In 2017, Unbound concluded an extensive evaluation aimed at gaining a deeper understanding of empowerment as experienced by mothers in the Unbound program A key finding from the survey was that more women in the Unbound program have their own businesses and fewer are unemployed than mothers on the waiting list. Half of Unbound mothers surveyed reported having complete choice in deciding or changing their occupations, compared with just more than 40 percent of mothers on the waiting list.
“That is something our program specifically tries to accomplish, helping women start their own livelihoods, gain that sort of economic control,” Becky Findley, international evaluations manager for Unbound, said.
The evaluation also found that mothers in the Unbound program were generally happier than those in the wait-list group, and that they reported being more involved in making decisions within their households and communities. About 40 percent of Unbound mothers said they had complete choice in making important decisions that could change the course of their lives, while 30 percent of wait-list mothers said they had total freedom in that area.
“We see mothers as being gatekeepers to change,” Findley said. “When you empower a mother you are empowering a family. By empowering the mother you are providing better care for the child.
“So it’s catalytic. You empower one mother and then she becomes an agent of change.”