Development Blog

In late April the MenEngage Alliance facilitated an online discussion to surface some of the more challenging issues around accountability when working with men and boys on women’s rights and gender justice. One of the things that I really appreciated from the dialogue was the focus on potentially negative impacts and men potentially accruing more power.

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Students at a Youth Vocational Training Centre in Dili, Timor-Leste Students at a Youth Vocational Training Centre in Dili, Timor-Leste

Why is violence against women so prevalent? What is perpetuating and fuelling this trend of misogyny? Is society to blame? And, most importantly, how can we prevent gender-based violence? Advocacy intern Miski Abdi argues that GBV should have no place in a modern, egalitarian, democratic society.

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What next? A timeline of incidents that have inspired global activism against GBV (taken from CARE's global GBV strategy) What next? A timeline of incidents that have inspired global activism against GBV (taken from CARE's global GBV strategy)

In Tanzania a group has gathered to purchase shares, grow their savings, access loans and do their book-keeping. Regular financial sector activities, but with a difference. These are the activities of the Tushikamane Paris group – an informal savings group of 24 women and 6 men from the hinterland of Zanzibar, Tanzania. Many from this community live on the poverty line, although some manage to make a little extra cash through selling surplus vegetables, crafts or making and selling snacks, amongst other small-scale enterprises. Despite having very limited funds, members of the Tushikamane Paris group manage to grow their savings every week, without fail.

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A meeting of the Tushikamane Paris savings group A meeting of the Tushikamane Paris savings group

Two recent CARE workshops have helped frame for me the resilience discussion that has come to dominate development discourse over the last five years. In fragile contexts, can we afford to be ambitious with our programming goals to encompass both gender transformative action and crisis adaptation? And more to the point, can we afford not to?

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Hana Eliyas, a farmer in Ethiopia participating in the GRAD (Graduation with Resilience to Achieve Sustainable Development) programme Hana Eliyas, a farmer in Ethiopia participating in the GRAD (Graduation with Resilience to Achieve Sustainable Development) programme

Last week the House of Lords inquiry into the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative published their conclusions and called for the initiative to be put on a much firmer footing within UK foreign policy and in the international calendar. CARE was one of many who gave written evidence and we welcome the strong report. With key events this year and four years left of this Parliament, this is a good time for the government to re-commit to this agenda and redouble its efforts on human rights.

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A view of the stage at the Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict summit held in London in June 2014 A view of the stage at the Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict summit held in London in June 2014

Remember one of the worst humanitarian catastrophes in recent history? 11 years ago, a Tsunami killed over 230,000 people in Asia and Africa, and devastated large parts of Indonesia, Thailand, India and Sri Lanka. The latter country was in the middle of a bloody civil war, which had lasted almost 30 years. Sri Lanka was not a good place to be, despite the beauty of its landscape and its people. 

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CARE International General Secretary Wolfgang Jamann visiting a women's group in Sri Lanka CARE International General Secretary Wolfgang Jamann visiting a women's group in Sri Lanka

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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Sindayo, a sheep farmer in Tigray, Ethiopia Sindayo, a sheep farmer in Tigray, Ethiopia