Development Blog

In my line of work we all feel passionately about creating greater gender equality globally, and for CARE and many others, achieving greater women’s economic empowerment is a major goal. But how good are we at keeping our own houses in order when it comes to flexible working?

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Job share: where two minds are better than one… Two women share a task in Niger. Job share: where two minds are better than one… Two women share a task in Niger.

Since starting an internship at CARE International UK in the Policy and Advocacy team, I’ve had the chance to support research on women’s economic empowerment programmes, with a specific focus on the ready-made garment sector in South East Asia. CARE’s broader role in training value chain workers in partnership with companies like Mondelez, establishing savings groups with women, and committing to a Dignified Work agenda, is crucial to tackling widespread injustice in global value chains across all industries. Researching ready-made garment value chains specifically has led me to re-evaluate some of my own shopping habits, and shown me that change has to come from consumers.

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A garment worker in Cambodia A garment worker in Cambodia

Three years on from the start of the conflict in South Sudan, I returned to the country to help ensure that CARE’s life-saving work reaches the most vulnerable women and girls. The conflict has caused almost 1 in 4 to flee their homes, and our analysis, published today, shows that women and girls continue to bear the heaviest burden as the conflict worsens.

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Residents of Torit, Eastern Equatoria, South Sudan, wait in line to receive an emergency aid distribution from CARE (November 2016) Residents of Torit, Eastern Equatoria, South Sudan, wait in line to receive an emergency aid distribution from CARE (November 2016)

Human Rights Day happens 10 December every year to commemorate the day in 1948 that governments of the world adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the United Nations. Human Rights Day also marks the end of the yearly 16 Days of Activism on Violence Against Women and Girls, which is an important moment in which activists around the world mobilise to raise awareness on women’s rights issues.

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Refugee women giving their testimonies at an event organised by CARE and Women for Refugee Women in London in September 2016 Refugee women giving their testimonies at an event organised by CARE and Women for Refugee Women in London in September 2016

This week CARE launches its newest paper on women’s economic empowerment in fragile settings and I’ll be laying out the key points in a presentation online and in person (Thursday 8 December, 12-2pm). Here is a preview of what I’ll be saying.

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A CARE-supported savings group in East Hararghe, Ethiopia A CARE-supported savings group in East Hararghe, Ethiopia

How can Mondelēz International – the world’s biggest chocolate company – show their consumers that their chocolate is produced in a sustainable way?

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Cocoa Life Ambassador Krystyna Kilmczak meeting with potential future cocoa farmers at a school club set up under the Cocoa Life programme, Ghana Cocoa Life Ambassador Krystyna Kilmczak meeting with potential future cocoa farmers at a school club set up under the Cocoa Life programme, Ghana

Functioning market systems and a responsible and responsive private sector are critical to livelihoods, autonomy and well-being. However they are both heavily impacted by crisis, including war.

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Women in Jordan supported by CARE through Village Savings and Loan Associations and vocational and business skills training Women in Jordan supported by CARE through Village Savings and Loan Associations and vocational and business skills training