Why women deserve to be counted

Via @WomenDeliver by #SanjoyPatnaik @Landesa_Global #SustainDev

Women spinning cotton train under the Women’s Economic Empowerment Project in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Incorporating women’s rights and prioritizing their participation is necessary for successful sustainable development. Photo by: Eskinder Debebe / United Nations / CC BY-NC-ND

[Quote from article on@devex. Read full article here.]

In his July 26 speech to a packed Safaricom Indoor Arena in Nairobi, Kenya, U.S. President Barack Obama told his audience that “any nation that fails to educate its girls or employ its women and allow them to maximize their potential is doomed to fall behind in a global economy….” Continue reading here.

He went on to state that this is “one of the most successful development policies you can pursue….” Continue reading here.

“Unfortunately, it is also one of the most often missed development policies.

To illustrate how our best of intentions routinely miss the mark and exclude women and girls, I’d like to introduce Ulli Gauda, a 35-year-old single woman from a remote village in Odisha, an eastern province of India.” Continue reading here.

My organization had partnered with local officials to identify and count all of the poorest of the poor — the landless poor — in Ulli’s area of the country. What we received back from our field team was thousands of names — the overwhelming majority of them male. So we went back into the field and found Ulli and tens of thousands of women like her — young mothers who had been abandoned by their husbands, widows, single mothers — all of them living lives dominated by vulnerability and poverty.

We convinced our government partners that these women deserved to be counted. By counting the thousands of landless women within their jurisdictions, governments can connect them to the resources they need to thrive. A small plot of land on which to live and farm can empower these women to better provide for their families and climb out of poverty.” Continue reading here.

“This is not just a problem for state or local governments. As we have witnessed in our work with a variety of organizations and governments, there is no shortage of well-meaning development projects that have ignored or sidelined women’s issues.…” Continue reading here.

A wealth of research makes clear that women’s land rights, in particular, is crosscutting and can have a ripple effect that can leverage progress on a number of critical development goals — including child nutrition, poverty alleviation, and women’s social and economic empowerment.

“You know, we’re in a sports center,” Obama said in his speech in Nairobi. “Imagine if you have a team and you don’t let half of the team play. That’s stupid. That makes no sense.”

But getting the whole “team” on the field requires more than just the removal of obstacles for women and girls. It requires the global development community to create policies, programs, goals and targets that intentionally count women — and prioritize their participation.” Continue reading here

Read more about the Sustaining Development campaign .

Devex

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