Development Blog

CARE has welcomed the first report from the UN High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment, Leave no-one behind - particularly since it draws on a lot of CARE’s work as a model for the way forward for accelerating women’s economic empowerment.

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Josee Ntabahungu, Head of Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment at CARE Burundi, at the United Nations Josee Ntabahungu, Head of Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment at CARE Burundi, at the United Nations

We all agree that the numbers are staggering: according to the UNHCR, on average, 24 people were forced to flee each minute in 2015, four times more than a decade earlier. At the last count, Greece alone was home to 57,000 displaced people, 40 per cent of them children. But on what to do and who should do it is where agreement ends and polemics begin.

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CARE staff member Basheer Alzaalan, originally from Syria, now works for CARE's KIWI refugee integration project in Germany CARE staff member Basheer Alzaalan, originally from Syria, now works for CARE's KIWI refugee integration project in Germany

Over 40 grassroots women-led civil society organisations, human rights and humanitarian agencies have today launched a new Joint Statement on Women and Girls outlining 10 recommendations for next week’s global refugee and migrant Summits – and beyond. So what do we know about the likely Summit outcomes from a gender perspective?

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Refugees from Iraq photographed in Serbia, July 2016 Refugees from Iraq photographed in Serbia, July 2016

The current UN High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment is highlighting the major attention being paid by governments, the development community and others to the importance of women’s economic empowerment to tackling poverty and ensuring women achieve the target of gender equality which the world has agreed to as Sustainable Development Goal 5.

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A member of a village savings and loan group in Côte d’Ivoire A member of a village savings and loan group in Côte d’Ivoire

What does it mean to be ‘a humanitarian’ working in Greece – a country in Europe that, notwithstanding its economic crisis, does not fit the bill of the classic ‘emergency’ context? How does the response in Greece challenge our assumptions about what it means to be a humanitarian?

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Refugee families at Piraeus port, Athens, Greece, April 2016 Refugee families at Piraeus port, Athens, Greece, April 2016 © CARE/Johanna Mitscherlich 2016

A new ILO report on trade agreements which incorporate labour standards points to rising women’s participation in the labour force and a reduced gender wage gap in the countries participating in those trade agreements – without any adverse effect on the ability of the trade agreement to boost trade between the signatories of the agreement.

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Workers in a garment factory in Cambodia Workers in a garment factory in Cambodia

CARE’s focus on women’s economic empowerment is based on our belief in women’s rights and the key role that economic empowerment plays in the achievement of those rights, some of them inherent in economic empowerment itself and others to which economic empowerment provides a bridge. But we know that as we engage with government, donors and the private sector, it always helps to have a strong economic argument on our side, and once again the IMF have provided one.

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Samia (name changed), a Syrian refugee living in Jordan, is learning laptop and computer repair through a CARE vocational training programme Samia (name changed), a Syrian refugee living in Jordan, is learning laptop and computer repair through a CARE vocational training programme