Browse by Theme: Women's Voice

By Reshma Aziz Khan and Sébastien Fornerod

CARE seeks to tackle the underlying causes of poverty and social injustice to bring lasting change to the lives of poor and vulnerable people (CARE 2020 Program Strategy). But how many of us can say that tackling these underlying causes is what we focus on every day?

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“He always came home late and drunk and he often kicked the door open while hurling insults at me and the children. I became such a miserable person.... After a number of curriculum sessions, I started to notice a change of heart in my husband, he started taking responsibility for the family needs.... He even went ahead to open up a joint account for us.” (Quote by a project participant – but not from Olive who is pictured above.) Intimate partner violence (IPV) is the most common form of violence against women and girls – but our Indashyikirwa project in Rwanda proved there are ways to change this: by supporting couples to build healthier, more equitable relationships, and by helping communities to challenge and address the values which normalise violence.

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As a researcher, I see that humanitarian practitioners listen to and involve local women and women’s groups when delivering programmes on the ground – or at least, if they don’t, they know that they should. But if we are really serious about localisation and gender equality, we also need to invite women from the countries where we deliver programmes to come to our learning and practice workshops back in our home countries.

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Published on behalf of the Women 7 movement:

We are entering the final stretch before the G7 summit, which will open on 24 August in Biarritz. In September 2018, before the UN, the President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron announced a 2019 G7 with a renewed format, focused on the Sahel region and on the fight against inequalities, and he called for women’s rights to become a “great global cause”. Only 10 days away from the summit, what has been done so far is not enough.

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The example of Minakshi, a former child bride who has gone to become an activist and community-level facilitator for CARE’s Tipping Point project, is a reminder and inspiration for all development workers that real change is personal. We cannot work on projects seeking to shift harmful social norms without ongoing self-reflection around our own attitudes to gender and power, write Tirzah Brown and Yuleidy Merida.

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We should always identify those who are local to speak for themselves. I always say we have our own mouths. Why don’t we talk, why don’t you give us that room? Ask me what my problem is, and I will tell you...

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This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #BalanceforBetter – a call-to-action for driving gender balance across the world. Working for CARE’s humanitarian team, we know all too well the very specific challenges facing #BalanceforBetter in life-saving emergency response, write Isadora Quay and Howard Mollett.

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