Development Blog

CARE’s strategy on Women’ s Economic Empowerment includes a commitment to Dignified Work. Many of those who work on workers’ rights might question what we mean – how does this compare to the well-established notion of Decent Work, as exemplified by the ILO’s Decent Work agenda? How is Dignified Work different from Decent Work?

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Workers in the garment industry in Cambodia Workers in the garment industry in Cambodia

Looking at the endline data for Pathways Malawi might be disheartening if you didn’t know the whole story. Production numbers for women farmers showed no statistically significant increase. Does that mean we failed? No. Other farmers in the same district saw their production drop by up to 50%. Staying constant is actually a huge win.

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Evelyn Chimimba, a widowed mother of 8 children, is still managing to harvest some crops this year, despite the drought in Malawi Evelyn Chimimba, a widowed mother of 8 children, is still managing to harvest some crops this year, despite the drought in Malawi

Today and tomorrow (20-21 October 2016), European heads of state meet in Brussels for the European Council. At the top of the agenda is European policy on migration. Having recently returned from Greece where I was supporting CARE’s efforts to help refugees, I’ve seen for myself the desperate situation that so many refugees face. It represents a collective failure of European governments – and the proposals tabled for the European Council risk making the situation worse.

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Marzia, age 15, an Afghan refugee in Greece Marzia, age 15, an Afghan refugee in Greece

We often talk about providing people with skills, knowledge and tools so they can improve their lives – but sometimes the impact is hard to quantify. So how does the fact that more than 90% of women’s businesses grew over the course of the Skilling for Change programme sound?

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In the run-up to the Global Summits on Refugees and Migrants at the United Nations in September 2016, CARE launched a petition to campaign for better protection for innocent civilians fleeing conflicts and natural disasters. We had three asks in our petition targeting the UK Prime Minister Theresa May, which secured the support of over 21,000 people. So to what extent did the Refugee and Migrant Summits deliver on our demands?

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Refugees gathering in a park in Belgrade, Serbia, in July 2016 Refugees gathering in a park in Belgrade, Serbia, in July 2016

I recently visited Ghana with a team of Mondelēz International Ambassadors to understand the Cocoa Life value chain from seeds to farming to trading and processing. It was great to see an innovative, inclusive business model in action, driving sustainability for the world’s largest snacking company AND improving the livelihoods of poor cocoa farmers. During the visit I saw for myself how a vibrant value chain is stronger than the sum of its partners; and why it’s important for businesses to address gender inequality and financial exclusion. I also learnt a lot about chocolate!

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Women cocoa farmers and members of the Awewoho-Manhyia Village Savings and Loan Association in Ghana Women cocoa farmers and members of the Awewoho-Manhyia Village Savings and Loan Association in Ghana