Browse by Theme: Women's Voice

The inability of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) to agree conclusions at their last meeting in 2012 represented a significant set-back in the long fight for women’s rights. This briefing note sets out what needed to happen to ensure this years session focussing on violence against women was a success.

It suggests developing and adopting a strong set of conclusions that clearly illustrate how states and civil society can make significant progress towards eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls. The Commission are urged to seize the opportunity of the 57th session to accelerate implementation of existing commitments through evidence-based, holistic and integrated approaches spanning the continuum of prevention and multi-sectoral services and responses.

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"Adapting to climate change is about reducing vulnerability to current and projected climate risks. Vulnerability to climate change is determined in large part by people’s adaptive capacity. A particular climate hazard, such as a drought, does not affect all people within a community - or even the same household - equally because some people have greater capacity than others to manage the crisis. The inequitable distribution of rights, resources and power – as well as repressive cultural rules and norms – constrain many people’s ability to take action on climate change.

This is especially true for women. Therefore, gender is a critical factor in understanding vulnerability to climate change. CARE’s approach to adaptation begins with comprehensive analysis, including an examination of differential vulnerability due to social, political and economic inequalities."

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For successful climate change adaptation and mitigation actions, Parties at COP17 need to explicitly address gender equality and women’s empowerment, building on, and ensuring the implementation of, existing gender considerations in UNFCCC decisions agreed over the past 3 years.

Without appropriate efforts to reduce gender inequalities at all levels, strategies to address climate change will not be effective and sustainable. Gender-blind strategies may perpetuate or may even exacerbate these inequalities, undermining human rights and reversing achievements on vulnerability reduction and poverty eradication.

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"CARE is working to help people and communities in developing countries better adapt and become more resilient to a climate they did not create. We support women and men, girls and boys becoming agents of change–because we believe that, with the right knowledge and sufficient means, families are able to adapt themselves.

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In a new report titled “Reaching New Heights: The Case for Measuring Women’s Empowerment,” CARE sounds the call for gathering more evidence in the movement to empower women and girls worldwide.

It does so by highlighting the astounding results of SHOUHARDO, a program to reduce malnutrition among more than 2 million of the poorest people in Bangladesh. Researchers wondered how child stunting, a measure of the shortfall in growth due to malnutrition, could have plummeted 28 percent in less than four years, even amid a crop-crushing cyclone and food price spikes. By pouring through detailed data collected under SHOUHARDO they had one clear answer: women’s empowerment.

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Conditional Cash Transfer (CCTs) programmes support extremely poor households with a cash subsidy, on condition that children attend school and health checks. Evaluations have shown CCTs have succeeded in improving children’s school attendance, and nutritional and health indicators. But there is comparatively less evidence on whether CCTs address women’s needs and rights. 

This article provides a summary of the findings of CARE International’s recent research on CCTs impact on gender equity in Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia.
The research showed a number of practical gains for women participants. However, it also found the CCT programmes did not challenge women’s traditional maternal roles, did not directly increase women’s knowledge of their rights or tackle issues such as violence against women.  CCTs need to be more explicitly geared toward women’s social and economic empowerment if they are to be truly effective at lifting women out of poverty.

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Empowered women lead on community-based adaptation to climate change.

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