9956 The Communication Initiative, The Drum Beat – 623 – Communicating for Rural Women’s Progress

The Drum Beat – 623 – Communicating for Rural Women’s Progress THIS ISSUE INCLUDES:

CONTEXT:International Day of Rural WomenEMPOWERMENT STRATEGIES:Raising Her VoiceEnsuring Economic & Food SecurityBUILD YOUR OWN:Social Networking SpaceTHE ROLE OF ICTs:Connectivity KeyFostering EntrepreneurshipSEE ALSO:These Past Related NewslettersFOCUS ON RURAL RADIO:Bangladeshi ExperienceFarm RadioListeners’ Clubs

From The Communication Initiative Network – where communication and media are central to social and economic development.
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1. In Focus: Rural Women
“Marked annually on 15 October, the International Day of Rural Women is intentionally celebrated on the eve of World Food Day to highlight rural women’s role in food production and food security. Both of these days precede the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on 17 October.” [UN (United Nations) Women, Oct. 2011]
2. Facts & Figures: Rural Women and the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs]
“Rural women play a key role in supporting their households and communities in achieving food and nutrition security, generating income, and improving rural livelihoods and overall well-being….As such, they are active players in achieving the MDGs.” This fact sheet suggests that globally, and with only a few exceptions, rural women fare worse than rural men and urban women and men for every MDG indicator for which data are available. [Inter-Agency Task Force on Rural Women, Mar. 2012]
3. Gender Dimensions of Agricultural and Rural Employment: Differentiated Pathways out of Poverty
This paper points to patriarchal norms, which “largely account for women’s restricted role in decision-making at household, community, regional and national levels. This lack of female voice reinforces women’s own sense of self and underpins the continuance of the economic and social realities which make women unable to compete equally in employment markets.” [Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), International Labour Organization (ILO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Jan. 2011]
4. Information Needs of Rural Women: A Study of Three Villages of Bangladesh
by Md. Arman Hossain and Dr. Md. Shariful Islam
This study examines the information needs of rural women in Bangladesh. Women who live in villages often lack access to information about agriculture and animal husbandry – crucial for their involvement in socio-economic growth – including lacking access to information and communication technologies (ICTs). [University of Rajshahi, Feb. 2012]
5. Raising Her Voice (RHV)
Amongst other strategies, Oxfam’s RHV programme supports civil society organisations in their work to represent economically poor and marginalised women’s needs and concerns. RHV partners have facilitated focused reflection and analysis of intra-family power dynamics, divisions of household roles, and expenditure as a mechanism for exploring barriers to women’s wider participation and leadership. One result: Members of Keutapang village, Aceh, Indonesia, adopted a qanun law (a law promulgated by Muslim sovereigns) on the gendered division of labour and rights of women to participate in village development planning processes.
6. What Works for Women: Proven Approaches for Empowering Women Smallholders and Achieving Food Security
Based on the experiences of 9 international development agencies, this briefing includes recommendations to help close the gender gap in agriculture, such as: “Engage women in policy-making and planning processes at all levels, for example by establishing quotas and targets for women in decision-making roles, legislating to remove barriers, and encouraging the establishment of effective collective structures that are gender-sensitive” [ActionAid International, CARE, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Find Your Feet, Oxfam, Practical Action, Save the Children, and Self Help Africa, Mar. 2012]
7. Report of the Expert Group Meeting: Enabling Rural Women’s Economic Empowerment: Institutions, Opportunities and Participation
Amongst the recommendations from this Accra, Ghana, meeting: “Effective decentralization can be an important strategy for rural women’s economic empowerment, and can be conducive to a fuller engagement of rural women in public affairs, provided it is accompanied by attitudinal change, capacity development, and inclusive and participatory processes for the formulation and implementation of policies, strategies, programs and projects.” [UN Women, Sep. 2011]
8. Investing in Skills for Socio-economic Empowerment of Rural Women
by Tiina Eskola and Lavinia Gasperini
Higher barriers in education and training limit rural women’s participation in better remunerated jobs and leadership roles in the development of their communities, according to this policy brief. A text box describes one approach: the International Labour Organization (ILO)’s Training for Rural Economic Empowerment (TREE) initiative in rural Pakistan. Female resource persons went to villages and trained rural women at home. “The increased income-generating activities of trainees…generated greater respect for women in the community and many experienced increased mobility, self-esteem and socioeconomic empowerment.” [FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and ILO, Jan. 2011]
9. Communicating Gender for Rural Development: Integrating Gender in Communication For Development
This publication is designed for those interested in eliminating gender inequalities in development processes by promoting the introduction of a gender perspective into communication for development initiatives. It provides practical suggestions on how to do this. [Dimitra Project of the FAO, Sep. 2011]
10. An FAO E-mail Conference on Agricultural Innovation Systems and Family Farming: The Moderator’s Summary
by John Ruane
One topic explored in this June-July 2012 email conference was the importance of women farmers. In Indonesia, where older male farmers traditionally tend to make decisions regarding farming activities, farmer field schools (FFS) are allowing women and youth to be more fully engaged. In Pakistan, women open schools (WOS) are used as a tool for educating women, initially focusing on pesticides but later expanded to a wide range of activities; they are flexible, with mothers able to bring their children with them. [FAO, Jul. 2012]
Build Your Own Social Networking Space
Looking to network within your organisation? Needing to link together colleagues from different organisations under one project? Contract The CI to build you a branded social networking space using core CI functionality. You can see a customised example here (you will have to join and log in to see all functionality.) For more information, contact wfeek@comminit.com
11. Connectivity: How Mobile Phones, Computers and the Internet Can Catalyze Women’s Entrepreneurship
by Anju Malhotra, Anjala Kanesathasan, and Payal Patel
One case study in this paper examines AISECT, which involves centres in India that deliver computer-based ICT education and training in urban environments, as well as Common Service Centers (CSCs), which are kiosks for rural centres that provide access to e-governance and e-business services. AISECT supports its women entrepreneurs by negotiating rates for banking, telecom, and insurance services for their start-ups and ensuring quality control for the education services. [International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, Feb. 2012]
12. ICT for Rural Economic Development: Five Years of Learning
“ICT interventions of our project partners have contributed to the performance of agricultural sectors by improving knowledge flows and the policy environment.” This report examines the experiences of the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) with using ICT to support agriculture, economic development, and livelihood opportunities in Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Ecuador, Ghana, Mali, Uganda, and Zambia. [Mar. 2012]
13. Building Resilient Communities through Empowering Women with Information and Communication Technologies: A Pakistan Case Study
by Arshad Khan Khalafzai and Niru Nirupama
This paper seeks to demonstrate the role of ICT in sustainable development through empowering women, and hence enhancing community resiliency in terms of the ability to cope with disasters. The authors: describe the meaning and issues around “haves” and “have-nots” in regard to ICT; analyse the Community Technology Learning Centers (CTLC) project, commissioned by the Government of Pakistan to empower marginalised rural women, and the impact of the project; and compare the CTLC project with a similar intervention initiated in Uganda. [York University, Jan. 2011]
14. Collaborative Change Communication (CCComDev)
CCComDev is an online platform striving to provide a hub for learning and knowledge sharing among ComDev practitioners who are testing new approaches in the field, searching for practical knowledge, or seeking new ways to collaborate in the rural sector.
15. Enhancing Access to Agricultural Information using ICTs in Apac District (EAAI)
Uganda’s EAAI set up the Kubere Information Centre (KIC), which acts as an agricultural information resource point and supports project implementation and two-way linkages with rural women farmers. A 2010 evaluation revealed that not only had ICT usage increased since EAAI inception, but the range of reasons why the rural women farmers used ICTs had broadened to include access to market information, efforts to reach out to agricultural extension workers, and participation in community radio programmes as panelists and by calling in. [Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET)]
SEE ALSO these past related newsletters:


16. Krishi Radio
“My Radio, My Voice”. Having been trained in various aspects of radio programme production, teachers, college students, agricultural extension workers, rural women, and youth are actively conducting field interviews, writing scripts, carrying out radio programme production, undertaking equipment maintenance, and managing a listenership campaign. Programme content changes based upon what the listeners would like to hear and includes a wide range of programmes on agriculture, fishery, health, social awareness, and local songs and folk stories.
17. Farm Radio International: Scripts and Voices Newsletter
These radio script packages, accompanied by the Voices newsletter, are designed to support rural radio broadcasters in sub-Saharan Africa. Each package focuses on one or two different themes, i.e., soil fertility, climate change adaptation, livestock health, and includes a variety of formats (interview, drama, spots, etc.). For example, the November 2007 package focused on rural women and girls. [2011]
18. Community Listeners’ Clubs: Stepping Stones for Action in Rural Areas
This publication summarises the experience of the community radio listeners’ clubs set up in Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to organisers, it is a unique experience because in a short time, these clubs succeeded in promoting social mobilisation of both women and men, as well as dialogue, collaboration, and action on the part of rural communities, especially women. [FAO-Dimitra, Aug. 2011]
This issue of The Drum Beat was written by Kier Olsen DeVries.

The Drum Beat is the email and web network of The Communication Initiative Partnership – The Drum Beat is the email and web network of The Communication Initiative Partnership – Partners: ANDI, BBC Media Action, Bernard van Leer Foundation, Breakthrough, Calandria, DFID, FAO, Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI), Inter-American Development Bank, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs, MISA, Oxfam Novib, PAHO, The Panos Institute, Puntos de Encuentro, The Rockefeller Foundation, SAfAIDS, Sesame Workshop, Soul City, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNICEF, USAID, The Wellcome Trust, World Health Organization (WHO), W.K. Kellogg Foundation.The Drum Beat seeks to cover the full range of communication for development activities. Inclusion of an item does not imply endorsement or support by The Partners.

Chair of the Partners Group: Garth Japhet, Founder, Soul City garth@heartlines.org.za

Executive Director: Warren Feek wfeek@comminit.com

The Editor of The Drum Beat is Kier Olsen DeVries.

Please send additional project, evaluation, strategic thinking, and materials information on communication for development at any time. Send to drumbeat@comminit.comThe Drum Beat seeks to cover the full range of communication for development activities. Inclusion of an item does not imply endorsement or support by The Partners.

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