Browse by Theme: Gender Equality

Promoting gender equality is a core belief of the Cocoa Life programme. For years we have been working with partners including humanitarian organisations like CARE International to implement programmes that empower women in cocoa communities, writes Cathy Pieters, Global Director of Cocoa Life, Mondelēz International.

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Every year, hundreds of women’s rights activists come to New York to lobby governments in the United Nations on gender equality during the annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). This year, CARE International has partnered with UN Women and the World Humanitarian Summit Secretariat to convene a workshop during CSW to consult activists from countries torn apart by war and natural disasters on how to better protect and empower women and girls in times of crisis.

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This week, a major international donor conference took place in Brussels to plan the rebuilding of Ebola hit countries. Having just recently returned from Sierra Leone and Liberia, I was hoping to see a gender transformative approach informing donor commitment – because I had seen for myself how the impact of the crisis is affecting women and girls.

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I am currently in Budapest, Hungary, attending the second of two days of regional consultations. This is the fourth in a series of regional consultations leading up to the May 2016 World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) taking place in Istanbul. The WHS will be a major event. It will be the first-ever global humanitarian summit of this scale. It also has an ambitious goal: the summit aims to find new ways to tackle humanitarian needs in our fast-changing world – a topic close to the heart of CARE’s work.

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2015 is set to be a big year for CARE and other organisations working to end world poverty. So where are we at, where are we going, and what do we need to do to get there?

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The Trust Women conference (on 18-19 November) was fundamentally about women’s rights. You can’t talk of rights without talking of financial services because this encompasses so much else. Why are women not accessing education? Why do women not have access to banks? Why are women being discriminated against?

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I have written before about ‘cross-sector’ collaboration and partnerships. About forging alliances with shared objectives where the private, public and NGO sectors can work together, realising mutually beneficial outcomes. We often talk about the combined ‘power’ of all these actors – but how do we put the ‘power’ in ‘empowerment’ into the hands of women on the frontline of overcoming gender inequality?

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