By student intern Lena Krikorian
In March, the Global Gender Program’s Women, Peace, Security, and Development Bibliography grew to nearly 2,340 sources.
We continue to improve the quality of listing on the database by adding more relevant descriptors and identifying whether sources are open access (OA) or not open access (NOA.)
Please feel free to suggest additional sources by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
By guest contributor Julia Collins
In the age of instantaneous communication, limitless data storage in the virtual cloud, and cloning entire organisms, advancements in technology seem to hold the key to unlocking better longer lives. But when it comes to managing water, improving livelihoods can be as simple as a hand-washing station or a device to lighten the heavy load of carrying water.
The U.S. State Department-funded Women and Water in South and Central Asia Project serves as a platform for women working on community water issues to learn from each other by sharing ideas and best practices. At our first annual conference in Bishkek, Sowmya Somnath – representing the Watershed Management Group and its Indian partner Grampari – trained conference participants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and the United States, on Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) techniques, and presented an award-winning video about a wonderful invention: the Tippy Tap. The Tippy Tap is a “hands free way to wash your hands that is especially appropriate for rural areas where there is no running water”. Using a foot lever resting on the ground to tip a bucket and produce a small stream of water, the tippy tap reduces the chance of bacteria spreading from hand-to-hand because the only thing anyone touches is the hanging bar of soap. Not only is the tippy tap a fun and enticing way to incentivize hand-washing, but it also conserves water, utilizing only 40 milliliters of water to wash your hands versus the 500 milliliters it takes if you use a mug of water to do so. The Tippy Tap website has an entire section on the importance of this hand-washing station, but drives home this important takeaway: no matter where you are from or how old you are, washing your hands is a simple, effective way of stopping the spread of infection and dramatically reducing the number of deaths from diarrhea. Learn how to build your own by clicking here.
Another innovative, yet simple, invention is improving lives by lightening the burden of household water supply. Barbara Miller, the director of GW’s Global Gender Program, and a partner of the Women and Water project, recently shared a Guardian article about the WaterWheel. The 50-liter rollable water container is made from durable plastic and boasts numerous benefits over the previous method of transporting the life-sustaining liquid. Instead of carrying water on the head as many girls and women often do, the WaterWheel saves the neck and back from physical strain, is convenient, and hygienic. Every day women around the world spend over 25% of their time collecting water. With the WaterWheel, users can move 50 liters of water at once, “which is between 3 and 5 times the amount of water possible as compared to traditional methods: this means MORE water in less time!” The website also notes that the WaterWheel is constructed to decrease the frequency of contamination at the point of use through its ‘cap-in-cap’ design. This helps to prevent diarrheal disease “which is the second leading cause of death in children under the age of 5, according to the WHO.”
Innovations in water management like the WaterWheel also help to balance the household workload across gender lines. Columnist Penny Haw cheekily sums up the WaterWheels impact in her recent article entitled, “Men discover the wheel … at last”. The Guardian article also comments on this phenomenon reporting that, “One of most exciting things is that men love using it, they see it as a tool. Men take on the primary role so the women are freed up to do other things…It has reduced the burden on women. A nurse told me she is not late for work anymore because the husband collects the water.”
When it comes to improving water management and access to the vital resource, it looks like reinventing the wheel isn’t necessary; simply using the wheel will do the trick.
This article has been reposted with permission from the WWCASA project. The original article can be found here.
Julia Collins is a Program Officer and Researcher for the ‘Women and Water in South and Central Asia’ Project at the Elliott School and a full-time 2nd year Master’s Candidate studying Energy, Security Policy, and Conflict Resolution. Particular areas of interest include the water-energy nexus, the U.S. natural gas revolution, memory politics and dealing with the past, and promoting good governance in transitional democracies – Myanmar in particular.
She graduated from UCLA in 2009 with a BA in Political Science, and minors in Environmental Geography and German. Julia has worked on Guam, studied in Germany and Hungary, taught along the Thailand-Myanmar border, advocated for refugees at a Californian refugee resettlement agency, and conducted economic and social development research at a think-tank in Myanmar.
The Global Gender Program’s seventh Working Paper, “Empowering Women Collectively and Individually from Her Perspective: A Case Study of SEWA Delhi” is now available. This paper is authored by Asthaa Chaturvedi, a senior at GW and GGP student intern. Funded by GW’s Undergraduate Research Award, Asthaa undertook two months of fieldwork in New Delhi to gather qualitative data on women’s perceptions of the impact of participation in an empowerment organization called SEWA. The paper’s abstract is included below.
“Most of the existing literature on women’s empowerment and self-help groups in South Asia emphasizes quantitative indicators about their results, ignoring the voices of the women participating in the organizations. This study examines the changes in the members of the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in New Delhi as an effect of being part of SEWA. I use qualitative data collected from interviews and focus groups during the summer of 2013. The research traces the process of increasing confidence and expanding the capabilities of members by highlighting the voices of the women of SEWA Delhi, using their words instead of an abstract measure of empowerment. The women emphasized the importance of sisterhood and an increase in knowledge about opportunities, particularly in the realm of work and government schemes. Qualitative data provides a more complete picture of how development programs, in this case a women’s self-help group, can improve women’s lives.”
During 2013, the global.gender.current carried my interview series “Why It Matters” on why gender equality and empowerment are important in the 21st century. When I began the project in March, I did not anticipate that I would be able to cover so many issues of both domestic and international relevance, touching on topics like the rights of women workers in India to farmers in Africa to increasing the political participation of women in the US.
As 2013 comes to a close with listicles popping everywhere on the web, here is mine: the top ten takeaways from the “Why It Matters” series of 2013.
1. The series began with Susannah Welford Shakow, founder and President of Running Start, an organization dedicated to supporting young girls as they think about careers in politics. Shakow’s biggest challenge: “We have all these capable and ambitious young women who are content to stand on the sidelines, who want somebody else to be a leader. It’s not that they don’t want women to lead; they do want women to lead. They just don’t want to be that woman.”
2. Still on the topic of building women’s capacities in political participation, the next interview shifted to Pakistan. Saba Ismail is the founder of Aware Girls, based in Peshawar, Pakistan. She focused on dealing with extremism and trying to carve out a role for women in the political sphere of the country.
3. Christina Fink, GW professor of international development studies and the founder of the Foreign Affairs Training Program on the border between Thailand and Myanmar, discussed the difference it made for activists to work together to gain equal political representation of women in a country undergoing transition.
4. Sally Nuamah, a PhD student in political science at Northwestern University and GW alumna, talked about the difference that education for girls has made in Ghana. In 1980 only two percent of women were educated at the university level, and in 2012 the rate was 35 percent. Today new challenges of appropriate infrastructure and more women in the field of teaching are coming up in Ghana.
5. While doing fieldwork in New Delhi this summer, I had the opportunity to interview Sanjay Kumar, Director of SEWA Bharat, or the Self Employed Women’s Association. He emphasized the power of recognizing the work of women who are not protected by the government and work on their own, and how helping women understand government welfare schemes can increase their confidence.
6. While in Delhi, I also had an extended conversation with Shreyasi Jha, monitoring and evaluation specialist for UN Women South Asia. We focused on gender-based violence and how better data have helped the UN understand and communicate the need for more concrete steps for women’s protection and empowerment by local governments.
7. This fall I interviewed Aruna Rao, Practitioner in Residence with the GGP and Cofounder and Executive Director of Gender at Work. Rao also said, “People don’t oppose women’s rights and equalities directly – it’s just not politically correct. The resistance is more invisible, subtle – it’s seen in how agendas are set,” discussing the value of making organizations aware of internal biases.
8. Marlene Stearns, founder of 3PSourcing and Elliott School MIPP alumna, highlighted the successes of women who are leaders in promoting improved agricultural practices and product marketing in their communities. Her work includes collecting the stories of successful women agricultural entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean and Africa.
9. I next looked past the headlines to the story of women entrepreneurs in Iran and the ways that they are overcoming cultural and governed norms that circumscribe their role to the home. Maryam Abolfazli, MENA director at Eurasia Foundation, pointed out that a need to work was changing the dynamics of families.
10. As the director of gender and development at the World Bank, Jeni Klugman integrates gender into the work of the Bank. In her interview, she pointed out global successes and challenges, but emphasized that even within countries there is a spectrum of achievements and gaps when it comes to disparities in gender equality.
The 10-part interview series provides many rich insights about women’s empowerment challenges and efforts around the world. The future looks bright as we move into a time of increased awareness, better data, and more widespread and effective government-civil society collaboration. As Jeni Klugman said during her interview, beyond asking Why It Matters, “I think the more interesting question is now what do you do.”
Asthaa Chaturvedi is a senior at the George Washington University and will begin her internship with Meet the Press in January 2014. She has been a student intern with the Global Gender Program of IGIS since January 2013. She was our social media anchor, writing and posting many entries on both the global.gender.current and anthropologyworks. In the summer of 2013, through funding from GW’s Undergraduate Research Award, Asthaa undertook two months of fieldwork in New Delhi to gather qualitative data on women’s perceptions of the impact of participation in an empowerment organization called SEWA. This research formed the basis for her honor’s thesis as well as a Global Gender Program Working Paper.
The articles in this issue of G&D focus on the complicated and context-specific relationship between gender inequality and violence and conflict, and debate ways to end gender-based violence (GBV) in its many pernicious forms. Formally ending conflict is not enough to end GBV. Long term, transformative change is necessary in order to advance women’s rights in conflict and post-conflict contexts. The Global Gender Program is especially pleased to note that one of the articles is by GGP pre-doctoral fellow in political science, Kerry Crawford: From spoils to weapons: framing wartime sexual violence.
By student contributor Asthaa Chaturvedi
We bring our series, “Why it Matters,” to a close with a discussion with Dr. Jeni Klugman, director of Gender and Development at the World Bank Group. The work of her team involves integrating gender into the work of the World Bank and guiding the staff in the realm of gender and development. Dr. Klugman says that Gender and Development division also plays a role in monitoring side. “We monitor how the bank is doing on gender and report on that to the board,” she said.
Gender and development is a vast arena to address even with the resources of a body like the World Bank. There are a number of challenges. “Some countries are still struggling on the basics,” Dr. Klugman said, citing high maternal mortality rates in developing countries, child and early marriage, female genital mutilation, and regions where girls are not even finishing primary school.
When I asked her what was on top of the list, Dr. Klugman said that “violence is way to pervasive.” According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 3 women globally affected by some type of physical or sexual violence.
“I think the second [challenge] which is harder to quantify is around discrimination,” she said. This not only includes laws that exclude women from working in particular sectors or prevent women from acquiring a loan independently, but also relates to self perceptions and aspirations of women and girls, like their expectations about their future, which are often circumscribed.
“Violence is kind of the pointy end but I think discrimination is the underlying driver, ” Dr. Klugman said.
There’s plenty of variation between countries and regions. Dr. Klugman said, “Education is one where there’s been enormous gains over time – in terms of schooling – primary and secondary. The number of tertiary graduates globally is larger for women than for men.”
Dr. Klugman also mentioned the spectrum of issues. From a reverse gender gap of boys dropping out, as seen in the Caribbean, and an increase in women’s labor force participation in Latin America.
Last year the World Bank released it’s 2012 World Development Report on Gender Equality and Development. “This is the first time that the bank had picked up gender as the central issue to be addressed in their flagship report,” Dr. Klugman said.
From the substantive point of view, the report outlines many of the gains and advances, and just how persistent gaps can be in gender and development. Incorporating gender and development into the agenda of the World Bank is particularly important when considering project effectiveness, says Dr. Klugman. More than half the farmers in developing countries are women. If a project is not tailored to women’s needs, then it’s missing most of its target group. It also is important as international institutions and governments plan for growth and build financial structures and services, which should serve the whole population. The World Bank can be effective in addressing financing gaps and raising the prominence and profile of gender and development because of its close relationship with finance ministers and heads of state, Dr. Klugman said.
Listen to the clip below to hear Dr. Klugman’s thoughts on what the biggest questions are in gender and development.
Global Health Corps is building a community of leaders who share a common belief – health is a human right. We embrace a philosophy of active problem solving and partnership that is designed to bring about real and sustainable change. We recognize that serious progress in global health will only be achieved with the skills, time, and passion of a diverse community of leaders.
Global Health Corps selects recent college graduates and young professionals from diverse backgrounds and places them in health non-profits and government offices in the US, East Africa and Southern Africa for a year of service. Through additional GHC training, mentorship, leadership development and community building, these young people complete their fellowship with the skills and support to be change makers in the global health field.
A broad range of fellowship positions are now available on our website. Positions include:
• Pharmacy Supply Chain Analyst at Partners In Health in Rwanda
• eHealth Coordinator at Clinton Health Access Initiative in Uganda
• Advocacy and Communications Officer at PATH in Zambia
• Health and Nutrition Fellow at the Ministry of Health in Burundi
• Project Officer at mothers2mothers in Malawi
• Program Manager at The Grassroot Project in United States
Applications close on January 26, 2014; Fellowships Begin July 2014
Realizing Women’s Rights to Land and Other Productive Resources, published in 2013, is based on the results of an expert group meeting on good practices in realizing women’s rights to productive resources, with a focus on land. The meeting was convened by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), in Geneva, Switzerland, in June 2012.
The report covers a wide range of topics. Following the introduction, there is a background analysis of women’s rights to land overall and a summary of the international dimensions of land issues related to human rights. Chapter I presents an overview of both international and regional legal and policy instruments recognizing women’s rights to land and other productive resources. Building on the human rights principles and standards outlined in chapter I, chapter II discusses ways of advancing a human rights-based approach to women’s rights to land and other productive resources. Chapter III presents recommendations accompanied by explanatory commentaries and good practice examples from countries. They are divided into eight sections: overarching issues and strategies; security of tenure and prohibition of forced eviction; legal systems and access to justice; marriage and family; land law, policy and programming; Institutional implementation; awareness-raising and training; and particular groups of women.
The report recommends strategies to be incorporated in domestic laws, policies and programming. States are encouraged to adopt the recommendations within whichever framework best suits their context.
The first Women’s Worlds Congress was held at Haifa University in December of 1981. It was the first world-wide interdisciplinary gathering to focus on research pertaining to women’s issues and to be open to all interested researchers and activists.
Since then, WWC has taken place every three years in different parts of the world. Hyderabad, India is the location of the 12th Women’s World Conference in 2014, which is hosted by the University of Hyderabad. This congress is initiated by Worldwide Organization of Women’s Studies –WOWS.
The conference invites individual papers, panels and workshops that engage with the conference theme “Gender in a Changing World” from an interdisciplinary perspective. The conference hopes achieve a lot with the varied views, experiences and sharing of women from around the globe and invite you to come and be part of the change we define in our world.
Submissions are due by January 31, 2014.