiopia, Amhara, Wadla, North Wollo, wives, gender equality, economic development, food insecurity, micro-finance, leadership, social mobilization, human rights

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Wadla Woreda is located in North Wollo Zone, Amhara Regional State, Ethiopia. The woreda is predominantly agrarian and the population produces mainly subsistence food crops with small amounts of cash crops. Access to basic social and economic services such as health, education, and employment for rural communities is limited due to poor development of rural infrastructure. Wadla is one of the food insecure woredas in the region. As a result some of the people are internally displaced and a portion of the population is included in safety-net programs. The Wadla Woreda is prone to famine due to severe droughts, soil degradation, primitive modes of production, religious and cultural attitudes toward work, and bad governance. Due to male domination, women are victims of social discrimination, gender-based violence, and other socio-economic barriers. In the woreda women have limited access to resources. Their employment rate and representation in local government are low. Their economic status is marginal. At times, their income generation is negative, meaning their returns are less than what they invested, leading them into absolute poverty. To redress existing economic problems and tendencies in relation to women, there are some initiatives organizing women in the woreda into groups and clusters so they can better tackle poverty themselves. The purpose of the study is to add empirical evidence to existing knowledge on Income Generating Activities (IGA) by identifying opportunities for women in the woreda and by sharing success stories of women’s advancement while also identifying barriers. It is hoped that the results of this study will provide information to concerned stakeholders for scaling up IGAs and for enhanced social mobilization. The dissertation builds upon an earlier project I conducted that included income generating activities and advancement among the women. In this follow-up research study a qualitative methodology is used based on case study interviews of 10 married women entrepreneurs already benefiting from Nurture Education and Development (NED) and other similar NGOs and stakeholders. Focus group discussions including their supporting family members are also used. The electronic version of this Dissertation is at OhioLink ETD Center,


Belete Deribie Woldegies, Ph.D.

Dr. Woldegies has worked in Education as an instructor in secondary schools, universities, and Leadership Development Centers, as well as as a Curriculum Development Expert under the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Education. He has been an accountant and consultant for different companies, including coffee export companies. His work with different Human Rights and Development Charity organizations that support women and children in Ethiopia has involved research on women rights, entrepreneurship, economic empowerment, women leadership and development in Ethiopia. Travelling throughout Africa, Asia, North America and Europe , Dr. Woldegies has published and presented his research papers at a number of conferences . He is member of a number of professional associations in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia.