Browse by Theme: Gender Equality

I recently visited Ghana with a team of Mondelēz International Ambassadors to understand the Cocoa Life value chain from seeds to farming to trading and processing. It was great to see an innovative, inclusive business model in action, driving sustainability for the world’s largest snacking company AND improving the livelihoods of poor cocoa farmers. During the visit I saw for myself how a vibrant value chain is stronger than the sum of its partners; and why it’s important for businesses to address gender inequality and financial exclusion. I also learnt a lot about chocolate!

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During her maiden speech at the United Nations General Assembly last month, Prime Minister Theresa May launched a global campaign to end modern slavery (which she previously described as “the great human rights issue of our time”) and called upon other world leaders to join her in this endeavour. Yet every day young girls fleeing from conflict and violence fall prey to human trafficking rings and the UK is standing idly by.

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Thursday 22nd September at the United Nations General Assembly was a tremendous moment for the global women’s economic empowerment agenda. Not only did Ban Ki Moon become the first Secretary General to declare himself a feminist (for which he received a rousing standing ovation), it was also the launch of the first report by the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment.

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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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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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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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By Gianluca Nardi and Katherine Carr (CARE International UK, Programme Officer - Africa)

When we arrive in Kariyata, a rural community in the Upper Eastern region of Ghana, close to Garu, most of the women in the community are waiting for us within a circle of shea trees that they normally use for meetings, and some men are also there, although in a separate group. The community is partly Christian and partly Muslim and partly followers of traditional religions and all of them are there for one reason: to talk about gender.

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