Category Archives: Women

When women have land rights the tide begins to turn

IPS
By Manipadma Jena

This story is part of special IPS coverage of the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, observed on June 17.

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Women’s secure tenure rights lead to several positive development outcomes for them and their families, including resilience to climate change shocks, economic productivity, food security, health, and education. Here a young tribal woman works shoulder to shoulder with her husband planting rice saplings in India’s Rayagada province. Credit: Manipadma Jena/IPS

NEW DELHI, Jun 12 2017 (IPS) – In Meghalaya, India’s northeastern biodiversity hotspot, all three major tribes are matrilineal. Children take the mother’s family name, while daughters inherit the family lands.

Because women own land and have always decided what is grown on it and what is conserved, the state not only has a strong climate-resistant food system but also some of the rarest edible and medicinal plants, researchers said.

While their ancient culture empowers Meghalaya’s indigenous women with land ownership that vastly improves their resilience to the food shocks climate change springs on them, for an overwhelming majority of women in developing countries, culture does not allow them even a voice in family or community land management. Nor do national laws support their rights to own the very land they sow and harvest to feed their families.

The importance of protecting the full spectrum of women’s property rights becomes even more urgent as the number of women-led households in rural areas around the world continues to grow.

Continue reading When women have land rights the tide begins to turn

The girls aiming to change Africa: young activists speak out

The Guardian

Five activists from countries across Africa talk about the issues that affect their lives, from disability rights to gender equality and FGM

Teenage girls in Uganda. Activists attending a recent mentorship meeting in Kampala discussed strategies for championing the rights of women and girls in Africa. Photograph: AfriPics.com/Alamy
Teenage girls in Uganda. Activists attending a recent mentorship meeting in Kampala discussed strategies for championing the rights of women and girls in Africa. Photograph: AfriPics.com/Alamy

Alon Mwesigwa in Kampala

Last month, 30 girls’ rights activists aged between 13 and 19 from six African countries – Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, Malawi and South Africa – attended a mentor-ship and empowerment meeting in Kampala.
“At its most simple, the girls will change Africa,” said Happy Mwende Kinyili, a senior program officer at international women’s fund Mama Cash, which sponsored the event. “They will do that because they know what they want and they will go for what they want. When others see that, their worlds will also change. It is important that it is girls from different parts of Africa, because it is about changing Africa.”

According to Mama Cash, the meeting was intended for “the girls to learn, train, grow, network and strategies together – strengthening the next generation of feminist activists”.

We spoke to some of the attendees about the big issues they face as girls and young women in their countries, and asked them what they would like to see changed. Continue reading The girls aiming to change Africa: young activists speak out

Catholic sisters network, share hope on social justice issues

National Catholic Reporter

Jeannine Gramick

workshop-sAbout 150 women, and a sprinkling of men, from more than 100 congregations in 26 states and Canada, gathered in Cleveland, Ohio, for a national convocation, entitled “Entering the Transforming Future: Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) Ministry in the Coming Age of Religious Life.” It marked the first time that social justice advocates from congregations of women religious met together.

The timing of the conference, November 11-13, coincided with the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. Although scheduling was coincidental, Dorothy Pagosa, SSJ-TOSF, one of the event planners, felt it was “an example of evolutionary consciousness.” Continue reading Catholic sisters network, share hope on social justice issues

LCWR Welcomes President Obama’s Executive Action

LCWR:
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) welcomes President Barack Obama’s decision to use his constitutional authority to address the brokenness of our immigration system; alleviate the suffering of many immigrant families; and begin to heal our national community.

The president’s executive action will provide temporary relief to millions of our neighbors, including mothers and fathers living in fear of deportation and children who worry that their parents could be taken from them at any moment. These measures will serve to stabilize families, communities, and economies and reaffirm the values upon which this nation was founded. Continue reading LCWR Welcomes President Obama’s Executive Action

Rural women working toward empowerment

Latin American Press

Carmen Herrera

Campesino women’s organizations demand economic autonomy in public and productive sectors.

Rural women demand access to the resources and means for production, like land. (Photo: Sergio Cruz)
Rural women demand access to the resources and means for production, like land. (Photo: Sergio Cruz)

Of the 1.1 million women who live in rural Nicaragua, only 23.2 percent own their land, in parcels ranging from (0.9 to 8.7 acres), according to the 4th National Agricultural Census (2011).

Nevertheless, according to the leaders of campesino women’s organizations who gathered for the International Day of Rural Women on October 15, as the land parcel size increases, the number of women-owners decreases. Continue reading Rural women working toward empowerment

Bring Back Our Journalists

Foreign Policy

The sloppy, pop-humanitarian coverage of the Boko Haram cease-fire-that-wasn’t isn’t just bad journalism — it’s a missed opportunity.

BY Lauren Wolfe   
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There was never any cease-fire. War in Nigeria will not end anytime soon and the hundreds of schoolgirls from the northeastern town of Chibok kidnapped back in April will not — not now, maybe not ever — be coming home. So announces the leader of Boko Haram, the militant group that has brought all this havoc to the country, in a video released Oct. 31. Continue reading Bring Back Our Journalists

Women Challenged by Rising Extremism and Militarism

A woman and child at Za’atri refugee camp, host to tens of thousands of Syrians displaced by conflict, near Mafraq, Jordan. Credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten
A woman and child at Za’atri refugee camp, host to tens of thousands of Syrians displaced by conflict, near Mafraq, Jordan. Credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 6 2014 (IPS) – Ongoing military conflicts in the strife-torn Middle East – specifically in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Palestine – have resulted in widespread civilian casualties, impacting heavily on the most vulnerable in besieged communities: women and children.

The biggest death toll has stemmed from the civil war in Syria, currently in its fourth year, followed by casualties from the devastating 50-day Israeli air attacks on Gaza last August. Continue reading Women Challenged by Rising Extremism and Militarism