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March 1, 2012 - Invitation to Breakfast Briefing
March 1, 2012 - Invitation to Breakfast Briefing

Dear Friends,

I wanted to share a case study that shows how hunger and food insecurity can make women and girls and men and boys more vulnerable to violence. This is why Women Thrive works on both issues. Please see the synopsis and link to the full story below. Also, attached please find an invitation to our upcoming International Women's Day Breakfast Briefing entitled "From One in Three to None in Three: Women and Girls Living Free of Violence." I hope that you will join us on March 1 at 8:30am EST live via webcast here.

Farm Schools in Uganda Engage Men and Women in Preventing GBV4

In parts of Northern Uganda, evidence has shown a strong correlation between food insecurity and incidences of violence against women. For example, during recent food shortages and dry seasons, when families are most likely to experience hunger, incidents of violence against women have increased. To tackle this underlying cause of violence, FAO teamed up with UNIFEM and UNFPA to launch a network of Farmer Field and Life Schools (FFLS) in 2009 in Uganda’s Northern districts of Amuru, Katakwi and Abim. Through the FFLS, groups of famers, both women and men, gather to learn traditional and modern agricultural practices, such as field  preparation, processing, storage and conversation of natural resources. Additionally, students are taught in classroom settings about nutrition, HIV prevention, and gender-based violence. Also, FFLS members are able to access economic opportunities such as investment loans, credit for school payments and learn business skills such as record-keeping and budgeting. The FFLS also help survivors of violence connect to GBV services such as medical providers, counselors and police. This multifaceted approach to helping women and men to restore their livelihoods has been extremely effective in the prevention ofviolence.

To view the full study, please visit: 

http://www.fao.org/gender/gender-home/gender-projects/gender-projectsdet/en/?dyna_fef[uid]=48118. FAO. “Farm schools in Uganda engage women and men in gender-based violence prevention.” Published 25/11/2010. Accessed online 11 January, 2011:

Links:

DAA members at their quarterly meeting
DAA members at their quarterly meeting

I wanted to share a special update from the field. Lydia Sasu, Executive Director of Development Action Association (our local partner in Ghana), has called on the government to include women farmers on issues and policies relating to climate change. Attached is the original news article of Lydia attending a conference in Durban, South Africa and a picture of DAA members at their quarterly meeting. This is just another example of how you are amplifying the voices of grassroots women leaders around the world. 

Thanks for your support!


Attachments:

Dear GlobalGiving Supporters,

I wanted to send a special thank you to everyone from the GlobalGiving community that supported our work this year. There are a lot of worthy projects on GlobalGiving, and you chose us. That means a lot to us, and we are incredibly grateful. 

We have achieved a lot this year for millions of women and girls worldwide, as described in our year end letter attached. I hope that you will take the time to read it and celebrate the wins.

If you ever have any questions, suggestions for me on how I can keep you better updated on our work, or would like additional information, please feel free to contact me at development@womenthrive.org. 

Thanks again for your support, and best wishes to you and your family this holiday season and the upcoming New Year. 

With warmest regards,

Mei Powers
Manager
Organizational Advancement
Women Thrive Worldwide


Attachments:

Please tune in on Sunday morning (12/18/11) at 9:15 AM EST to watch Ritu Sharma, President and Co-Founder of Women Thrive Worldwide, on CSPAN Washington Journal. The 15 minute interview—covering a range of topics including the international affairs budget, its impact on women, and women's issues in general such as hunger and violence against women—will be followed by a call-in session, where you can call to participate. Please feel free to share via Facebook and Twitter!

Thanks and best wishes this holiday season!
-Mei
DAA Executive Director Lydia Sasu Receives Award
DAA Executive Director Lydia Sasu Receives Award

Women Thrive Worldwide's partner in Ghana, the Development Action Association, hosted an event on this year's World Rural Women's Day to highlight the challeneges that women farmers face continue to face. The event recognized the contributions rural women make towards improving food security, eradicating poverty, and strengthening agricultural development.

Development Action Association (DAA) and Farmers Organisation Network (FONG) organized this year’s meeting around two themes: the role of women farmers in the agricultural value chain and the need for women to claim their right to land and inheritance. Held at Amasaman Assembly Hall in the greater Accra region, the meeting attracted 300 participants, including representatives from the government, civil society, and private sector.

The Program Manager of Action Aid Ghana, Mr. Kwesi Ohemeng-Agyei, served as the keynote speaker for the event. He emphasized that rural women make up a substantial part of the agricultural workforce in developing countries around the world; however, women often have limited access to resources and have little control over how to spend household income. These inequalities, he said, must be addressed on an individual level as well as on a national level through policies and institutions.

Strengthening women’s involvement in agriculture benefits the entire family, community and nation. Chairperson Margaret Kyei Manu, the Regional Director of MOFA Greater Accra, added “Where women are given the opportunity to operate in the agricultural value chain, the chains are much stronger and profit margins are enormous.”

Mr. Daniel Sanchez-Bustamante, Supervisory Program Officer for USAID-Ghana, echoed this message when discussing USAID’s Feed the Future Initiative. He noted that the goals of Feed the Future, including improved nutrition and agricultural growth, cannot be achieved without protecting the rights of women. He reported, “If women had the same access to land, technology, financial services, education and markets as men, we could increase agricultural output by 20 to 30 percent and feed 150 million more people around the world.”

Finally, Ms. Comfort Amaquaye presented an open letter from the Women World Summit Foundation (WWSF). The letter addressed all rural women of the world, encouraging them to know and claim their rights from their governments. Land ownership is a human right and a critical factor in women’s empowerment, and rural women must demand that their legal rights are recognized. 

Links:

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Organization

Project Leader

Mina Alemzadeh

Washington, DC United States

Where is this project located?