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A day in the life of Almaz – wife, mother, volunteer, and business owner

62-year-old Almaz may have been forced to retire from her career but, like many older women, she rises at the crack of dawn because her husband and daughter depend on her to run the household and earn an income.

With training and credit from our local partner, Tesfa Social and Development Association (TSDA), she set up her own small business. She also gives back to the community, proudly supporting other older people as a home-based carer for TSDA.

Almaz shared with us what a typical day looks like for her, captured by photographer Michael Tsegaye. 

Almaz wakes at 6 am to prepare breakfast for her family. Making coffee is an important ritual in Ethiopia, involving roasting, grinding, and sieving the coffee beans.


After breakfast she must make the beds, clean the house and hand wash clothes – she finds this the hardest and most demanding chore as she ages, but likes knowing it helps keep her family healthy.


As well as preparing lunch and dinner for the family, Almaz makes the traditional staple food injera bread each day to sell. Here, Almaz prepares the large griddle which is used to bake it.

Like many older women who use traditional skills to supplement their income, Almaz also spins cotton and makes hand crafts to sell.

On top of this, Almaz goes out into her community each day to volunteer as a home-based carer for TSDA. She supports around 20 older people and considers this one of her greatest successes.

I work and support my family and community

Learn more about Almaz’s life and the vital role she plays in her family and community through her work and unpaid care.

Read her story

Older women: the hidden workforce

Globally, older women are contributing unrecognised yet critical support to their families, communities and economies through their paid and unpaid work. Our new report gives voice to older women’s experience of work and sets out recommendations for how to address this inequality.

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Last updated: Mar 16 2022

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