International Women’s Day: What about women in the developing world?

United Nations Info

http://www.un.org/ecosocdev/geninfo/women/womday97.htm

International Women’s Day (8 March) is an occasion marked by women’s groups around the world. This date is also commemorated at the United Nations and is designated in many countries as a national holiday. When women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day, they can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development.

International Women’s Day is the story of ordinary women as makers of history; it is rooted in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men. In ancient Greece, Lysistrata initiated a sexual strike against men in order to end war; during the French Revolution, Parisian women calling for “liberty, equality, fraternity” marched on Versailles to demand women’s suffrage.

The Role of the United Nations

Few causes promoted by the United Nations have generated more intense and widespread support than the campaign to promote and protect the equal rights of women. The Charter of the United Nations, signed in San Francisco in 1945, was the first international agreement to proclaim gender equality as a fundamental human right. Since then, the Organization has helped create a historic legacy of internationally agreed strategies, standards, programmes and goals to advance the status of women worldwide. Over the years, United Nations action for the advancement of women has taken four clear directions: promotion of legal measures; mobilization of public opinion and international action; training and research, including the compilation of gender desegregated statistics; and direct assistance to disadvantaged groups. Today a central organizing principle of the work of the United Nations is that no enduring solution to society’s most threatening social, economic and political problems can be found without the full participation, and the full empowerment, of the world’s women.

For more information, contact:

Development Section
Department of Public Information
Room S-1040, United Nations, New York, NY 10017
Email: mediainfo@un.org”

Getting a lot of interesting information through DEVELOPMENT GATEWAY (see the link under BLOGROLL in the right column of this blog), I found today a message from

dgAlert@developmentgateway.org

9. Women and work: Jobs for the girls
http://topics.developmentgateway.org/youth/rc/ItemDetail.do?itemId=1092700
“MAN may labour from sun to sun, but a woman’s work is never done, says the old proverb. To add insult to injury, she gets less out of her labours than he does. In both rich and poor countries, poverty most often has a feminine face. It is bad enough…
Contributed by Emmanuel Asomba on 05 Mar 2007
”.

For the full text I went to:

http://www.economist.com/displayStory.cfm?story_id=8792052&fsrc=RSS

Continue reading “International Women’s Day: What about women in the developing world?”

One world: New Zealand/Algeria – Un monde unique: La Nouvelle Zélande/Algérie

MESSAGE FROM THE ANTIPODS

I just received this nice message from Jenny LITCHFIELD (New Zealand):

Dear Willem,

That’s very kind of you to write. Thank you. Your Desertification link has been added to my blog. Your project reports are fascinating to read. I had no idea such work existed in this arid region – perhaps, unfortunately, that’s a reflection of how remote New Zealand is. The impression I get is that essentially we want the same things for our families and loved ones. My heart goes out to the women in Algeria and I admire their endeavours to provide healthy fresh food for their children with your support. My gardening messages are informed by practical gardening experiences, personal observations, knowledge passed on from older people I have known, intuition, a strong sense of ecological values, reflection and lots of reading. I love to engage children in the environment in naturally occurring ways. I am a specialist teacher of learning and behaviour in secondary schools and understand only too well the basic human needs of children and youth must be met in order that they might learn in ways that have meaning to them and in ways that are relevant to their lives. Kind regards, Jenny.

Boumerdès
Boumerdès (Algeria). A school where love for nature and the right ecological principles is visible all over the premises. Here we start a school garden for vegetable production.

Boumerdès (Algérie). Une école où l’amour pour la nature et les bons principes écologiques est visible partout. Ici nous construisons un jardin potager de l’école.

Boumerdès

Girls and boys already made a collection of medicinal plants.

Filles et garçons soignent déjà leur collection de plantes médicinales.

—————-

Well Jenny, that’s the way I love to cooperate with likeminded people from all over the world. It shows how close our minds are, right across oceans and frontiers, as if New Zealand and Algeria are neigbours of Belgium. Our minds should never be divided by political or religious barriers. We should never hesitate to help people living in conditions much worse than ours. Development cooperation is one of the nicest things on earth: we are able to share our experience and expertise with the people in the developing world to make their standards of living better too. And gardening is one of the nicest and most practical fields . Let us not be selfish ! Sharing our knowledge and transferring our cost-effective and affordable technologies should be considered as one of the important step towards effective development aid. Therefore, let us try to translate our experience into simple and practical methods, easily applicable in the developing world, where human beings are counting upon our contributions. Sincere thanks, Willem.

RESUME FRANCAIS

Voici un message de Jenny LITCHFIELD (Nouvelle Zélande). Elle trouve les rapports sur nos projets dans les régions arides fascinants. En fait, nous voulons tous et toutes la même chose pour nos familles et ceux qui nous sont chers. Le coeur de Jenny bat pour les femmes de l’Algérie et les efforts qu’elles produisent pour obtenir une nourriture saine pour leurs familles, avec l’aide de l’UNICEF. Professeur à l’enseignement secondaire, Jenny comprend très bien les besoins de base des enfants.

C’est bien de ce trouver à la même longeur d’ondes!

Communicating international development research (id21): Water

Natural Resource Highlights” are published annually by id21, which is hosted by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) of the University of Sussex in Brighton, BN1 9RE (UK). It is supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

id21 publishes these highlights on agriculture, conservation, fisheries, forestry, land, rural livelihoods and water. On the website http://www.id21.org/nr you will find the full range of over 2000 research highlights.

I read the 2006 issues on all the above fields of interest and found very interesting contributions:

WATER

1. The value of rainfed agriculture in a world short of water.
2. Efficient water use tackles food insecurity.
3. Managing groundwater for dry season irrigation.
4. Water access in Ethiopia: can conflict be avoided?
5. Women and water in Sierra Leone.
6. Community priorities for water rights.

A number of useful websites are mentioned. These offer new possibilities for collecting information:

Continue reading “Communicating international development research (id21): Water”

Communicating international development research (id21): Land

Natural Resource Highlights” are published annually by id21, which is hosted by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) of the University of Sussex in Brighton, BN1 9RE (UK). It is supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

id21 publishes these highlights on agriculture, conservation, fisheries, forestry, land, rural livelihoods and water. On the website http://www.id21.org/nr you will find the full range of over 2000 research highlights.

I read the 2006 issues on all the above fields of interest and found very interesting contributions:

LAND

1. Privatising common land in Botswana.
2. Land disputes in Ghana.
3. Women and land rights in India.
4. Why do the Maasai split up group ranches?
5. Evaluating land policies in highland Ethiopia.
6. Agrarian reform and rural poverty in South Africa.

A number of useful websites are mentioned. These offer new possibilities for collecting information:

Continue reading “Communicating international development research (id21): Land”

Poverty reduction through group approach

I read this morning at the “Development Gateway” on poverty the following abstract :
———————————————————————————————-
1. NEW HIGHLIGHT: Group approach to poverty reduction
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The poor (destitute, isolated, risk averters with low-income and poor infrastructure) can grow out of poverty provided their basic rights are re-stored and other civil society opportunities are made available to them. One successful approach to grow out of poverty is to organize poor into small groups, then organizations and finally federations or networks.

Why group approach to poverty reduction has been successful?
– Groups bring solidarity, strength, mutual help, pooling their resources, empowerment, emergency help, remove being helpless and takes them out of isolation
– Like minded people to share experiences, problems and successes
– Poor can learn from and adapt to their piers
– Seeing progress made by their piers make them progressive

The group approach also provides several benefits to the poverty reduction worker such as bring the poor together, pooling of learning resources, higher efficiency of training, more accessible, etc. So much so all successful poverty reduction initiatives are based on group principles.”

I couldn’t help thinking at our multiple initiatives with the Belgian TC-Dialogue Foundation, with which we organized humanitarian projects within the framework of combating desertification and alleviating poverty. First of all, it should be clear that desertification is strongly linked to poverty. Indeed, it are generally the poorest rural people in the drylands suffering the most of drought and desertification. That is why we have mostly been setting up community gardens for women and school gardens.

Continue reading “Poverty reduction through group approach”

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