Browse by Theme: Women's Voice

Last month I visited Tigray, Northern Ethiopia, to interview farmers and livestock traders faced with the drought effects of one of the most devastating El Niños in 50 years. What are their coping strategies in the face of extreme weather patterns? How are those strategies linked to national and international market systems? And how, through these systems, can we bring about a better deal for those in the supply chain typically made more vulnerable by drought – namely, women?

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“Two God’s heads cannot fit in the same pot” says a Rwandan idiom used to justify why women cannot head households. The words we use to describe and talk about gender and violence matter. And yet, when it comes to designing research questionnaires or interventions, the power of language can be forgotten, in our haste to get a programme going. But the potential for real change perhaps lies in the tiny idiosyncrasies of local language, even though it often takes time to uncover such nuances.

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When a charity video starts to go viral you know something is up. As part of its contribution to the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, CARE Norway’s Dear Daddy film packs an emotional punch, and makes no apologies for dividing opinions.

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While CARE has long believed that giving women access to savings, both informally and in the formal financial sector, is a key way to empower women economically, it is always good to have such an august institution as the IMF provide support. In fact a recent IMF ‘Staff Paper’ – ie published by the IMF but not officially its policy – goes further to also highlight a positive impact on national growth.

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Megan Gaventa writes: As I took part in CARE’s recent roundtable discussion, ‘Invisible Women in Global Value Chains: A Missed Opportunity?’, I couldn’t help but feel that the event was timely. Not just because it was part of CARE’s 70th anniversary celebrations. The excitement surrounding the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals – and their standalone goal on gender equality and women’s empowerment – was still fresh in the mind. Recent weeks had also brought the under-representation of women in business, politics and other spheres into the spotlight, as Elle’s photoshopped images of world leaders reminded us how far there is to go.

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This year marks 15 years since world leaders passed UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. On Tuesday 13 October, diplomats meet to review and chart ways forward on global efforts to protect and empower women in times of conflict. Given what we have learned from UNSCR 1325, what should we do differently from tomorrow on the Syrian conflict?

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So we did it. On Friday the world gathered in New York, flags were raised for 193 countries including Palestine and the Vatican for the first time, and to universal acclamation the new Sustainable Development Goals were gavelled into existence. What had taken three years of hard negotiation, impassioned argument and long technical nit-picking were suddenly a reality.

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