Women’s Day: Highlighting our commitment to women

Five Indian women lying down in a circle smiling up at the camera
Women's Day is celebrated every year on March 8. This year the theme is #BalanceforBetter. | Credit: Jessica Scranton

SHOPS Plus equips women with the knowledge to be successful business owners, skilled providers, and informed mothers, which is key to achieving health goals.

Across the project, SHOPS Plus continues to work towards gender equity. In addition to training project staff and assigning gender focal points, SHOPS Plus strives to improve the quality of care and increase access to priority health services by ensuring that gender issues are addressed. The project works to empower women because they represent a significant portion of providers and health facility owners across the globe, and they have the potential to be transformative in their households and communities. 

This International Women’s Day (#BalanceforBetter), we are highlighting three women that are improving the quality of health care in their communities, and an organization that is changing gender norms in the workplace. 

Mariam Derick Lima – ADDO dispenser in Tanzania

Mariam standing in front of her drug shop with SHOPS Plus staff
Lima was selected by her peers to become the secretary of the Nyamagana Health Support Foundation, the first officially registered ADDO association in Nyamagana District. | Credit: Farhan Yusuf

Mariam Derick Lima moved health services closer to her community as the owner of an accredited drug dispensing outlet, or ADDO, in Tanzania. She opened her outlet, Angel DLDM, in Nyamagana District after realizing that the outlets provided a service that her community greatly needed but lacked. 

“[SHOPS Plus] helped us see the business opportunity available even when serving your community by providing us with the necessary tools to record our stock and sales,” said Lima. “For this, I am very grateful and request that the project continues to scale up in order for more ADDO business owners and dispensers to benefit.” Read more. 

Noro Abdou Abdallah organizing medical supplies on adesk.
Abdallah travels around the region serving the most disadvantaged women located in rural settings. | Credit: PSI Madagascar

Noro Abdallah – Mobile clinic midwife in Madagascar

Noro Abdou Abdallah is a 29-year-old midwife from Nosy Be, a small island off the northwest coast of Madagascar. She works on the SHOPS Plus project as part of the mobile outreach team in the northern region of the country. Alongside a doctor and a driver, she travels around the region inserting implants and intrauterine devices (IUDs) in the most difficult-to-reach areas. In addition to her work with IUDs and implants, Abdallah offers counselling to women and is known to be excellent at listening to the women, engaging them in important discussions, and giving them the advice they seek. Learn more about our mobile clinics in Madagascar. 

Mariam Hassan smiles for the camera following a training session.
Hassan works primarily with low-income farmers in her community and sees eight to 10 patients a day . | Credit: Somtochukwu Mbelu

Mariam Hassan – Community health extension worker in Nigeria

Mariam Hassan is a 34-year-old community health worker in Kilankwa, Nigeria. She participated in a SHOPS Plus training in 2018 where she learned more about family planning and contraceptive methods, balancing counseling and non-touch techniques, and implanting IUD and Implanon (an implant). 

Hassan sees close to 10 patients a day and nearly half of them come for family planning. She is now able to provide more services to her patients with her newly acquired skills and understands the importance of involving men in family planning. She hopes to eventually start advocacy programs to increase knowledge of implantation in her community.  Learn more about how these provider trainings are making a difference.

Organization in Nepal focuses on promoting gender equality in Nepal

Members of the gender integration working group at the Nepal CRS Company
Members of the gender integration working group at CRS are dedicated to making their organization more aware of gender. | Front, from left to right: Maneshka Eliatamby of Iris Group; Mahesh Dhungel, Indira Chitrakar, Neeti Sedhain, and Jiblal Pokharel of CRS. Middle: Gopal Bhujel of SHOPS Plus, Shikha Mainali, Ajaya Risal, Ramesh Malla, and Laxman Nepali of CRS. | Back: Jeffrey Barnes of SHOPS Plus.

 A small group of volunteers is leading a change in gender norms at Nepal’s largest social marketing organization, Nepal CRS Company. In 2017, the SHOPS Plus project trained about 80 Nepal CRS Company employees (66 men and 20 women) on gender integration and mainstreaming. During the workshops, CRS and SHOPS Plus identified training participants to sit on a new gender integration working group. Four women and three men represent the organization’s core departments and support one another in bringing attention to gender. The working group participates in strategy and skill-building workshops led by SHOPS Plus. Additionally, its members learn how to train other staff in gender integration. Learn more. 

Health Area



Sustaining Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) Plus is a five-year cooperative agreement (AID-OAA-A-15-00067) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This website is made possible by the generous support of the American people through USAID. The information provided on this website is not official U.S. government information and does not represent the views or positions of USAID or the U.S. government.

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