Browse by Theme: Women's Economic Empowerment

CARE International and the Fairtrade Foundation are hosting an event at this year’s Labour Party conference to bring together business, civil society and politicians – Inclusive chocolate? How can private sector partnerships ensure women farmers and workers get a bigger chunk of the benefits?

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CARE's conference on Women, Migration and Development (July 2014), organised in partnership with the Overseas Development Institute, examined the extent to which migrants the world over suffer stigma and discrimination. The conference included a session on the media and its role and responsibility in shaping policy and opinion on migration. Delegates discussed the way in which negative portrayal of migrants in the media contributes significantly to reinforcing prejudices and presents a big obstacle to challenging negative attitudes and stereotyping around migration.

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There are 2.5bn people who are financially excluded – who have no access to basic financial products, like savings, credit or insurance. I’ve just been to Kenya to visit Banking on Change, a programme which is changing that. I met young men and women who have joined savings and loans groups set up by CARE Kenya through Banking on Change, a partnership between CARE, Plan and Barclays. Here are five things that the visit impressed on me.

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A researcher working for CARE International sent me an expert survey. The questions began, “What is your definition of women’s economic empowerment?” I thought long and hard. I finally answered: An economically empowered woman is one who can leave home if she has to.

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The World Bank is starting to put the money behind its thinking on Fragile States. However, as a 10-year evaluation of its work in fragile and conflict affected states shows, getting the finance might have been the easy part.

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Today marks the start of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence, which focuses for 2013 on the theme of militarism. The past year has seen the British Government and others make sexual violence as a weapon of war a political priority as never before – with a particular focus on seeking prosecutions to end impunity for such crimes.

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There’s an inescapable buzz around the role of business in international development. Everywhere I go—from Bangladesh to East Africa, from the flurry of activity of the UNGA or CGI in New York to the WEF Annual meeting in Davos—it’s a topic that has risen to the very top of the development agenda.

To be clear, CARE welcomes this long-awaited energy and momentum. But business still has a long way to go, particularly when it comes to understanding the importance and specific needs of women—both as customers and as critical participants in supply chains.

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