Why Eden Prioritizes Employing Women to Plant Trees


Eden’s “Employ to Plant” methodology means we have to make tough decisions on a regular basis when it comes time to add new international staff.  Although we hire both men and women, we typically hire a larger percentage of women at our nursery and reforestation sites. This can be a bit controversial for some, but there are some key reasons as to why we do what we do. 

Reason #1: Overcoming Social Injustice

In virtually every culture, women face far more economic and educational barriers when compared to men. Eden employs women because we are committed to correcting social injustice. While we still hire hundreds of men to join in on the planting of millions of trees – we make sure women are not pushed to the side.

Reason #2: Fulfilling Our Priority of Alleviating Extreme Poverty

Eden employs the poorest of the poor. Sadly, the most destitute of the poorest of the poor are most often single moms who can’t catch a break. When we hire single moms we break the most obvious link in the chain of extreme poverty.

Reason #3: Empowering Women Is A Proven Economic Development Strategy

I’m a guy and don’t like to report the reality that when compared to men, women have a proven track record as better savers and micro-enterprise investors…but it’s true. Guys, you can go all macho if you like, but facts are facts. Women have a proven economic development track record.

See: http://www.cfr.org/women/secret-rebuilding-worlds-economy/p23306

Reason #4: Eden’s “Mom” Employees Prioritize Their Children’s Education

In most impoverished nations there is no such thing as completely free education for children. The sad reality is millions of children (mostly daughters), are denied an education because of the lack of approximately $100 per year for school tuition and supplies.  Fortunately, we can overcome this problem by hiring moms to plant trees. Studies show and our experience matches up: if given a chance, a mom with a job will scrape and save to make sure that her children are able to go to school. Breaking the cycle of poverty often begins with education. 

When we have written blogs and posts on this topic in the past, some have been upset as they consider our approach to be a form or reverse discrimination.  We understand this concern and want to assure you that we do hire men…lots of them. However, we also know that employing women tends to lead to a higher standard of living for families, so we make them a priority.  Eden works in challenging cultures and we want to maximize the investments our donors entrust to our care. 

Thank you for your continued support!


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  • commented 2015-06-10 08:47:36 -0700
    Eden’s commitment to hiring women — especially single mothers — is one of the primary reasons I choose to donate.
  • commented 2015-06-04 10:42:47 -0700
    You go, Girl! (or Woman) (or Steve) ;-) Eden is a wonderful project, and I am happy to partner with you!