Tackling Gender Inequality

by Developed Africa 10. March 2014 09:00

Whilst it is extremely important to keep up the fight for gender equality, there is an added consideration for women living in poverty.

An interesting article from SciDevNet asserted the idea of needing to look at the problem of gender equality politics from a different angle. Whilst it is often on the policy agenda for many donor agencies, NGOs, and governments, political gender equality is not often top priority for women living in poverty. Top of their list is survival. 

This an incredibly interesting point, because whilst the fight for political gender equality would in fact help to alleviate the many women's constant fight for survival, they cannot always be thinking of it, and often do not think of it as the first thing that they need or want. Impoverished women's lives need to be improved and their day to day struggles need to ease in order to allow them enough time and energy to think about fighting for their political and economic rights. 

Henrieeta Miers, who wrote the article, advocates the introduction of innovative small technologies which will benefit the lives of women day-to-day. She mentions the example of the Hippo Water Roller Project, a product which makes it easier to carry a lot more water over long distances:

The point that needs to be taken into account in this area is that it is small innovations like this that don't try to drastically change people's lives from a top-down approach, but small innovations that make their usual daily tasks simpler. There is an example from a village in Sierra Leone in which a water pump was introduced to save women the daily trek to the nearest water source, but this was done without proper consultation of the locals, and it turned out that that walk was the only socialising time some of the women had in their day, and that was taken away due to no longer needing to walk so far. The lesson that needs to be learned is to always consult, and not to just decide that one knows what is needed.


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