Browse by Theme: Women's Economic Empowerment

There’s an inescapable buzz around the role of business in international development. Everywhere I go—from Bangladesh to East Africa, from the flurry of activity of the UNGA or CGI in New York to the WEF Annual meeting in Davos—it’s a topic that has risen to the very top of the development agenda.

To be clear, CARE welcomes this long-awaited energy and momentum. But business still has a long way to go, particularly when it comes to understanding the importance and specific needs of women—both as customers and as critical participants in supply chains.

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After the annual meeting of the world’s largest and most important body for agreeing international food and nutrition security policy, Larissa Pelham questions on World Food Day whether NGOs really have a voice in the process.

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Perhaps, you're hoping to break into the development sector, or you are looking for a career change from the private sector? Maybe you want to build your CV while completing your post graduate studies or want to learn more about the world of microfinance and influencing policy makers? If so, an internship in the Advocacy and Policy Team at CARE UK might be just what you are looking for. Here are five reasons why we think you should apply:

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Debate on the possibilities at the base of the pyramid (BOP) is ubiquitous; nonetheless, too often regulated to a post-script is that frequently when we refer to the BOP what we actually mean is women at the BOP.  It’s time to stop discussing the BOP as a single, homogenous entity and start looking more specifically at what it will mean to engage with women as producers and as consumers.

Apart from some notable exceptions, the most oft-cited evidence for the business case for gender equality tends to focus disproportionately on large, western companies in the formal sector. Far less visible are examples that demonstrate why companies should-or how they can- act on Women’s Empowerment Principle 5: “implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women.”

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The leaders of the G8 came to the UK over a month ago and David Cameron hosted a ‘Hunger Summit’. While the summit did pledge up to $4.15bn (USD) to tackle malnutrition did it take the opportunity to boost public investment in the small holder farmers that feed a third of the world’s population?

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Despite the fact that there is enough food for everyone, almost 870 million people go hungry every night. 2.3 million children die needlessly because of malnutrition each year and 165 million more have their future potential permanently damaged because they don’t receive the right nutrients at the start of life. This is a human tragedy, with a clear moral imperative for world leaders to act and the UK should play a leading role.

This policy briefing draws on a report, commissioned by the UK Hunger Alliance (HA) and written by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), which investigates smallholder agriculture’s contribution to better nutrition.

Findings suggest that smallholder agricultural development that is environmentally sustainable, can dramatically reduce poverty and hunger. To have greatest impact, investments should:

  • Empower small-scale women farmers
  • Promote small-scale farming including home gardens, small-scale livestock and fish-rearing
  • Complement agricultural programmes with education and nutrition communication, health services, clean water and sanitation.
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What changes do we need to empower women smallholders and achieve food security? This question has been asked repeatedly over the past several decades, but transformative changes in both public policy and practice have been few and far between. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), closing the „gender gap‟ in agriculture – or increasing women‟s contribution to food production and enterprise by providing equal access to resources and opportunities – could reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 12-17 per cent, or by 100 to 150 million people.

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