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Empowering women for sustainable energy solutions to address climate change: experiences from UN Women and UNDP-UNEP PEI Africa

23 Sep 2016 01:34:21 GMT

Renewable, clean energy and gender equality are preconditions for sustainable development and for tackling climate change, as envisioned by the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030. Women’s knowledge, empowerment and collective action are central  to  finding and building more environmentally sustainable pathways to manage our environment; adapt to climate change; and secure access to sustainable energy.

The experiences documented in this paper provide an overview of lessons learned which can help address bottlenecks and inform the way forward for gender-responsive climate, energy and environment policies and programmes. These can be summarised as follows:
  • women need to be involved in decision making and play a leadership role in promoting decentralized renewable energy access; they also need to benefit from renewable energy for economic empowerment
  • apply a cross-sectoral approach to gender, climate and energy policy and programming
  • promote women’s productive use of renewable energy, and reduce women’s time dedicated to unpaid care and domestic work
  • target policy processes and build capacity to mainstream gender, climate and energy in an integrated manner
  • remove investment barriers and create equal opportunities for women’s entrepreneurship and decent employment and access to technologies
  • influence budget processes to fund the implementation of gender-sensitive energy and climate solutions

Not ready, still waiting: Governments have a long way to go in preparing to address gender inequality and the SDGs

22 Sep 2016 04:37:01 GMT

Governments urgently need to improve their policy readiness if they want to have any chance of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on inequalities. Governments in developing countries do not yet have the laws and policies in place to allow them to achieve SDG 5 on gender equality and SDG 10 on reduced inequality within and among countries.

In ActionAid’s study, only three of ten developing countries had over 65% of key inequality-reducing policies in place.2 To make things worse, rich countries are not adequately supporting developing countries to achieve the SDGs, contrary to SDG 17’s aim to 2revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development". Indeed, some rich countries’ domestic and development policies deepen inequalities globally. Ultimately, governments' failure to address women’s inequalities may jeopardise achievement of all SDGs.

In this report, ActionAid looks at where governments are policy ready and where they are not, identifying where key policies, laws and supportive environments will allow governments to take the first step towards greater economic and gender equality.

To improve their policy readiness to achieve the SDGs, civil society and national governments should:

  • from those who currently hold power and influence, including multilateral institutions, rich-country governments, elite groups, and multinational corporations, and towards developing country governments and their people
  • develop and hold governments accountable to redistributive national plans with policies that support the accomplishment of the SDGs. Such policies would aim to: recognise, redistribute and reduce women’s unpaid care work; improve opportunities for decent work and wages for women and young people; stop violence against women and girls; improve women’s mobility, and their capacity to organise and participate in decision- making at all levels; improve women’s access to education and health, and their access to and control over natural and economic resources

  • put in place appropriate systems, governance, financial support, and monitoring and evaluation programmes so policies can be designed with a genuine “feminist lens” insisting that women’s development potential be at the centre of analysis and decisions. Those systems should be implemented with sufficient information, infrastructure and budget, and rigorously monitored by women and girls who are given the power to hold decision-makers accountable

Gender analysis in building climate resilience in Da Nang: challenges and solutions

22 Sep 2016 03:39:30 GMT

Climate resilience is more likely to be achieved when men and women fully participate in planning, decision making and implementation. This study looks at what roles men and women play in climate change planning and action, and to what extent women’s needs and capacity are fully taken into account. It focuses on Da Nang, Vietnam, a city extremely vulnerable to climate change.

The three core components of urban climate resilience - systems, institutions and agents - which have been used by the Institute for Social and Environmental Transition (ISET) since 2012, were examined through the gender lens by conducting a series of stakeholder consultations and household interviews.

The results indicate that (i) Da Nang has paid increasing attention to gender equality and the empowerment of women in general administration, policy making and implementation; (ii) social norms and gender biases still exist but they are not thought to be especially serious; (iii) both male and female groups are engaged in the process of planning and approving policies, plans and strategies on climate change; and (iv) gender relations have recently been given a positive signal in the form of support from a robust legal system and the formation of women’s associations within the municipal administrative system.

Gender specific vulnerability in climate change and possible sustainable livelihoods of coastal people. a case from Bangladesh

22 Sep 2016 03:29:42 GMT

Gender differences in vulnerability to climate change related disaster is severe in Bangladesh. Like many other developing countries of the world, Bangladeshi women have limited access to resources and decision making power. They carry the major responsibility for household water supply, as well as, energy gathering for cooking and food security. As a result, women face multiple challenges in coastal area because their gendered labour roles are severely affected by climate change.
The paper addresses the gender specific vulnerability of coastal people in climatic hazards in Bangladesh. This study has been conducted by qualitative methods with some qualitative tools i.e. Key Informants Interview (KII) and Focus Group Discussion (FGD) to get the vivid and comprehensive views about gender specific susceptibility of climate induced hazards from social, gender, cultural and behavioral perspectives. The paper explores the gender specific vulnerability of climate change and possible sustainable livelihoods of coastal people in Bangladesh.
This paper finds that climate change is not gender neutral. It affects men and women differently for their roles and responsibilities in the society. Women’s roles are often confined to household labour such as looking after children and ailing people, as well as disaster specific roles such as saving properties from obliteration. These roles make women particularly vulnerable in natural hazards. By contrast, men’s roles often include working outside and so are more likely to escape natural hazards.
The paper also finds that woman’s dependency on natural resources is severely affected by climate change variability which causes vulnerability to women in natural hazards. This paper outlines key considerations of gender and climate change that can helps policy makers improve policy and implementation for the diminution of vulnerability of women in Bangladesh as well as developing countries of the world.

Understanding gender in community-based adaptation: practitioner brief

22 Sep 2016 02:41:28 GMT

Accessing weather forecasts, having control over land, being able to influence decision-making processes, being backed by a community group, or being literate and educated are examples of the human and material resources through which people can act on the consequences of climate change. They are also strongly influenced by what makes up people’s social and economic position in society – for example gender, age, ethnicity or religion. In other words, the degree to which a person, family or community suffers from – or thrives in – climatic shocks, weather extremes and uncertainty, or changes in the environment and economy, strongly depend on these and other social factors. People’s social and economic roles and positions in society shift and change over time and for many reasons – media and communication technologies, transportation and urbanisation trends, changing markets, and last but not least shifts in the climate and environment, etc. are all having impacts on them.
Gender is an important part of these shifting social factors, and as such continuously shapes vulnerability to climate change and people’s capacity to adapt. Gender inequality continues to be one of the most persistent and widespread forms of social inequality across the world. And yet, while its importance is increasingly recognised by policy makers and practitioners working to address climate change, its role in adapting to climate change is often poorly understood, or simply misunderstood.
Integrating gender into community-based adaptation:
  • is essential for practitioners and communities to ground the adaptation process in a good understanding of the context, existing vulnerabilities and capacities
  • is essential for communities to ensure the processes and actions they choose are relevant to both men and women in different social settings
  • helps practitioners and communities understand why and how gender groups can be vulnerable to climate change in different ways, and how this changes over time
  • helps to ensure decision-making power is more equally distributed between different social groups affected by climatic changes
  • is required for community-based adaptation to contribute to the transformation of long-standing, deeply rooted barriers to developmen

Gender analysis in building climate resilience in Da Nang: challenges and solutions

08 Sep 2016 10:42:46 GMT

Although the legal framework for gender equality exists in Vietnam, gender mainstreaming in climate change planning and action have not yet been fully realised and addressed by local actors. In Da Nang, a gendered view to climate resilience building was also a new approach for the city and local authorities and vulnerable communities. This study examines the gender issue through the climate resilience lens within the context of Da Nang to see how gender and its link to climate change was locally perceived and at what level(s) gender equality and women's role were appreciated and incorporated into climate change planning and action.

The study applied the Resilience Framework provided by the Institute for Social and Environmental Transition (ISET) to examine the linkages of gender and climate change resilience building. Three key components of this Framework, Agent , Institution and System , were then used to analyse the data collected from the stakeholder consultations and field survey.

The key research findings include:

  • in Da Nang, gender relations have recently been given a positive signal
  • the lack of specific instructions on gendered relations is likely to cause local actors to underestimate the importance of gendered interventions in practice; and
  • the greater vulnerability of women is not merely due to social or gender biases but also because of their own physical weaknesses.

Three important policy implications generated from the study are:

  • the necessity of improving women’s capacity to address their vulnerability
  • the necessity of having supportive mechanisms to enable full participation of women in planning and decision making
  • the necessity of integrating gender-sensitive indicators into plans and strategies to guide gendered interventions in practice.

Supporting women farmers in a changing climate: five policy lessons

02 Sep 2016 12:52:05 GMT

Recent research presented at a seminar in Paris co-organized by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), the International Social Science Council (ISSC) and Future Earth produced five key policy recommendations for supporting women farmers in a changing climate.

Key recommendations:

  • new technologies and practices for climate change will be adopted more successfully when they are appropriate to women’s interests, resources and demands
  • extension and climate information services need to serve women and men
  • institutions need to take into account women’s priorities and support their adaptive capacity
  • women's capacity as farmers and innovators needs to be recognized and supported; and
  • climate policy processes should go beyond numerical representation of women to create active mechanisms to express opinions, take initiatives, and influence decisions

Gender-responsive climate policies and programmes include:

  • a gender component as a qualifying criterion to access international funding
  • design that is informed by needs assessments that distinguish women's and men's needs and priorities.
  • monitoring and assessment indicators of real change in gender and social inclusion

Seeds of adaptation Climate change, crop diversification and the role of women farmers

02 Sep 2016 12:43:30 GMT

Farmers’ own seed systems are at the heart of food security. These systems are currently under stress due to political, social, economic and environmental changes. Women farmers play key roles in these systems. However, they are often overlooked by researchers and development personnel, policies and programshe examples of Bhutan and South Africa illustrate the key role of women farmers in local climate change adaptation efforts and how these efforts in turn are changing local agro-ecological and socioeconomic landscapes. Yet, research and development programs and projects pay insufficient attention to the successes and challenges of such farmers’ efforts.
The examples of Bhutan and South Africa illustrate the key role of women farmers in local climate change adaptation efforts and how these efforts in turn are changing local agro-ecological and socioeconomic landscapes. Yet, research and development programs and projects pay insufficient attention to the successes and challenges of such farmers’ efforts.
More attention and support is needed to:
  • encourage the safeguarding and improvement of local plant species and varieties maintained by smallholder farmers and their communities, recognizing the central role of women
  • value and reward farmers’ collective efforts to safeguard and improve agricultural biodiversity and associated cultural values and knowledge
  • support farmers technically and financially to organize themselves and strengthen their organizational capacity, taking into consideration the leadership role of women


Interlinkages between climate change and sexual and reproductive health

02 Sep 2016 01:41:33 GMT

Reviewing the Nepalese government's climate change policy showed that the government do not have any policies addressing the linkages between climate change and sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR). There are separate policies on climate change which is looked after by the Ministry of Environment Sciences and Technologies, and the policies on sexual and reproductive health which are looked upon by the Ministry of health. As climate change and SRHR issues are interrelated, impacting women's health and livelihoods. Hence, it is important to have policy coordination and integrated response to the field realities from government's side.

The analysis of the data in this study showed that the women and girls are the ones mostly affected by adverse impact of climate change. The major reason behind this is increased frequency of natural disasters which increase the work burden on women, This increased physical and mental stress on women have directly impacted their sexual and reproductive health and the impact of climate change on agriculture has triggered the situation of food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition.

Voices from the field: using Photovoice to explore impacts of climate change on mental health in Nepal

02 Sep 2016 01:24:20 GMT

Photovoice is a participatory research method that uses photos as a tool for deconstructing problems and questions raised by community members, with the goal of generating actionable solutions. The method enhances and builds community by allowing members to identify, reflect on, and address their own needs.

“The photovoice method involves participants in the research process as much as possible and , as a result, is a very collaborative and community -enhancing process,” said Libby King MacFarlane, who used the technique in Nepal to address issues of climate change and mental health. “Using images as a point of contact to start discussing complex community topics allows people to unpack issues slowly and organically until they arrive at an actionable solution,” she explained.
It was evident in the exit interviews that the women recognised the benefits of sharing environmental best practices and the importance of building community capacity to adapt to and mitigate environmental issues in the community. They also reported feeling more confident and recognized the importance of sharing stories to ease pain. After the photovoice sessions , the women showed significant improvements in depression, anxiety, and resilience scores compared to before the sessions, further supporting the positive mental health outcomes reported by the women.

Gender and international climate policy: an analysis of progress in gender equality at COP21

02 Sep 2016 01:06:37 GMT

While women play an important role in agriculture, environmental and natural resource management, they have greater financial or resource constraints, and lower levels of access to information and extension services than men. Because of these gender inequalities, women appear to be less able to adapt to climate change.

Key message:

  • gender is not well integrated into climate change policy in relation to agriculture
  • policy makers need to t ak e into account the differential vuln erabilities of men and women farmers to climate change
  • in spite of their vulnerabilities to climate change, rural women can be important agents of change and innovators. This potential can be best tapped into by co-designing climate-smart technologies and practices with women
  • gender receives attention in about 40% of the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) submitted ahead of COP21, none from Annex 1 countries
  • gender references are confined mostly to impacts of climate change on women and women as "€œvulnerable populations", with less emphasis on supporting women to actively address and participate in adaptation and mitigation actions
  • the use of the term "€gender-responsive"€ in the Paris Agreement is a big step forward, however the Agreement fails to move beyond the attitude of women as victims of climate change in need of capacity building
  • stronger steps need to be taken for real gender equality in climate policies, including better monitoring and evaluation of the progress

Gender approaches in climate compatible development: lessons from Kenya

30 Aug 2016 10:44:04 GMT

Gender is an important driver of vulnerability to climate risks, and a key factor to consider in developing effective policy responses to climate change and development challenges. In recent years, there have been a number of efforts to support gender equality as part of responses to climate change. However, gaps remain in drawing lessons from such efforts. This is especially true when it comes to understanding how gender relations affect people’s ability to adapt in urban settings. Given the impact that climate change and extreme weather events are having on urban populations around the world, there is a clear need to provide more evidence to inform climate change and development interventions.

This report examines gender and climate change in relation to efforts to support climate compatible development, a policy goal that aims to integrate and draw synergies between adaptation, mitigation and development. The report’s focus is a case study of Kisumu, Kenya, drawing lessons from the five-year project People’s Plans into Practice (PPP): Building Productive and Liveable Settlements with Slum Dwellers in Kisumu and Kitale.
Using the PPP project as a starting point, the study addressed four related questions.
  • first, what does a gender-sensitive approach mean in Kisumu?
  • second, what is the evidence for how integrating gender-sensitive approaches may help to promote people’s empowerment?
  • third, what are the constraints and opportunities in promoting gender-sensitive approaches in interventions to support climate compatible development?
  • finally, the report asks whether and how gender-sensitive approaches may support climate compatible development outcomes. The report is part of a global study, with case studies in India, Kenya and Peru
The study shows the complexities of gender relations and climate change in urban areas in Kisumu, highlighting the main lessons from the PPP project, and charting some of the key opportunities and challenges for integrating gender in interventions to support climate compatible development.

Responding to the Safety and Security Needs of LGBTI Communities and Organisations: A situational analysis of Malawi, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe

24 Aug 2016 12:48:28 GMT

The Safety and Security Project within Hivos’s (Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries) LGBTI Programme aims to ensure that LGBTI persons are able to live and work within safe communities without the fear of persecution, physical or property harm or intimidation, and with the full enjoyment of their human rights. Hivos has for several years been supporting the work of LGBTI organisations and more recently has responded on an ad hoc basis to security issues faced by organisations and individuals. Given the nature, extent and on-going occurrence of safety and security threats to LGBTI individuals and organisations, Hivos saw the need to review its strategy in regard to LGBTI hate crimes in the region in order to develop a more coherent and sustainable strategy.

This review sets out to assess and address the follwing issues in South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe: 

  • The extent and level of threats of homophobic violence experienced by LGBTI groups and individuals; 
  • To identify prevention, response and mitigation mechanisms employed by organisations; 
  • To identify safety and security tools and capacities in place; 
  • To look at the types and levels of support available to individuals and organisations that are targeted by homophobic violence and threats; 
  • To review safety and security programmes and strategies to prevent and respond to homophobic violence targeted at LGBTI communities; 
  • and To make recommendations to Hivos in regard to providing further support for LGBTI organisations and individuals in the region

Research Methods and Visualisation Tools for Online LGBT Communities

24 Aug 2016 12:34:42 GMT

Field research among geographically dispersed communities is time-consuming and costly. When people are stigmatised, field research has additional ethical and logistical problems. In many countries lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are both geographically dispersed and stigmatised. Online research methods and tools are therefore particularly interesting instruments for researchers and activists who work with LGBT communities. In countries where same-sex relations are criminal, such as in the Middle East and North Africa region, online communities can be the only way for LGBT people to relate to peers (ILGA 2014). Even in countries where access to social media and publishing on the internet is legally restricted, LGBT people have large online communities (Oosterhoff, Hoang and Quach 2014).

This methodology brief outlines the main steps and considerations for choosing research methods and data visualisation among LGBT individuals in resource-poor settings. Although this report focuses on LGBT, online data collection and data visualisation have broader relevance for thinktanks, whose targeted audiences increasingly function in complex digital environments.

Tools and tactics for the LGBTI community in the Middle-East and North Africa | security in-a-box

24 Aug 2016 12:14:42 GMT

Tactical Tech have created a guide: Tools and Tactics for the LGBTI community in the Middle-East and North Africa (MENA). This is the first in the series of Security in-a-box Community Focus guides, which aim to further integrate digital security into the context of particular communities and human rights defenders.

This guide was created specifically for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual and Intersex individuals and human rights defenders in the MENA region, and was written in collaboration with human rights defenders from the community. The guide was written and published in the context of continuous and determined legal, religious, social, economic and digital marginalisation and harassment of the LGBTI community in most of the region.

The guide explores common threats, such as entrapment, extortion, harassment, and unauthorised access to devices and then links to the tools and tactics which can help LGBTI persons in the MENA region to stay safe.

The guide includes all the existing chapters of the Security in-a-Box toolkit (created in collaboration with Frontline Defenders), as well as testimonies of human rights defenders from the community, examples and accounts of attacks, and additional chapters on Risk Analysis and Safer Use of Internet Cafes and LGBTI dating sites.

Supporting Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Intersex human rights defenders in the digital age

24 Aug 2016 02:55:58 GMT

The widespread diffusion of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) has empowered activists and minority communities to spread information, campaign, build communities and challenge injustice in new and powerful ways. The LGBTI activist community has been no exception to this, as the increased potential for communication beyond established social channels, less confined by social norms and geographic isolation has facilitated LGBTI people’s expression and development of identity and ability to join forces to challenge the dangers and injustices faced by the community. 

However, the spread of ICTs have also created new opportunities for antagonists to subject human rights defenders’ to entrapment, control, intimidation and harassment. This has led to the need for an awarenessraising and capacity-building effort in order to strengthen Human Rights Defenders’ (HRDs) capacities to react against emerging threats to their wellbeing from the digital space. Over the past decade, Tactical Technology Collective (Tactical Tech) has been at the forefront of this movement. Working with actors in the field of Human Rights, including Front Line Defenders, Tactical Tech’s effort has spawned the development of a range of toolkits and guides, awareness-raising and training initiatives in order to build capacities among HRDs in terms of their wellbeing, the security of their communities and the safeguarding of their information and privacy. 
This article details the development and content of the first such materials to be developed with this in mind – a digital security guide for the Arabic-speaking LGBTI community – the first version of which was launched in September of 2013

Inclusion and Security of LGBTI Workers

24 Aug 2016 02:38:17 GMT

RedR UK and EISF hosted a workshop on Friday 22nd January 2016, exploring current practices and issues that international development and humanitarian organisations’ encounter when approaching the inclusion and security of both international and national LGBTI aid workers. The need for this workshop arose from the lack of current discussion on these topics, as well as the wide-scale lack of adequate polices or best practices in ensuring the inclusion and security of workers within the humanitarian and development sectors. Related to this is the huge lack of available data on the experiences of LGBTI aid workers, including; regional and country data on the number of aid workers identifying as LGBTI, any correlation or trends between identifying as LGBTI and the type and frequency of security incidents, and documented incidents of labour discrimination related to LGBTI workers. 

This report captures outcomes from the workshop along two broad aims: i) Explore the experiences of LBGTI humanitarian field workers and organisations, through expert speakers, participants’ experiences and case studies, in order to understand and capture the challenges faced in operating as an LGBTI aid worker. ii) Hear from international private sector firms, which have successfully integrated LGBTI inclusion into their organisational policies and practices, in order to look at ways the humanitarian and development sectors can adopted or adapt such practices in their work and organisational identities.

Men, masculinities & climate change

23 Aug 2016 12:48:03 GMT

The threats of climate change are not gender-neutral. Gender analysis on climate change over the past three decades has brought tolight the disproportionate effects of climate change and environmental degradation on women’s lives – particularly those of low-income women in global South settings. In countries where there is marked gender inequality, four times as many women as men die in floods. In some cases during natural disasters, women and children are 14 times more likely to die than men.16 This phenomenon will grow more frequent with global warming. Research has also shown that women often have a smaller carbon footprint than men, regardless of whether they are rich or poor.17 Therefore, a greater understanding of how gendered identities affect men and women’s roles, activities and subsequent contributions to carbon emissions is essential if mitigation politics and programs are to achieve their desired effect.

This discussion paper presents the need for a more nuanced analysis of boys’ and men’s multiple roles vis a vis climate change. The purpose of such an investigation is to contribute to a more complete understanding of the gendered root causes, impacts and solutions to climate change adaptation and resilience and to further strengthen the call for social, economic and environmental justice for all. Boys and men must be seen as part of the solution to achieve gender-informed climate justice, as they are in different capacities in the fields of gender-based violence prevention, unpaid care work, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and peace and security. This paper seeks to outline these multiple roles to identify possible ways forward to engage boys and men as agents of sustainable, positive change alongside girls and women.

Protecting women’s and children’s health from a changing climate

23 Aug 2016 12:34:52 GMT

Climate change increases challenges to women'€™s and children'€™s health. There is more likelihood of women and children suffering and dying from problems such as diarrhoea, undernutrition, malaria, and from the harmful effects of extreme weather events, including floods or drought. While women and children in developing countries have made comparatively small contributions to historical carbon emissions, they bear the brunt of the health effects of climate change, both now and in the future. Efforts to prevent, mitigate and address the effects of climate change should include integrated action across sectors to address these health inequities now and for future generations.

Climate change will have a substantial impact on the health and survival of future generations. Policies that act now to improve health can also reduce climate change. Such co-benefits can be achieved when coordinated action is taken across the health, transport, energy, education and agriculture sectors. Policies that address broader health and climate protection can also work to reduce the significant economic losses from damages to health and the environment.

Assessment of women’s livelihood needs in three eco-zones of Bangladesh

23 Aug 2016 01:06:10 GMT

Evidently women are more severely affected by climate change and natural disasters because of their social roles, discrimination and poverty. In rural Bangladesh they are specially vulnerable since they are highly dependent on local natural resources for their livelihood. A needs assessment survey was conducted between May and July of 2013, to identify viable livelihoods of women affected by climate change in ten climate vulnerable Upazilas of three eco-zones (flood prone, drought prone and cyclone prone) in Bangladesh.

The research was conducted to investigate viable recommendations for livelihood intervention activities, which can be carried out by other organisations, in an attempt to give women, who are most vulnerable to climate change and its impacts, solid and more resilient livelihood options. In the process, the study investigates the current situation women face and women’s views on their needs.

Strengthening gender considerations in adaptation planning and implementation in the least developed countries

19 Aug 2016 12:08:56 GMT

Adapting to climate change is about reducing vulnerability to current and projected climate risk while vulnerability to climate change is determined in large part by people'€™s adaptive capacity. Climate hazards do not affect all people within a community or even the same household equally because some people have greater capacity than others to manage the crisis. The inequitable distribution of rights, resources, power and norms constrains many people'€™s ability to take action on climate change. This is especially true for women and vulnerable groups. Therefore, gender is a critical factor in understanding vulnerability to climate change.

The main focus of this paper is to provide views and experiences on strengthening gender consideration in adaptation planning and implementation in the least developed countries (LDCs). It draws on the experiences gained from the national adaptation programmes of action (NAPAs), and other initiatives, with a view to informing future adaptation efforts by LDCs and collaborating partners in the formulation and implementation of national adaptation plans (NAPs).

The paper discusses gender in the context of adaptation to climate change, presents sample tools in integrating gender into adaptation planning and implementation, provides experiences in the integration of gender into adaptation planning and implementation and addresses the integration of gender considerations in the process to formulate and implement NAPs.

Gender responsive national communications toolkit

19 Aug 2016 10:41:30 GMT

This toolkit is an initiative of the UNDP Gender Team and the UNDP-€“UNEP Global Support Programme. It is designed to strengthen the capacity of national government staff and assist them in integrating gender equality into the development of National Communications (NCs). It is recognized that NC reporting processes can be a meaningful entry point for training, awareness-raising and capacity-building efforts. Preparation of reports can also infl uence other, ongoing climate change planning and policymaking processes. As such, the toolkit can support Biennial Update Reports and planning documents such as National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), and inform the development and/or implementation of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), national and sectoral Gender and Climate Change Plans, and the strategic plans of individual government agencies 2 This toolkit can also inform sector policies related to both social and natural resource issues.

The toolkit presents rationales for gender-responsive NCs and approaches for integrating gender into NC reports. It also provides context and information on a range of issues; good practice examples; and lessons learned. Issues examined include:
  • how climate change impacts men and women in sectors such as energy, agriculture and waste management, as well as their different vulnerabilities to climate risks and the ways in which they seek to adapt to climate change.=
  • how women and men are differentially engaged in supporting or reducing greenhouse gases and how including gender analysis into greenhouse gas inventory reporting can contribute to reducing emissions.=
  • how men and women are innovating and adopting both new and old technologies to mitigate climate change. Finally, the toolkit looks at steps required to ensure the sustainability of gender-responsive climate change reporting. This requires ensuring commitment, funding and integrated capacity development across sectors, and using gender indicators and sex-disaggregated data for monitoring

The pacific gender & climate change toolkit: tools for practioners

19 Aug 2016 10:32:31 GMT

Gender equality is central to achieving a sustainable and resilient future for Pacific islands.This toolkit is designed to support climate change practitioners working in national governments, non-governmental organisations, regional and international organisations, integrate gender into all aspects of policy, programming and project work.
The toolkit is divided into four modules, which can be read in conjunction or used as standalone documents for practitioners seeking guidance on a specific topic. The modules are also supported by checklists and tools (found at the end of the toolkit. The toolkit is comprised of the following modules:
  • Module 1 - this introductory module explains why gender is a critical consideration in climate change programmes, projects and strategies, defines the key approaches and concepts, and clarifies some common misconceptions
  • Module 2 - introduces the different phases of a typical climate change programme/project cycle, identifies potential entry-points for integrating gender perspectives in each phase and also includes a generic gender checklist that may be applied to programmes and projects
  • Module 3 - focuses on the links between gender and climate change in specific sectors and uses sector relevant case studies to demonstrate how gender perspectives can be applied in the identification and assessment of climate change problems and solutions. Key gender indicators are also provided to support monitoring and evaluation
  • Module 4 - this final module examines gender in relation to climate change governance. It discusses how to integrate gender considerations in institutional arrangements, policy coordination and negotiations, and climate change finance

Africa’s smallholders adapting to climate change: the need for national governments and international climate finance to support women producers

19 Aug 2016 01:49:20 GMT

The need for national governments and international climate finance to support women producers Climate change is undermining the ability of African nations to feed themselves. Women smallholder producers are on the front line of dealing with the impacts, but are not first in line for international climate finance. Wealthy countries have committed to helping countries in Africa to adapt to climate change, but few women producers are feeling the benefit. National governments are stepping up in spite of limited resources and multiple development priorities. New analysis shows that whilst international climate finance overall is on the rise, wealthy countries are still failing to deliver public finance for adaptation in Africa.

Does less engaged mean less empowered? Political participation lags among African youth, especially women

18 Aug 2016 03:34:19 GMT

The African Union (AU) Assembly declared 2009 - 2018 the "African Youth Decade" and released an action plan to promote youth empowerment and development throughout the continent, including by raising young citizens' representation and participation in political processes. The latest results from Afrobarometer surveys in 36 countries reveal a wide gap between the aspirations set forth in the AU policy framework and the reality of youth political engagement in Africa today. The data show that African governments and development partners have considerable work to do to achieve the goal of increased civic and political participation among youth, particularly young women. African youth (aged 18-35) report lower rates of political engagement than their elders across a variety of indicators, including voting in national elections. Young citizens are also less likely to engage in civic activities such as attending community meetings and joining others to raise an issue. While these findings are consistent with research on age differences in voter turnout in advanced democracies, the survey further finds that youth engagement levels have declined over time despite the introduction of regional and national youth empowerment policies. Key findings:political engagement is generally lower among African youth than among their elders, particularly in terms of voting. Two-thirds (65%) of 18- to 35–year-old respondents who were old enough to vote in the last national election say they did so, compared to 79% of citizens above age 35slightly more than half (53%) of African youth report being “very” or “somewhat” interested in public affairs, while two-thirds (67%) say they discuss politics with friends or family at least “occasionally.” Compared to their male counterparts, young women report significantly less interest (48% vs. 60%) and discussion (61% vs. 74%)attendance at campaign rallies is the most popular form of pre-electoral engagement among young Africans: One-third (33%) say they attended at least one in the previous year, compared to 37% of older citizens. The gender gap in participation in rallies averages 10 percentage points and is largest in East Africa (14 points) and West Africa (13 points)African youth are less likely than their elders to participate in civic activities: Less than half (47%) of 18- to 35–year-olds say they attended community meetings at least once during the previous year, while 40% joined others to raise an issue (vs. 57% and 47% for older citizens). Young women’s participation also lags behind that of their male peers on these measures of civic activism (by 9 percentage points, on average), particularly in West Africa and North Africa (both by 14 percentage points)not quite half (48%) of youth say they contacted political or community leaders during the previous year to discuss an important issue, with lower reported engagement levels among young women than men (43% vs. 53%)youth participation in demonstrations and protest marches is lower than in more conventional forms of civic and political engagement, but higher than among their elders: 11% of young survey respondents say they attended at least one protest in the previous year (vs. 8% older citizens). Again, women report lower participation levels than their male peers (8% vs. 13%)comparison over time in 16 countries shows that youth engagement levels have declined since 20[...]

Women, peace and security: implementing the Maputo Protocol in Africa

12 Aug 2016 04:42:32 GMT

Women’s rights are fundamental to human security and sustainable peace. the African Union’s Protocol to the African charter on human and Peoples’ rights on the rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) guarantees the rights and equality of women on the continent and complements the global women, peace and security agenda. But case studies of Malawi, South Sudan, Somalia and Mozambique reveal that the implementation of the Maputo Protocol is slow and patchy. the African Union needs to find innovative ways of working with national governments, civil society and grassroots organisations to realise the full potential of this crucial instrument.
The Maputo Protocol is a key continental instrument that recognises the links between gender equality, women’s empowerment and the achievement of sustainable peace in Africa. Its full and effective implementation is key. however, despite the fact that many African states have ratified the protocol, implementation has been severely restricted – if it has happened at all – by a lack of political will, an immense gap between high-level policy and awareness on the ground, where it matters most, and challenges in changing prevailing behaviours and attitudes that embrace patriarchy.

It is imperative that the Au finds new and innovative ways of working with national governments, civil society and grassroots organisations to realise the full potential of this crucial instrument.

How do gender approaches improve climate compatible development? Lessons from Peru

11 Aug 2016 11:31:41 GMT

This brief is based on a research project carried out by Practical Action Consulting with support from the Institute of Development Studies, commissioned by and supported by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), to provide evidence on the advantages and challenges of integrating a gender dimension into climate compatible development strategies in urban settings, with a focus on Peru, India and Kenya. Although considerable evidence exists pertaining to rural areas, significant knowledge gaps can be found in relation to climate compatible development and gender in urban areas.

The research attempts to respond to the following four questions:ŸŸ

  • what does a ‘gender-sensitive’ approach to climate compatible development mean in the urban context?ŸŸ
  • what is the evidence of the relevance of gender-sensitive programming in climate compatible development to promote and achieve people’s empowerment?ŸŸ
  • does a gender-sensitive approach enable better climate compatible development outcomes and if so, in what way?ŸŸ
  • What socioeconomic, political and cultural factors constrain or favour gender-sensitive approaches in the context of climate compatible development, and the ability of men and women to tackle climate-related risks in urban contexts?

Key messages:

  • a research study looked at whether gender-sensitive approaches to climate compatible development are being adopted in urban areas of Peru and if so, whether these approaches influence development outcomes for men and women
  • the study assessed gender awareness and action in two of Peru’s Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation Networks (known locally as GRIDES), whose main achievement has been to integrate disaster risk and climate adaptation measures in local government plans
  • the study found that where women played a leading role in the GRIDES, local government proposals include an implicit gender approach
  • however, ‘gender’ issues tend to be regarded as ‘for women only’ and somewhat theoretical. The lack of a more explicit position or understanding of gender among the agencies concerned means that the interventions described in the local plans lack concrete measures for tackling gender inequality
  • a very wide range of actions are recommended across society, including among central and local government agencies, civil society organisations and academia, to increase awareness and understanding, develop the potential of gender-sensitive approaches, and so improve development outcomes for urban women, men, girls and boys

How do gender approaches improve climate compatible development? Lessons from India

08 Aug 2016 03:48:16 GMT

Although evidence shows that women are both victims of climate change and important contributors of knowledge and skills in disaster risk, adaptation and mitigation strategies, the gender perspective is largely missing from the design and planning of climate change responses and policies. In addition, most research into gender and climate change has been exclusively conducted in rural contexts. There is strong scope for filling these knowledge gaps to improve the understanding of the relationship between gender and climate change in urban settings.
This policy brief explores the advantages and challenges of integrating a gender dimension into climate compatible development strategies in urban settings, with a focus on the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) project in India. An initiative funded by The Rockefeller Foundation, the project was implemented in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh by the Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group (GEAG).
Key messages:
  • urban scenarios in India are highly complex, with many social dimensions in terms of caste, gender and class. As such, a gender-sensitive approach to climate compatible development is fundamentally different in cities, compared with one in rural areas
  • urban residents demonstrate different vulnerabilities and capacities for facing the impacts of climate change than people living in rural areas, principally: weaker social cohesion, with the result that women and marginalised people are more dependent on external help in times of need; a higher likelihood of flooding and waterlogging due to poor infrastructure and basic services; and a higher likelihood of food insecurity
  • project activities should be adapted to address these gender differences, for example, by working through community volunteers and arranging meetings to suit men and women’s availability
  • popular participatory methods developed in the context of rural settings can be adapted to suit the urban setting. In the case of the ACCCRN project, this involved undertaking Participatory Urban Appraisals through several smaller meetings, so as to understand the diversity of factors and issues involved

Adolescent girls in Egypt

14 Jul 2016 02:09:20 GMT

Girls under age 20—around 19 million of them—make up one-fifth of Egypt’s population.1 In 2015, about 8 million of these girls were adolescents between ages 10 and 19. According to the latest projections from the United Nations (UN) Population Division, this group will grow to 11.5 million in 2030—a 44 percent increase in 15 years. Improving the lives of adolescent girls in Egypt requires a national response that cuts across development sectors and programs. Such a response is necessary because of the girls’ demographic significance, and more importantly because they are vulnerable to harmful practices such as female genital cutting (FGC) and early marriage that violate girls’ rights and hinder the country’s development.

This policy brief presents the latest data on girls’ education, early marriage, and FGC in Egypt, to illustrate improvements in the situation of adolescent girls as well as the gaps. It points to Egypt’s rapid population growth and wide socioeconomic inequalities as major challenges hindering efforts to improve girls’ lives. It calls for coordinated, national efforts to implement recently adopted policies to uphold girls’ rights and bring about change. Lifting girls up, by empowering them to reach their full potential, will also help lift the Egyptian nation.

Does microcredit reduce gender gap in employment? An application of decomposition analysis to Egypt

12 Jul 2016 03:42:33 GMT

Although gender equality has received a great deal of attention from policymakers as well as researchers, there is still as a large gap between men and women in labor market, especially in Arab societies.
In this paper, the authors examine the impact of microcredit on labor supply of men and women and subsequently investigate whether microcredit can reduce employment gap between men and women in Egypt. Overall, they show no significant effects of microcredit on labor supply of men.

Yet, the paper finds a strong effect on employment of women aged 22 to 65. Borrowing from a microcredit source increases the probability of working for women by 0.071. Since the proportion of working of women was around 2.1%, it implies microcredit can increase the proportion of working of women by around 30 percent. Using decomposition analysis, the authors find that micro-credit can reduce the employment gap between men and women by 0.43 percentage points. If 20 percent of women obtain microcredit, the employment gap between men and women would be decreased by 4.3 percentage points.

Masculinities conflict and violence: Nigeria country report 2016

06 Jul 2016 03:25:32 GMT

Differences in the way Nigerian men and women are socialised and valued – and disparities in their abilities to access power, resources and key roles in society - create an imbalance of power within relationships between the two sexes. These differences also fuel personal struggles as well as conflict and violence in the home and the wider community and further deepen gender inequality.

This study examine masculinities, conflict and violence in four states in Nigeria: Borno; Kaduna; Lagos; and Rivers. It explores what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman because the two sets of notions are fundamentally linked. The study was conducted using focus group discussions and key informant interviews and reveals important insights which have relevance across the research states.

Research findings offer compelling evidence for policies and programmes which are adapted around development, gender equality, peace and security. The study found many significant ways in which perceived ideas around masculinities drive conflict and violence and, conversely, highlighted the impact that deviation from these norms and behaviour can have on peace. This opens up opportunities for positive change where interventions avoid reinforcing inequitable masculinities or adding to the pressure that men experience in trying to live up to often impossible ideals.

Social innovation as a tool for enhancing women's resilience to climate change: a look at the BRICS

28 Jun 2016 04:34:24 GMT

The BRICS countries face both the challenges of developing nations in facing climate change and bear the responsibility of the developed ones. These countries have been leaders for the developing world in climate negotiations and have taken responsibility and action to reduce their contribution to the problem. Yet, in the BRICS millions of marginalized people, especially women, face the everyday challenges of changing climates.
This paper explores the relationship between climate change and gender with a special focus on the BRICS countries. It argues that social innovations constitute positive tools for enhancing women’s adaptive capacity. First it examines how women are severely affected by climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, particularly in rural areas. The authors then emphasize the need for more gender-sensitive social innovations to tackle such effects, and provide a few examples within the BRICS. The hope is that more gender-sensitive solutions can spread worldwide, contributing to safeguarding the livelihoods of women not only in the BRICS but everywhere.
Gender sensitive initiatives presented here include:
  • Brazil - Brazilian Women Leaders Network for Sustainability
  • Russia – Local smallholders’ adaptive measures in the Altay Republic, West Siberia
  • India – The CP-MUS/ Jalswarajya project in Maharashtra
  • China – The Biogas project in Guangxi
  • South Africa – Social entrepreneurship among female refugees in Johannesburg

The state of the World's children 2016: a fair chance for every child

28 Jun 2016 03:17:09 GMT

Every child has the right to health, education and protection, and every society has a stake in expanding children’s opportunities in life. Yet, around the world, millions of children are denied a fair chance for no reason other than the country, gender or circumstances into which they are born. The State of the World’s Children 2016 argues that progress for the most disadvantaged children is not only a moral, but also a strategic imperative. Stakeholders have a clear choice to make: invest in accelerated progress for the children being left behind, or face the consequences of a far more divided world by 2030.

The report begins with the most glaring inequity of all – disparities in child survival – and goes on to explore the underlying determinants of preventable child mortality. It argues that to meet the 2030 child survival target, we must urgently address persistent disparities in maternal health, the availability of  skilled birth attendants, adequate nutrition and access to basic services, as well as other factors such as discrimination, exclusion and a lack of knowledge about child feeding and the role of safe water, adequate sanitation and hygiene in preventing childhood disease.

The discussion continues with a look at one of the most effective drivers of development and the greatest equalizer of opportunity: education. Without quality education, disadvantaged children are far more likely to be trapped as adults in low-skilled, poorly paid and insecure employment, preventing them from breaking intergenerational cycles of disadvantage. But a greater focus on early childhood development, on increasing education access and quality, and on providing education in emergencies will yield cascading benefits for both this generation and the next.

Having discussed two of the most glaring deprivations children face, this report then examines child poverty in all its dimensions – and the role social protection programmes play in reducing it. Arguing that child poverty is about more than income, it presents a case for combining measures to reduce income poverty with integrated solutions to the many deprivations experienced by children living in poverty.

Finally, as a call to action, the report concludes with a set of principles to guide more equity-focused policy, planning and public spending. These broad principles include expanding information about who is being left behind and why; improving integration to tackle the multiple dimensions of deprivation; fostering and fuelling Innovation to reach the hardest-to-reach children; increasing investment in equity-focused programmes; and driving involvement by communities and citizens around the world.



CBA and gender analysis practitioner brief

27 Jun 2016 03:38:32 GMT

The brief is the third in a series of practitioner briefs which document ALP learning on community based adaptation approaches in ways that are useful to practitioners, development actors and decision-makers. This brief will be of particular value for project or programme teams, local and national government staff and civil society practitioners who are designing or starting up programmes which aim for adaptation and resilience to climate change and sustainable outcomes by climate vulnerable men and women in Africa. The brief is useful across a wide range of programmes and sectors where gender equality is a critical outcome, for example in – adaptation, community economic development, development planning, sector based development, climate smart agriculture, women’s empowerment, disaster risk reduction and social protection.

Gender matters: overcoming gender-related barriers to prevent new HIV infections among children and keep their mothers alive

24 Jun 2016 12:30:51 GMT

Studies indicate that harmful gender norms and practices, cultural perceptions and beliefs surrounding pregnancy and childbirth, and a distrust of health-care services all can pose barriers to HIV prevention and treatment. In particular, women face difficulties related to unequal gender power relations and stigma.

This Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) document presents evidence that timely and continued access to antiretroviral medicines would reduce new infections in children and give HIV-infected women access to HIV treatment and care for their own health and well-being. Because 1) women's lack of autonomy, 2) mistrust of health services, particularly due to a lack of cultural sensitivity and confidentiality among health-service providers, and 3) fear of stigma and related abuse can affect women's access to treatment, key gender-related barriers stand in the way of preventing new HIV infections among children and keeping their mothers alive.

The following recommendations, based upon discussions in Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, and Uganda, are proposed to overcome gender-related and cultural barriers to services.

  • address stigma and discrimination against women living with HIV to increase utilization of and adherence to services", by, for example, building awareness and sensitivity in communities, including through the use of local media and local language(s), and engaging community leaders at all levels, including religious leaders, in dialogue on stigma
  • address violence against women as part of programmes to prevent new HIV infections among children and keep mothers alive and healthy", by integrating services for survivors of violence in all health-care settings and training health services to work in a non-judgmental manner with the complexities around violence against women and the underlying gender inequalities, using confidentiality and promoting the right to respect
  • support transformation of traditional gender roles related to maternal health, providing correct information on HIV by using culturally-appropriate, gender-sensitive and rights-based approaches" by, for example, creating opportunities for voluntary attendance, counselling, and testing for couples
  • address lack of awareness and mistrust of existing services to prevent new HIV infections among children and keep mothers alive and healthy", by, for example, reaching communities, beyond individual clients and healthcare providers, as part of "decentralized approaches and awareness campaigns. For consistency in messaging and the effective use of expertise, both women living with HIV and traditional birth attendants must be engaged in community mobilization efforts

ZAZI: a participatory programme on Sexual and Reproductive Health for women and girls - a toolkit for facilitators

24 Jun 2016 01:23:12 GMT

This toolkit has been developed by the ZAZI campaign for use by peer educators, community outreach workers, faith-based organisations, and traditional health practitioners to help facilitate participatory discussions on sexual and reproductive health with women aged between 20 and 49 years of age. ZAZI is a campaign developed by women for women in South Africa, which celebrates the strength of South African women. It promotes self confidence amongst women so that they can draw upon their own strength to make positive choices for their future, and "encourages young women to resist peer pressure and define their own values so that they can prevent unwanted pregnancies, HIV, have a safe pregnancy and healthy baby when they choose to fall pregnant."(See Related Summary below for more information)

The toolkit can be used for one hour-long, half-day, full-day, or longer workshops, and facilitators are encouraged to adapt sessions to meet the needs of the participating group. There are also suggestions for adapting the workshops for teenage girls aged 16-19.

The toolkit is divided into the following 10 content sections:

  • Section 1: Being a woman in South Africa today
  • Section 2: Women and relationships
  • Section 3: Women and their bodies
  • Section 4: Women’s sexual health
  • Section 5: Women and planning or preventing pregnancy
  • Section 6: Women and safe pregnancy
  • Section 7: Women and the prevention of HIV
  • Section 8: Women and gender-based violence
  • Section 9: Women and healthy lifestyles
  • Section 10: Women getting involved

Each section is made up of the following:

  • a purpose statement, which outlines the content of the section;
  • background to the problem, which outlines why women need to know this information;
  • an information section, which provides essential information on the topic;
  • an activity section, which suggests participatory activities for the facilitator to go through with groups of women, so they can understand how to apply this information in their own lives; and
  • a reference section, which suggests places to go for more information.

Empower young women and adolescent girls: fast-track the end of the AIDS epidemic in Africa

23 Jun 2016 12:04:44 GMT

"To be effective, any health and development agenda needs to focus on the root causes of the gender gap, and the AIDS response is no different."This report was produced to guide regional and global advocacy and inform political dialogue, particularly within discussions and planning being shaped as part of the African Union Agenda 2063 and the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, in order to consider actions needed to achieve the goal of ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030. The report centres on the understanding that this requires taking action to target the root causes of young women and girls' vulnerability, largely arising from harmful gender norms and inequality.The report offers five key recommendations:Women's agency, participation and leadership: By empowering women as political and social actors, institutions and policies can become more representative of diverse voices, including those young women and girls. This should include young women living with and affected by HIV being part of policy and decision-making bodies and ensuring women's participation in humanitarian situations.Strategies to reduce intimate partner violence and reduce vulnerability to HIV: "Strategies and action implemented at the community level to address intimate partner violence are critical to reducing young women's and adolescent girls' vulnerability to HIV." One example given is the Raising Voices SASA! kit, which was designed to inspire and guide community mobilisation to prevent violence against women and HIV. "Community activists spearheaded a wide range of activities in their own neighbourhoods designed to decrease the social acceptability of violence by influencing knowledge, attitudes, skills and behaviours on gender, power and violence."Scaling up social protection and cash transfers to reduce poverty and girls' vulnerability to HIV: According to the report, in the context of comprehensive social policies and programmes, "households affected by HIV are an appropriate target for cash transfer programmes that aim to alleviate poverty. Cash transfers can achieve multiple simultaneous outcomes, including declines in early marriage and teenage pregnancy."Strategies to keep girls in school and comprehensive sexuality education: Evidence shows that education contributes to a higher level of knowledge about HIV and sexual and reproductive health and rights, lowers exposure to gender-based violence, and increases women's and girls' chances of being financially secure and independent. As well, "when young women and adolescent girls have access to comprehensive age-appropriate sexuality education before becoming sexually active, they are more likely to make informed decisions about their sexuality and approach relationships with more self-confidence."Scaling up and integrating HIV with sexual and reproductive health services: "A massive scale-up of comprehensive and youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health and HIV services for young women and adolescent girls should be planned and rolled out, taking into consideration rapid population growth. "[...]

Strengthening linkages between clinical and social services for children and adolescents who have experienced sexual violence: a companion guide

23 Jun 2016 11:06:58 GMT

This guidebook intends to provide a basic framework, examples, resources, and contact information for health providers and managers who coordinate service provision for child victims of sexual violence and who ultimately work to ensure that children and adolescents receive the services they need. The resource is premised on the observation that such violence is a global human rights violation with severe immediate and long-term health and social consequences. It serves as a companion guide to the 2012 Clinical Management of Children and Adolescents Who Have Experienced Sexual Violence: Technical Considerations for PEPFAR Programs, which provides step-by-step guidance on the appropriate clinical/forensic care for children and adolescents who have experienced sexual violence and exploitation. The companion guide helps health providers and managers to better understand and facilitate linkages with critical social and community services for comprehensive care of children and adolescents who have experienced sexual violence and exploitation beyond the clinical exam, take additional steps to help children and adolescents receive information and support their needs, and contribute to changes in sociocultural norms that perpetuate a culture of violence and silence that can also increase HIV risk and vulnerability.

For example, the role of communication is an integrated, multisectoral response is highlighted in a box within the document that characterises children and adolescents with disabilities as among the most vulnerable, because they "are systematically denied basic information about sexual health and relationships, including sexual violence. They may be in isolated settings away from neighbors, extended family, or local community members who could play a role in identifying abuse. Staff at disability-specific organizations may lack training in recognizing ACEs [adverse childhood experiences], including sexual violence, and thus miss signs of abuse of their clients. Those services that do exist are likely not able to provide disability-specific services, due to physical barriers to access or lack of providers who are trained to work with children/adolescents with disabilities. Access to justice is routinely denied....(they are not considered credible witnesses, and/or their cases are not taken seriously, and/or the court system lacks appropriate services)."

One youth can: facilitator's guide and workbook

23 Jun 2016 10:39:14 GMT

South Africa has amongst the highest levels of domestic violence and rape of any country in the world. Research conducted by the Medical Research Council in 2004 shows that every six hours, a woman is killed by her intimate partner. This is the highest rate recorded anywhere in the world.

This Manual is intended to be a resource for those working with youth on issues of citizenship, human rights, gender, health, sexuality and violence. The content is informed by a commitment to social justice, gender equality and engaged citizen activism. The activities encourage all youth to reflect on their own experiences, attitudes and values regarding sexuality; gender; what it means to be a boy/man or girl/woman; domestic and sexual violence; HIV/AIDS, democracy and human rights. They encourage all youth to take action to help prevent domestic and sexual violence, reduce the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS, and promote gender equality.

There is an accompanying Participants' Manual.


Tiyani Vavasati: empowerment and financial education intervention

23 Jun 2016 10:25:49 GMT

Specifically aimed at females between the ages of 18-24 years-old, this training manual was produced to guide a series of training sessions which were designed to empower young women. Part of a Sonke Gender Justice project implemented in South Africa, the four one-day long training sessions, are meant to:

  • "empower young women to set goals for their lives
  • increase young women's knowledge of correct reproductive health and HIV information, as well as promote HIV testing
  • help young women learn to recognise and address gender-based violence
  • teach young women how to make sound financial decisions; and
  • reinforce and promote attitudes and behaviours that will lead to a better quality of life for the young women"

Hosted over the course of a month, each training day consists of a morning classroom-based session where young women engage in both informative learning and interactive exercises, and then an afternoon session where they participate in a field trip. These morning sessions "are designed to be engaging, interactive, and make use of best practice young adult learning principles - that is games, small group work, etc., while focusing on pertinent topics to the lives of the young women." The afternoon sessions build on information learned in the morning and give the young women a chance to visit a local resource in the community, such as a clinic.

This manual is divided into four modules:

  • Module 1: Introduction, Self-Esteem, and Goal Setting
  • Module 2: Reproductive Health, HIV
  • Module 3: Gender-Based Violence
  • Module 4: Financial Education

According to Sonke Gender Justice, "young, rural, South African women are faced with many challenges that can impede a healthy transition from young person to adult. These include age-specific social pressures, lack of correct health knowledge, and lack of safe, economic opportunity." Tiyani Vavasati aims to intervene on some of these root issues, instilling useable assets into the young women. This manual was adapted, in part, from the 2013 Adolescent Girls Empowerment Program, Health and Life Skills and Financial Education Curricula published by Zambia YMCA, UKAID, and Population Council. Additional materials come from Sonke Gender Justice, South Africa.


Vunja Ukimya, Zungumza na Mwenzio: a mass media campaign to motivate couples to communicate effectively for HIV-free households

23 Jun 2016 10:15:33 GMT

Vunja Ukimya, Zungumza na Mwenzio: A Mass Media Campaign to Motivate Couples to Communicate Effectively for HIV-Free Households

"As a result of the campaign, couples were motivated to communicate about health, and men and women were more likely to seek reproductive health services together."

This was one of the key results of the Vunja Ukimya. Zungumza na Mwenzio (Break the Silence. Talk to your partner) campaign in Tanzania. The campaign was launched in 2010 as part of the CHAMPION project, a six-year initiative (2008-2014) to increase men's positive involvement in preventing the spread of HIV in Tanzania. The 5-month national social and behaviour change communication (SBCC) campaign was designed to encourage couples to communicate more effectively for healthier, more equitable relationships and to prevent the spread of HIV. "Campaign messages focused on the role of gender equity in ensuring health, and targeted individuals, couples, and communities in promoting dialogue around HIV, gender equality, and positive health-seeking behavior." The brief forms part of a series of CHAMPION briefs to highlight some of the project's achievements.

The brief explains the campaign approach, which used radio, television, national newspapers, billboards, and outreach events and activities to reach audiences of adult men and women over the age of 25 and in established, longer-term relationships. The roll-out occurred in phases, beginning with a teaser phase, followed by a two month "problem phase" that also incorporated a World Cup sub-campaign, and then a "how to" phase, highlighting and demonstrating the health benefits of effective communication between partners. The messages focused on positive couple communication and used food as a metaphor for relationships, "indicating that both (dinner and happiness) require preparation and care to achieve the desired results."

The following are a selection of lessons learned:

  • campaign slogans need to be specific, should not reinforce gender inequality, and should use language not specific to particular regions within a country;
  • large events, public gatherings, holidays, and international events are key opportunities to increase awareness about gender and health;
  • combining entertainment with community dialogue (as used in the Vunja Ukimya Activation Tour) is an effective way to communicate campaign messages.

Overall, the assessment of the Vunja Ukimya campaign was that it was widely well received, with community members responding positively to the promotion of couples being close and the concept of "transparency" within relationships.

Findings from the SASA! Study: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial To Assess the Impact of a Community Mobilization Intervention To Prevent Violence Against Women and Reduce HIV risk in Kampala, Uganda

23 Jun 2016 04:03:39 GMT

The need for HIV prevention efforts to more explicitly incorporate program elements to address gender inequality and violence has been repeatedly articulated, and the elimination of sexual and gender-based violence has been identified by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) as being one of the core pillars of HIV prevention.

Recognising that intimate partner violence (IPV) is an independent risk factor for HIV infection, researchers in this SASA! study sought to assess the community-level impact of SASA!, a community mobilisation intervention to prevent violence and reduce HIV-risk behaviors.

This is the first CRT in sub-Saharan Africa to assess the community impact of a mobilization program on the social acceptability of IPV, the past year prevalence of IPV and levels of sexual concurrency. SASA! achieved
important community impacts, and is now being delivered in control communities and replicated in 15 countries.

Building the assets to thrive: addressing the HIV-related vulnerabilities of adolescent girls in Ethiopia

23 Jun 2016 02:51:22 GMT

When HIV prevention programs are shaped by evidence and designed for replication and scale-up, they can reach large numbers of the girls and young women at greatest risk and increase their ability to avoid infection.

In Eastern and Southern Africa, HIV is the leading cause of death among girls aged 15–19. Despite decades of investment and substantial progress against HIV, adolescent girls remain at disproportionate risk of infection.

Few programs have sought to take a “whole girl” approach to addressing the multiple vulnerabilities to HIV infection—social isolation, economic insecurity, lack of access to services, and sexual and gender-based violence—experienced by the most marginalized adolescent girls in the poorest communities in Africa.

Building the Assets to Thrive: Addressing the HIV-related Vulnerabilities of Adolescent Girls in Ethiopia is a comprehensive review of three programs implemented and evaluated by the Population Council and the Ethiopian government beginning in 2007: Biruh Tesfa, Meseret Hiwott, and Addis Birhan. These
programs seek to reduce Ethiopian girls’ HIV risk by using similar methods to engage girls—and, in the case of one program, the males who play a role in their health and well-being.

This policy brief summarizes Building the Assets to Thrive to provide policymakers and program planners with a road map for creating and supporting evidence-based, locally responsive, simple, effective, scalable, and sustainable programs that produce positive outcomes for girls and their communities.

Gender considerations along the HIV treatment cascade: an evidence review with priority actions

23 Jun 2016 02:25:33 GMT

This brief provides policymakers and programme implementers with evidence about the impact of gender dynamics on treatment access and adherence and the gender-related gaps in treatment research and programming. It also raises questions for implementation science in order, by 2020, to achieve the global goals set out by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS): 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy; and 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) will have viral suppression. The brief draws from What Works For Women and Girls: Evidence for HIV Interventions and uses the World Health Organization (WHO) treatment cascade framework to identify and analyse major gender considerations in providing ART to those living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries.

The brief concludes with an argument that all ART programming must include respect for human rights. For example: "Requiring people living with HIV to disclose their serostatus to sexual partners and/or community members in order to receive treatment, care or support is a human rights violation. Similarly, coercing women to accept contraception in order to access treatment violates women's rights to make their own fertility choices." The authors note that there are few evaluated interventions demonstrating what works to overcome gender-related barrier to ART treatment. Future studies should ask questions such as "how can ART availability and accessibility be partnered with informed consent about the risks and benefits of treatment so that all people living with HIV may decide for themselves how best to stay healthy and live full, productive lives?"

Multisectoral responses to gender-based violence in Mozambique

23 Jun 2016 02:11:45 GMT

Gender-based violence (GBV) is both pervasive and widely accepted in Mozambique. The complex and multifaceted structural and sociocultural factors that underlie and reinforce GBV warrant a strong multi-level and multisectoral response. Since 2010, Pathfinder International has pioneered the implementation of multisectoral approaches to GBV prevention and response in Mozambique.
Pathfinder developed two projects, "Enhancing Reproductive Rights to Reduce Violence against Women in Gaza Province" (2010-2013), funded by the United Nations (UN) Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, and "Enhancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Women and Youth in Mozambique: Integrating Comprehensive GBV Services and Support and Safe Abortion Care in Inhambane and Gaza Provinces" (2011-2013), funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy. This brief offers a critical analysis of the projects' shared strategy and implementation experience and discusses lessons learned.

Shifting social norms to tackle violence against women and girls

23 Jun 2016 01:06:22 GMT

Focusing primarily on tackling the harmful social norms that underpin perpetration of intimate partner violence (IPV) and non-partner sexual violence, this Guidance Note aims to summarise the role of social norms in sustaining harmful behaviours and contributing to Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) and to provide practical guidance and advice for Department for International Development (DFID) advisors and programme managers on how to identify and address harmful social norms in the context of programming to prevent VAWG. It highlights "promising practices" for programme design and provides practical guidance on monitoring and evaluation, so that DFID programmes can both benefit from and contribute to the emergent evidence base. Drawing on social norms theory and the work of women's rights organisations and social justice movements with practical experience in this area, as well as behavioural science, behavioural economics, and social network theory, the resource was produced by the DFID-funded Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Helpdesk on behalf of the DFID VAWG team in the Inclusive Societies Department.Key principles for programme design include:gender-transformative approaches that address not only the specific violent behaviour but also the underlying gender inequalities and power relations that drive violence against women and girlsrights-based approaches that invest in beneficiaries as "rights-holders", create a legitimate channel for their voices to be heard, and enable them to play an active role in the response to tackling VAWGinclusive interventions that address the types of violence and discrimination experienced by marginalised women and girls including women and girls with disabilities, those living with HIV, migrants, sex workersdo no harm (caution about various risks associated with social norms programming - e.g., those challenging norms in the early stages of change may be at risk from stigma and discrimination from family and community members.)context-specific diagnosis informed by formative research and local experience (e.g., Northern Uganda's GREAT project, whose ethnographic research led to use of "Wangoo" traditional fireside learning and Acholi folklore for adolescents to create a supportive environment for discourse on sexual and reproductive health (SRH), HIV, and positive gender normsintegrated and multi-sector approaches (e.g., media campaigns combined with locally targeted outreach efforts and training workshops, as well as links to response mechanisms such as social, health, security and justice services, and child protection authorities)realistic programme objectives and timelines - changing norms at scale takes many years, especially considering the importance of formative research to accurately diagnose the problem and design an appropriate responsebalancing the need f[...]

Towards Gender-Just Food and Nutrition Security: Policy Brief

21 Jun 2016 11:31:34 GMT

Food and nutrition insecurity is a gender justice issue. As a direct result of gender inequality over 60 per cent of the hungry are women and girls. They are also most disadvantaged by the inequitable processes that govern food systems at local, national and international levels. Yet too often gender is not integral to the way food and nutrition insecurity is framed, or to the development of solutions.

This Policy Brief draws on recent evidence to explore the unequal gender power relations which create and perpetuate experiences of food and nutrition insecurity. It examines current policy directions on hunger and malnutrition through a critical gender lens. It goes on to consider how gender-just solutions to food and nutrition insecurity can be created that promote gender equality and women’s empowerment, and alleviate hunger and malnutrition for all.

Mobilising a response to HIV, gender, youth and gender-based violence in South Africa: a toolkit for trainers and programme implementers

21 Jun 2016 04:42:54 GMT

This toolkit was produced as part of the Sexual HIV Prevention Project (SHIPP) to support in-house training on gender, HIV, youth, and community mobilisation for programme implementers working on HIV and gender-based violence (GBV) prevention at the district and community levels. The toolkit modules cover a range of topics and can be selected based on organisational needs and specific knowledge gaps among staff and volunteers. According to the toolkit, "an advantage of the modular arrangement is that rather than having to set aside large blocks of time for training workshops, exercises and modules can be conducted on a stand-alone basis through sessions as short as two to three hours, or, if time permits, over a day or several days, or intermittently over a number of weeks or months." The toolkit also provides a detailed outline of the key principles and techniques of participatory learning.

The following topic areas are covered:

  • Module 1: Gender concepts and definitions
  • Module 2: Gender roles and change
  • Module 3: GBV: intimate partner and non-partner domestic violence
  • Module 4: Links between GBV and HIV
  • Module 5: Gender and HIV policies
  • Module 6: Gender analysis and engaging men and boys
  • Module 7: Mobilising community action teams through community facilitators
  • Module 8: Youth vulnerability, HIV and GBV

Community matters: fostering community-level champions in addressing HIV and gender-based violence in Tanzania

21 Jun 2016 04:08:08 GMT

Local activists, leaders, and experts are best positioned to challenge the harmful social and gender norms within their communities that contribute to HIV transmission, gender-based violence (GBV), and other poor health outcomes.This brief discusses the experience of the CHAMPION Project in Tanzania, which trained and supported community partners in 14 urban districts in 10 regions of Tanzania to plan and implement gender transformative HIV and gender-based violence (GBV) prevention activities in their communities. The project used community-level 'champions' to lead local actions to raise awareness about HIV and GBV, champion equitable gender norms to promote long term behaviour and social change related to sexual and reproductive health (SRH), and encourage community members to test for HIV. These community champions were found to be critical allies within Tanzania's HIV prevention efforts, a "promising approach to engendering social change and improving sexual and reproductive health outcomes." This brief forms part of a series of CHAMPION briefs to highlight some of the project's achievements.The brief discusses the importance of partnerships across various levels of intervention, including working with local partners to identify champions to serve as change agents; building partners' capacity around in-depth understanding of gender norms; and building leadership, communication, and community mobilisation skills. These community-level partners "planned and led a variety of activities in their communities to create awareness, promote behaviour change, and stimulate community dialogue about gender norms, HIV, SRH, and GBV." Their activities included community dialogues, discussions, video shows, street dialogues and theatre, health fairs, sporting events, and rallies, all of which are briefly explained in the publication.Based on learning from the project, the brief outlines a number of recommendations:Go local: " interventions and related capacity building must be tailored to specific communities and to the partners who are working to lead social change. Efforts should be made to identify audio-visual materials that resonate with community members. The more 'foreign' the messenger, the less likely the message is to resonate."Creativity matters: Messages should be "clever, catchy, persuasive, compelling, and tailored to the local context." They should provoke discussion and reflection, rather than reiterate facts people already know."Avoid the blame game: Positive approaches can best contribute to a more constructive dialogue about gender norms, why inequities exist, how they are harmful, why challenging them is important, and how they can be transformed.Programme holistically: Programmes should ensure that community capa[...]

Kuwa Mfano wa Kuigwa: a gender-transformative campaign to reduce social acceptance of intimate partner violence

21 Jun 2016 03:20:10 GMT

"Exposure to campaign messages led to more men believing that forced sex is violence and that a man is never justified in beating his wife. The campaign also increased men’s willingness to help a woman being beaten by her partner."These were key results of the Kuwa Mfano wa Kuigwa (Be a Role Model) campaign in Tanzania. The campaign was launched in 2011 as part of the CHAMPION project, a six-year initiative (2008-2014) to increase men's positive involvement in preventing the spread of HIV in Tanzania. The Kuwa Mfano wa Kuigwa 6-month national social and behaviour change communication (SBCC) campaign was designed to reduce societal acceptance of intimate partner violence (IPV) by using a variety of mass media strategies coupled with community engagement and interpersonal interventions. This  brief forms part of a series of briefs to highlight some of the CHAMPION project's achievements. The Kuwa Mfano wa Kuigwa campaign was aligned to the CHAMPION project's overall objective to improve health by fostering an enabling environment for gender transformation. The campaign sought to prompt national dialogue about men's role in health and the importance of gender equity in reducing vulnerability to IPV, HIV, and other adverse reproductive health (RH) outcomes. The campaign combined mass media messages disseminated through television, radio, and newspapers, with SBCC materials such as brochures and posters, and community and interpersonal interventions. The campaign was intended to shift social norms regarding IPV, through five key communication objectives: "men's willingness to help survivors of IPV, talk with others about the negative consequences of IPV, recognize forced sex as IPV, reject the notion that IPV is justifiable under any condition, and believe that a home free of IPV is a happier home."The campaign's primary intended audience was men aged 25 and older with intimate partners. Messages reached an estimated 4.5 million people through mass media and close to 40,000 men and boys through road shows, football matches, and bar activities. Evaluation results include the following:The evaluation found that the main behaviour change objective to increase dialogue about IPV and shift entrenched social norms was achieved, as demonstrated by exposure to campaign messages being closely associated with changes in the belief that forced sex is violence. "Men in campaign target districts were more than 3.5 times more likely than men nationwide to believe that forcing a partner to have sex is violence"As a result of the campaign, the percentage of ever-partnered male respondents willing to help a woman being beaten by her partner increased from 62% at baseline to 83% after the campaign. "At endline, men in campa[...]