The Prize carries a $100,000 cash award and honors African women and men from all sectors who have demonstrated outstanding leadership for the well being of Africa’s people. Founded in 1987, the Prize has given early recognition to leaders such as Wangari Maathai and Graça Machel, as well as to heads of state such as Nelson Mandela and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. I hope you will nominate someone for this year’s Prize. There are details and a simple online nomination form at www.africaprize.org. Nominations are due by May 31, 2011.
Rekha Mehra, director economic development, and David Kauck, senior gender and agriculture specialist, provide an insightful analysis on practical measures needed to address critical issues facing women farmers (particularly given the release of the new US govt. hunger and food security initiative) at the Katrine Chronicals Blog. Go to the post or read the text (pasted below)
Source: Katrine Chronicals Blog
“Most notable about Feed the Future, the US government’s recent initiative to tackle global hunger and food security, is its emphasis on women – unprecedented in the US and timely. More than three decades of work on women and agriculture at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) suggests that improving women farmers’ access to appropriate resources, technologies, markets and land will pay multiple dividends in the form of increased agricultural productivity and, ultimately, improved household nutrition. In fact, according to the US state department’s, Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative consultation document, economic output could be increased by 15%-40% and under-nutrition reduced by 15 million children by providing women with assets equal to those of men.
Women are crucial to the health and wellbeing of their families and communities, and national economic growth. Take, for example, India’s economic transformation: according to the World Bank, Indian states with the highest percentage of women in the labour force grew the fastest and had the largest reductions in poverty. However, the barriers are considerable – women in Africa constitute the majority of farmers, yet they receive less than 10% of small farm credit and own just 1% of land.
It is then an exceptional opportunity that the US government has stated explicitly that not only will consideration of gender be a cross-cutting priority in all of its investments and activities, but also that it will help partner countries and implementing agencies strengthen their ability to address the negative impact of unequal access to and control over assets that affect women at all stages of the agriculture value chain. It is time to use the momentum and turn rhetoric into an action plan for implementation.
The critical next steps to consider in addressing gender issues and ending global hunger are three-fold: how to practically improve women’s access to agricultural resources such as seeds, fertilisers, credit; how to improve women’s access to agricultural information, services and training and how to help women farmers become better integrated into wider commercial markets.
ICRW has ideas and recommendations about the “how to” based on our research and through talking directly with women farmers in developing countries. Here are our six recommendations: Read the rest of this entry »
The Congressional Hunger Center has announced that host organization applications are now being accepted for the 6th class of Leland International Hunger Fellows (2011-2013). The Mickey Leland International Hunger Fellowship is a unique leadership development opportunity for experienced, motivated individuals seeking to make a difference in the struggle to eliminate hunger and poverty worldwide. This two-year program begins with a one-year field placement in countries throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Fellows are assigned to national and international non-governmental organizations, private sector entities, and bi-lateral and multi-lateral organizations. Fellows spend their second year in a policy environment, usually at the headquarters of the organizations where they served during their field placements. Field and policy assignments, closely coordinated, are designed to be complementary.
(Woman farmer in Ethiopia. Source: IFPRI)
On Thursday morning, Secretary Geithner will meet with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Bill Gates, Canadian Finance Minister James Flaherty, Spanish Second Vice President and Minister of Finance Elena Salgado, South Korean Finance Minster Yoon Jeung-Hyun and World Bank President Robert Zoellick at Treasury to discuss a new, GASFSP Initiative, a joint effort to fight global hunger and poverty. There will be a pooled camera spray at the top of the meeting and an open press announcement to follow.
11:00 AM EDT Announcement on International Commitment to Fight Global Hunger and Poverty
The event will also be streamed live on http://www.treasury.gov.
“Worldwide, women and girls bear the brunt of poverty, hunger and discrimination, comprising more than 60 percent of the world’s chronically hungry – now charted at a record one billion people. Inherited hunger – when malnourished mothers give birth to malnourished children – is a huge obstacle to development, from Afghanistan to Haiti.”
Reuters, March 7