Thursday 16 October 2008

7th International Dialogue on Population and Sustainable Development - Cultural Diversity and Gender Equality

Today I attended a highly stimulating conference in Berlin: "Exploring Cultural Diversity and Gender Equality: towards universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights".It started with a panel discussion featuring illustruous speakers including Gita Sen, a pioneer in gender & development research and activism. She shared key findings from her (et al.) report on Gender Inequity in Health. The full report Unequal, Unfair, Ineffective and Inefficient - Gender Inequity in Health: Why it exists and how we can change it is available on the net (see link list at the bottom of my blog).

Tuesday 14 October 2008

The human element

Human development is driven by people’s capacity to see and understand reality in different ways, acquire skills and knowledge, find novel solutions and ask new questions to keep the cycle of development going. The UN Development Report defines development as expanding people’s choices: choices only exist when people are aware of choices, and of the potential to find new choices. This capacity to develop is essentially cognitive, i.e. linked to the process of being aware, knowing, thinking, learning and judging. Obviously this applies not only to narrow definitions of “development” as something that happens to the economy but also to conflict transformation and other forms of social change.

Wednesday 8 October 2008

WE CAN End All Violence Against Women

My main project in 2008 has been my involvement in WE CAN, an innovative campaign to end violence against women. The campaign has its roots in South Asia, but alliances are shaping up far beyond the South Asian continent. In a nutshell, WE CAN creates movements of individuals - so-called "change makers" - determined to change their own lives and influence others so as to end violence against women. For more detail, please visit the We Can sites on the link list at the bottom of this blog.