women empowerment

A forum themed “Vietnamese, Lao, Cambodian women foster friendly cooperation to achieve sustainable development goals until 2030” took place in Ho Chi Minh City on September 15. [...] Participants shared experience in improving women empowerment, particularly in economic and political fields, preventing women and child trafficking, promoting tourism and international cooperation, and educating young generations about the development of traditional friendship and collaboration among women in the three countries.

Women-focused aid groups welcomed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s unapologetically feminist foreign aid policy. [...] In five years, 95 per cent of Canada’s overseas development assistance will be devoted to programs that target gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. Fifty per cent of the development budget will go to sub-Saharan Africa and the amount of funding going to health and reproductive rights will double. [...] “The research shows beyond a doubt that investment in a girl’s education is the most effective investment we can make in international assistance.”

At the launch of Girls Education Network in Koforidua, the director of Girls' Education Unit (GEU) at the Ghana Education Service (GES) said if parents performed their parental responsibilities, teenage girls would not fall prey to illicit sex, which often resulted in unexpected pregnancies and school drop-outs. She said there was the need for a paradigm shift, hence the establishment of the network to advocate girls welfare and advancement. [...] Some local NGOs and international partners included UNICEF, United States Agency for International Development and UNESCO.

In order to reduce poverty and introduce community development, oftentimes it’s best to start with women. That’s the approach taken by Oklahoma City-based non-governmental organization World Neighbors in its work in Nepal and India. World Neighbors currently works in about 20 villages in Bihar, India and in nearly 32 communities over five districts in Nepal. The three main areas of work are sustainable agriculture and rural livelihood, community-based natural resource management, and reproductive health and gender equity.

In advance of Mother’s Day later this week, it is a good time to reflect and recognize not only the contribution mothers make in our own lives and those of others around the world but their collective power globally. We should also call out and celebrate their unique strengths, skillsets, and experience sets. Skills and strengths that are not often championed or called out, but which could be powerful soft power assets in our broader public diplomacy strategies.

Cultural and social norms are one of the most significant, yet largely ignored, barriers preventing women and girls accessing mobile phones and the internet. In some cases they have even resulted in death and rape. However, current efforts to bridge the digital gender divide are failing to prioritize initiatives which seek to understand, and ultimately, challenge these powerful norms, 

Since economic and social settings of sub-Sahara African countries are to a large extent similar, the findings from Rwanda will undoubtedly inform policy making in most other countries. The objective is to influence the laws, policies and programmes that can address the historically disadvantaged situation of rural women much more effectively.

A key component of this initiative is the plan to increase the number of female mediators in peace processes. The government is trying, among other means, to achieve this by creating a network of female mediators. In addition, Sweden is part of the network of Nordic Women Mediators, a network of women from the Nordic countries with professional mediation and negotiations experience.