Browse by Theme: Partnership

From Cox’s Bazaar to Kinshasa, women are not passive beneficiaries of assistance. Women responders – volunteers, activists, leaders, women-led groups, organisations and networks – are taking actions to mitigate and respond to protection risks. Yet too often, women are sidelined by humanitarian programming. That’s not just discriminatory – it’s ineffective.

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Co-authored by Caroline Kende-Robb, CARE International Secretary General, and Howard Mollett, Senior Policy Advisor

November 29th is the International Day of Women Human Rights Defenders, part of the 16 Days of Activism on Violence against Women and Girls. So it’s a good time to ask: how can the humanitarian sector better empower women – both within humanitarian agencies as well as local civil society activists – to address violence, and empower women and girls, in times of crisis?

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Working in consortium to deliver large, complex programmes has become the norm for NGOs over the last few years. Increasingly, working in consortium is a clear expectation set out in donor tenders and calls for proposals. But is the sector taking this approach for the right reasons? And do donors really understand what it means to work in consortium, or do they just see it as a way for them to save some of their own time and money?

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Gender equality is high on the corporate agenda, from sales of feminist merchandise, to gender pay gap reporting, to celebrities and politicians forming coalitions; confronting institutional norms and behaviour. It feels like we are in a moment in history where putting gender equity firmly on the table and creating positive change could achieve lasting equality. But behind the hashtags, the empowering t-shirts and glossy photographs, are we really creating change and tackling the barriers to gender equity and inclusive business?

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For 27 years CARE has worked with communities to support Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) so that women living in poverty can save, invest and improve their lives. Our new Global Reach report shows astounding progress in the global spread and impact of these community-based financial solutions. Today 6.7 million people across 46 countries are saving and managing more than US$433 million per year through CARE VSLAs. Ahead of the SEEP Network SG2018 global savings group conference in Rwanda this week, this success prompts the question: ‘‘how many more women and girls could benefit from participating in a VSLA?”

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Organisations thrive when management and employees have open communications and are able to discuss issues and develop solutions together. Investing in workers can lead to an increase in their productivity, reliability and quality of work. Most importantly, workers who have an effective voice within the workplace and around the issues affecting the wider community, can better protect their rights and achieve their potential. That’s why we’ve just launched a new partnership with Twinings to improve the lives and livelihoods of tea workers and so increase the sustainability of the tea value chain.

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Women are very important stakeholders for the whole cocoa industry – not just as customers and consumers, but also because of their roles as cocoa producers. Although cocoa is seen as a “male crop” in most of the producing countries, women have a key role in activities that are critical for the volume and quality of the production. Nevertheless, the “invisibility” of women has serious consequences for their access to technical training and productive resources in general, which is unjust and also represents a huge inefficiency in business terms.

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