Browse by Theme: Women's Voice

I have been part of rapid response teams deploying to typhoons, cyclones and floods in Asia and droughts in East and Southern Africa and worked on emergency responses for 15 years. Each time, I’ve seen first-hand how around the world, women and girls are all too often on the frontlines of the climate emergency.

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South Africa has some of the highest rates of gender-based violence (GBV) in the world. But it is also at the forefront of global efforts to understand more about GBV and specifically how to prevent it, hosting the 2019 conference of the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI). CARE colleagues joined experts, researchers, practitioners, campaigners and activists from across the world to hear from them and share CARE’s work. Now the question is how to build on this evidence and where to go from here.

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We want the women employed in the supply chains of the companies which make your clothes to have access to decent jobs free from violence and harassment and to be able to voice their rights at work. 

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“Other young people discouraged me from joining the savings group, because this was not our culture. My peers laughed at me. But I was strong and I knew what I wanted, so I joined anyway.” These are the words of Emelenziana, a young woman in Tanzania. Since CARE launched the Ishaka programme in Burundi in 2009, we’ve been working specifically with young people through our Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) approach to support women – starting with savings – to transform their world. Here’s a sample of some of the impacts we’ve seen with VSLAs for young people.

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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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