Tanzania, like many parts of Africa, still struggles with poverty and issues of economic empowerment. Women often feel the burdens of poverty most acutely. With fewer economic opportunities and greater responsibilities at home, women are often left to struggle with the impossible burdens of poverty.
When this happens, local women often turn to the abundant natural resources in their environment, engaging in resource extraction, slash-and-burn agriculture, and other ecologically damaging practices to make ends meet and feed mouths at home.
The Esilalei Women’s Cultural Boma celebrates the local Maasai culture and its deep connection to the land. Visitors to the boma can visit traditional homes, watch artisans at work, enjoy traditional dances, and purchase traditional handicrafts. The goal of the Esilalei Women's Cultural Boma is to create a viable small enterprise that combines conservation-based tourism with opportunities for disadvantaged women.
Today, the women of the boma manage everything from making handicrafts to running the tourism enterprise. The Esilalei Women Cultural Boma has demonstrated not only that empowering women can benefit conservation, but also that conservation can benefit local women.
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