All posts tagged: Development

The Importance of Educating Girls

Blog post by Lisa Öhman, intern at Flickaplattformen This text is based on my final thesis for my bachelor in Development Studies. My thesis is a discourse analysis of texts collected from governmental development agencies, analysing their call on the importance of girls’ education. During the past decades, gender and education have become central elements in debates about development aid. Today, almost all international development organizations have included a gender perspective in their work. The reason why education for girls and gender equality have become such central parts of development aid can be traced to the many direct effects it has on economic growth and human welfare. It is often argued in development discourses that educating girls and women is an investment that is worthwhile. This view of girls’ education as a tool for development is often described as instrumentalism. This instrumentalist view on girls’ education has received criticism. The central argument against it is that girls’ education is only seen as being of importance due to its effect on development. I argue that the instrumental theory is …

Potato Salad or Global Public Health: Invest in Something that Matters

I sat with Derek Fetzer, Co-Founder and Team Leader of Caring Crowd in a quaint café in the Johnson & Johnson headquarters during their Global Citizen Summit. He told me about the significance of this new crowdfunding platform and the various ways young leaders in the health sector can become involved. After explaining the purpose of Caring Crowd, he pointed out that Johnson & Johnson is genuinely invested as a sponsor and truly values the needs and wellbeing of those they serve. During his thirty second shark-tank-style pitch, he – the multimillion dollar investor – explained to me why I should donate to a Caring Crowd project. Among some of those reasons were: We are sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Health workers are passionate about their involvement The sole focus is global public health  All projects are registered 501 © 3 The projects on the Caring Crowd platform highlight the power of people working together to ensure the wellbeing of others. In his interview he talked about the easy process for individuals to apply as well …

Herd Boys in Lesotho

Young Thabo left school at nine years of age to tend sheep, goats and cattle in the treacherous mountain passes of Lesotho, in southern Africa. Despite his young age, he lived in complete isolation for months at a time, with only the company of the herd and two dogs. Thabo made the journey back to his family twice a year in the winter, so the animals could be checked, counted, and kept warm for a brief period. Thabo’s interactions with people were strained – he was accustomed to hitting and yelling at stubborn animals to express his displeasure and get results. If hitting and yelling worked with his herd, why not with people? In the solitude of the mountains, Thabo’s word was law. There was no one to ask permission from and no one to guide him about what was right and wrong. In a world where aggression was a survival tactic, he knew no other way. Sexual violence, rape, and physical abuse were acceptable. Thabo believed that it was his right as a man …

Finding Perspective on World Water Day

Post Written by Jennifer Iacovelli Three weeks after I realized my marriage was ending, I traveled to Nicaragua with WaterAid on an insight trip representing Mom Bloggers for Social Good. We visited the most remote areas of the country to see the work that WaterAid was doing with communities lacking clean water access and basic sanitation. It was a life-changing experience that allowed me to gain a tremendous amount of perspective. I met women and teens who were trained by WaterAid to build wells and toilets for their communities. These were women whose husbands were typically away during the week working in the city, and teen girls who missed a tremendous amount of school, if they went at all, because of their household responsibilities. Fetching water from the river took up valuable time that they could have used to work or go to school. The training allowed them to not only gain valuable skills and earn money, but it also empowered them to become leaders in their community. A few of the women even got …

We Did It! Making the SDGs A Reality for Girls

By Christal Parris-Campbell In 2015, I had the pleasure of attending the Post 2015 Inter-Governmental Negotiations at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. It was an incredible experience during which I witnessed first-hand the shaping of the future world in the next fifteen years time along with the ratification of the Sustainable Development Goals for the United Nations General Assembly. An Inter-Governmental Negotiation (IGN) takes place at the United Nations Headquarters amongst numerous member states, member groups and civil society. The IGN that I attended as an NGO delegate and member of Advocates for Youth’s Girl Engagement Advisory Board was the final negotiation to be held concerning the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Given that this was the final negotiation, most of the goals and targets had already been established and were no longer on the table for amendment. Therefore, our role as civil society was primarily to liaise with member states along with participating in a number of press conferences and formulating creative ways to get the attention of the co-facilitators so that they would …

Women, Peace, and Security: What’s to come?

​This month marks the fifteenth anniversary of the United Nation’s Security Council Resolution 1325, which is the building block of the entire Women, Peace, and Security Agenda (WPS). This resolution mandates that women be involved in all aspects of peace and security. The WPS Agenda acknowledges the disproportionate and unique impact conflict has on women and girls and calls for a gendered perspective in addressing the special needs of women and girls during conflict. This includes reparations, resettlement, rehabilitation, reintegration and many other aspects of post-conflict reconstruction. ​​This historic resolution, since its adoption on October 31st, 2000, has been expanded upon through six other resolutions, and it is speculated that an open debate held on October 13th will result in a seventh. These expansions have been called for by many civil society organizations and implemented by the United Nations Security Council. One of the resolutions most prominent expansions was UNSCR 1820, which recognizes sexual violence as a weapon and tactic of war. This means that “rape and other forms of sexual violence can constitute a …

“Countries Should Thrive, Not Just Survive.”

Opening up the panel, Greg Beck, FHI 360‘s Director of Integrated Development, told the story of one particular attempt to aid in relief efforts. After great effort, and amassing donations and supplies, they opened boxes to find stacks of things like inflateable toilets and acne cream. Asked Beck, “How is this going to help anybody rebuild their life?” Beck’s point was an extreme example of a nonetheless integral point: development and aid are not straightforward, not simple. They don’t consist of simply hurling donations and good intentions at a problem, and hoping something sticks. The term ‘integrated development’ means just that—that development is complex and requires coordinated, planned effort across sectors. It operates around the idea that development does not exist problem by problem, sector by sector. You can’t improve global health without improving education without improving women’s rights. Naturally, there are some specific efforts that require a concentrated approach, but overall, a holistic view is more effective, and organizations and governments need to address what people really lack in the complex, multilayered environments in which …

Building Sustainable Futures

This post was authored by Sacha Green-Atchley and Katy Bullard on behalf of the Coalition for Adolescent Girls.  Climate change is a complex, and contentious, reality of the modern world. Intensified by human activities, climate change decreases the availability of food and clean water, exacerbates public health concerns, and destroys ecosystems and secure living environments.  Adolescent girls are particularly vulnerable to the various effects of climate change, including natural disasters, droughts, and the displacement that results from such events.  Unfortunately, despite evidence pointing to women’s increased risk compared to men and emerging findings on the potential role of including girls in mitigating their own risk, little is being done to address girls’ specific needs and potential contributions to sustainability work. Various members of the Coalition for Adolescent Girls are exploring the effects of climate change on the lives of adolescent girls. These effects include reduced access to education and health services, increased rates of early and forced marriage, and higher vulnerability to water-borne diseases and assault. We spoke with Natalie Elwell, Senior Gender Advisor at …

From MDGs to SDGs: Stepping into the World We Want

In Africa, there is a common phrase that says, “When the drummers change their beat, the dancers must change their steps.” In September, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are set to be adopted by Heads of States at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). This meeting will bring together developed and developing countries, politicians, private sector leaders, civil society organizations, faith groups and others to adopt a set of 17 goals that aim to  take forward the job that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set in motion by intensifying action to empower the poorest and the hardest to reach. Will the global community be dancing to a new beat that will truly be transformative and have a positive impact on the lives of women and girls or will the new development agenda play out like a broken record? The following are a few reflections of the proposed 2030 agenda: Looking Back – What Worked The MDGs have been praised for being useful tool in providing benchmarks for the achievement of special development gains, for priority …