Livestock vaccines are supporting women's empowerment in northern Ghana

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Healthy and productive small ruminants play a key role in supporting women’s empowerment in low- and middle-income countries. This is because small ruminants (sheep and goats) are more likely to be owned and controlled by women and have been shown to support women’s livelihoods, their empowerment and their households’ nutritional status outcomes.

Animal vaccines, among other animal health services, are essential for maintaining livestock health and productivity. But some gender-based restrictions limit women’s access to animal health services, thereby affecting the potential of the livestock they own and control to enhance their empowerment. At the same time, devastating livestock diseases such as peste des petits ruminants limit the productivity of the small ruminant industry and cause substantial economic losses to small ruminant farmers, particularly women goat keepers.

A recent study led by scientists from the International Livestock Research Institute explores the link between women empowerment and the knowledge of, access to, and use of peste des petits ruminants vaccines. Understanding this relationship can help inform the design of livestock vaccination programs that are better able to reach women and support their empowerment.


Omondi, I.A., Galiè, A., Teufel, N., Loriba, A., Kariuki, E. and Baltenweck, I. 2022. Women’s empowerment and livestock vaccination: Evidence from peste des petits ruminants vaccination interventions in northern Ghana. Animals 12(6): 717.

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