Wednesday, November 26, 2014

"Report Says: Empowering Women Can Lead to Solutions for Hunger and Poverty"

http://ncronline.org/news/global/empowering-women-can-lead-solutions-hunger-poverty-report-says

..."Fouzia Dahir, founder of the Northern Organization of Social Empowerment in Kenya, spoke about the prominent cultural structures in her home country that limit women's opportunities.
"Where I come from my role should be ... sitting in the kitchen and taking care of the children and stuff like that, and doing the chores, that is the conventional role of women," she said. "We are still inferior to men, and up to today we cannot ... vote unless your husband tells you that you should vote. So we cannot even make those decisions, let alone any other decision in the household."
As the hunger report pointed out, "when the norm is for women to be excluded from decision-making, then they will have little say over policy formation that is in the best interest of everyone."
Gary Barker, founder of Promundo, an organization that seeks to engage men in advocating for gender equality, said men play an important role in changing gender discrepancies, especially when it comes to women's health.
"We're ... engaging men around getting women to have access to the life-saving services they need in terms of maternal health," such as prenatal visits, he said. "What we're seeing is when [a man is] invited in that process, he is more likely to be supportive [and] she is more likely to get the services she needs.
These types of initiatives, Barker said, expand on "what men themselves already want."
"They often want better for their partners and their children," he said. "So we're trying to tap into that to make that possible..."

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