Hivos International

Women's Empowerment

Now that the 2017 elections are behind us (or so we assume), it is important to reflect on some of the issues emerging from the polls that are dear to us. One of those being women in leadership. Last year when the debate about the 2010 Constitution’s two thirds gender rule was so heated (“not more than two-thirds of the members of elective public bodies shall be of the same gender”), we in the women’s movement reached a moment of despair. I actually wrote an article asking whether Kenya would ever be ready for women in political leadership.

Today, most African youth seems uninterested in working in the coffee sector as they see it as an "old man's" hobby. However, the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) states that it is women who form the majority of the world’s estimated total of 25 million coffee farmers.

Cities will dominate the landscape of the future. UN projections indicate that 75 percent of the world’s population will be living in cities by 2050. Africa, in particular, will change from a continent of states to a continent of cities.

In September 2015, Governments adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (commonly referred as the Sustainable Development Goals - SDGs) as a response to eradicate poverty. Each year, countries are encouraged to review their progress in implementation of the SDGs.

Hivos Southern Africa launched its Women Empowered for Leadership Programme (WE4L) in Zimbabwe on April 27, 2017 at its regional offices in Harare, Zimbabwe.  The launch was attended by women leaders from political, civil society and business sectors.

Lea la versión en español de este blog acá.

It's three in the morning, when most people are asleep and haven’t even started thinking about the chores of the day, let alone water, a resource many of us take for granted. But not doña Ángela*. She is already up and making her way to Matagalpa, the biggest nearby town, to buy much-needed chlorine for her community’s water system.

Photographs by Ángel Damián Reyes / Text by Ángel Damián Reyes and Alonso Jiménez

Lea esta entrada en español.

Just one day at the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61) showed me that this year’s theme, ‘Women’s Economic Empowerment in the changing world of work’, may finally bring some well-deserved attention to the feminization of migration and the plight of women in domestic work. But - will this attention actually result in measures to protect their rights? For those paying attention, Hivos’ panel discussion on 13 March, “I work without Rights, Do you care?” revealed some very necessary steps to take.

Co-authored with Ferdinand Francken, LEAD programme Coordinator, Ministry of Foreign Affairs


“There is no abstract mass of Lebanese citizens; there are Lebanese male citizens and Lebanese female citizens.” - May Mikdashi, “A Legal Guide to being a Lebanese Woman