Pelekelo Mubuyaeta leaves her maize and sugar cane field at midday after working from 6am to prepare lunch for her family in the Barotse Floodplain, Zambia.
Ranjitha Puskur guest blogs on International Women’s Day about the need for gender equality for rural women in agriculture.
We are living in an increasingly unequal world. A recent UNDP report entitled ‘Humanity Divided’notes that while Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in low- and middle-income countries has doubled since 1990, more than 1.2 billion people continue to live in extreme poverty.
The greatest increases in income inequalities have occurred in developing countries that were especially successful in pursuing vigorous growth. Yet, as the UNDP report points out high inequality is not an inevitable consequence of rapid growth. There are examples where increased inequality has been prevented with appropriate policies and with greater participation and empowerment of those in danger of being left behind.
An important part of the reason for growing inequality is unequal opportunity for women. Despite, longstanding recognition of the fact that promoting gender equality is both the right and smart thing to do, success has been inconsistent at best. The Millenium Development Goals report states that, while we have made significant progress on several fronts, accelerated progress and bolder action are needed. Continue reading →
It is the time of year to reflect on and celebrate the year’s achievements. For WorldFish, it’s been an exceptional year. Increased investment by our donors has allowed us to broaden and deepen our engagement with communities on the ground and our research and development partners. Most importantly, increased investment has increased our impact.
To give you a sense of our achievements and the range of work we do, our Annual Report this year focuses on three stories: the success of aquaculture in Egypt, improved livelihoods in Bangladesh, and conflict and collaboration over natural resources in Zambia, Cambodia and Uganda.
With so much happening at WorldFish, it seems unfair to highlight these few examples, but, in our information-saturated world, brevity is usually welcome. I hope that by keeping it short you are encouraged to read more and be inspired by the potential of fisheries and aquaculture to reduce poverty and increase food.
Dave Mills, a senior researcher at WorldFish, was describing the outcomes of a project on governance reform with small-scale fishers in Ghana. This project had empowered women in the community by working to build confidence, capacity, and vision among women to engage in decision-making and by helping challenge underlying and oppressive attitudes towards them. Dave recounted how, at a project review meeting, the village chief proudly exclaimed “What have you done with these women – they have changed!” He was delighted they were now active in decision-making and that he now knew what women needed and wanted in his community.
For any organization trying to decide how best to achieve development impact, a good place to start is with a ‘Theory of Change’, or ToC. Formally defined as “a statement of the interconnected causal pathways that describe the types of interventions that bring about desired outcomes” , a ToC can be more plainly said to be a description of what you need to do to make a difference.
I was fortunate to recently attend a workshop here in Penang on Gender Transformative Research (GTR) in Agricultural Development, where ToCs were discussed . This was an important discussion because, as I explained in my last post, not all researchers are agreed about whether GTR should be pursued by agricultural research organizations . Without a compelling rationale that forms part of a clear theory of change that situation is likely to persist. Continue reading →