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‘SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOOD INTERVENTIONS ON THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF RURAL WOMEN COOPERATIVES’


first_imgSustainable livelihood initiatives are sets of activities that rural dwellers engage especially women in economic activities that have the propensity to adverting individual subsistence farming approach to a collaborative cooperative sector approach in order to increase productivity. This approach is unique since individual approach is a contributing factor to these women being poor. Poverty is pervasive and particularly acute in rural areas of the country. It has many dimensions, which include low levels of income and consumption, poor nutrition, and food insecurity; as such, according to UNDP Report 2004, 86% of the poor people in Liberia live in rural areas. Many of them are women and other vulnerable groups.These less fortune population are largely confined with numerous problems which include: limited participation in decision making processes, low or no income earning at all and high illiteracy rate among women and subsistence farming due to very limited access to seeds, tools and improved agricultural techniques.Rural Liberian women‘s economic deprivation is perpetuated by high illiteracy rate among other factors. These rural women need collective approach in achieving the level of self-confidence and self-actualization that promote their participation in community-decision making and enhancing their capacities to short-run livelihood activities, such as savings and credit facilities. There is an emerging need to positively engage these rural women who have some potential in making meaningful contributions to the socio-economic development and life sustaining progress or programs.Efforts are been exerted by different stakeholders to accelerate the initiatives of women of such nature in various women empowerment initiatives. These interventions are all endeavor to empower local communities through sustainable economic initiatives and toward erasing the social barriers that hinder their day-to-day improvement. Life being the matter of climbing the ladder step-by-step, and the Integrated Rural Development being standardized, the Suakoko women would soon see their roles as a meaningful one. A number rural cooperative have thus far emerged in the far and reach has received a number of boosts (technical capacity support) from relevant agencies and international partners in the areas of women and community development programs.Regardless of the level of development achieved by the respective economies, women play a pivotal role in agriculture and in rural development in most countries of the Asia-Pacific Region. Evidently there are serious constraints which mitigate against the promotion of an effective role for women in development in those societies which were bound by age-old traditions and beliefs. Patriarchal modes and practices motivated by cultures and/or interpretations of religious sanctions and illiteracy hinder women’s freedom to opt for various choices to assert greater mobility in social interactions. Resulting from these situations, women’s contribution to agriculture and other sectors in the economy remain concealed and unaccounted for in monitoring economic performance measurement. Consequently, they are generally invisible in plans and programs. They were, in fact, discriminated against by stereotypes which restrict them to a reproductive role, and denied access to resources which could eventually enhance their social and economic contribution to the society.In developing countries, among the poor, rural women are the poorest and more vulnerable. Empirical evidences suggest that women in rural areas are more adversely affected by poverty than men. The incidence of poverty among rural women is on the rise in most of the developing countries. The issues of gender bias and equity point to the double burden women have to bear – that on being poor and being a woman. Further strategies and programs for development had largely overlooked the question of gender equity. Projects aiming to reduce poverty view the poor rural women as the recipient of benefits of development, instead of active participant and still poor rural women have the least access to basic needs such as food, health and education.Not only do women produce and process agricultural products but they are also responsible for much of the trade in these and other goods in many parts of the third world. In many parts of the world, women continue to play an important role as rural information sources and providers of food to urban areas. This may involve food from the sea as well as from the land. Although women rarely work as fisher people they are often involved in net-making and the preparation and sale of the catch. Women’s roles and status all over the world are generally determined by social institutions and norms, religious ideologies, eco-systems and by class positions. The Indian social systems exhibit such grave disparities. Indian women are not a homogeneous group. Their traditional roles are not identical in all strata of society.Norms and taboos governing their roles and behaviors within and outside the family, the structure of family organizations and social practices and the positions accorded to women in a community differ considerably across regions, cultures and levels of socio-economic development. It is needless to emphasis on the significant contribution of women to agricultural production and household food security. In the process of production, handling and preparation of food, women play a multiple role throughout the sequence. They are said to be “feeding the world”. Do women really feed the world? Let us consider the evidence. On a global scale, women produce more than half of all the food that is grown. In sub-Sahara Africa and the Caribbean, they produce up to 80% of basic foodstuffs. In Asia, they provide from 50 to 90% of the labor for rice cultivation. And in Southeast Asia and the Pacific as well as Latin America, women’s home gardens represent some of the most complex agricultural systems known. In countries in transition, the percentage of rural women working in agriculture ranges from about a third in Bosnia and Herzegovina to more than half in Poland. Across much of the developing world, rural women provide most of the labor for farming, from soil preparation to harvest. After the harvest, they are almost entirely responsible for operations such as storage, handling, stocking, marketing and processing. Women in rural areas generally bear primary responsibility for the nutrition of their children, from gestation through weaning and throughout the critical period of growth. In addition, they are the principal food producers and preparers for the rest of the family.Despite their contributions to food security, women tend to be invisible actors in development. All too often, their work is not recorded in statistics or mentioned in reports. As a result, their contribution is poorly understood and often underestimated. There are many reasons for this. Work in the household is often considered to be part of a woman’s duties as wife and mother, rather than an occupation to be accounted for in both the household and the national economy. Outside the household, a great deal of rural women labor — whether regular or seasonal – goes unpaid and is, therefore, rarely taken into account in official statistics (Prakash, Women & Food Security Issues).In most countries, women do not own the land they cultivate. Discriminatory laws and practices for inheritance of and access and ownership to land are still widespread. Land that women do own tends to consist of smaller, less valuable plots that are also frequently overlooked in statistics. Furthermore, women are usually responsible for the food crops destined for immediate consumption by the household, that is, for subsistence crops rather than cash crops. Also, when data is collected for national statistics, gender is often ignored or the data is biased in the sense that it is collected only from males, who are assumed to be the heads of households. These handicaps have contributed to an increasing “feminization” of poverty. Since the 1970s, the number of women living below the poverty line has increased by 50%, in comparison with 30% for their male counterparts. Women may feed the world today, but, given this formidable lists of obstacles placed in their path, will they be able to produce the additional food needed for a world population expected to grow by three billion in 2030 (NATTCCO, Gender Sensitivity Training for Cooperatives)?During the FAO-sponsored World Food summit of 1996, world leaders from 186 countries adopted the Rome Declaration on World Food Security and a Plan of Action. These international agreements specified that the role of women in agriculture and food security must be emphasized, in order to create the enabling political, social and economic environment required for the eradication of hunger and poverty. Under Commitment-I of the World Food Summit Plan of Action agenda, governments committed themselves to:– Support and implement commitments made at the 4th World Conference on Women that a gender perspective is mainstreamed in all policies;– Promote women’s full and equal participation in the economy…including secure and equal access to and control over credit, land and water;– Ensure that institutions provide equal access for women;– Provide equal gender opportunities for education and training in food production, processing and marketing;– Tailor extension and technical services to women producers and increase the number of women advisors and agents;– Improve the collection, dissemination and use of gender-disaggregated data [which distinguishes between males and females];– Focus research efforts on the division of labor and on income access and control within the household; and– Gather information on women’s traditional knowledge and skills in agriculture, fisheries, forestry and natural resources management.About the AuthorJohn M. Willie is a cooperative development specialist, who has a wealth of experience in cooperative society development in Liberia. A 1978 graduate of the Booker Washington Institute also studied at Plunke Foundation for Cooperative Study in England in 1979. From 1975 to 1985, he worked as Cooperative Manager at the Bong County Agriculture Development Project (BCADP). He has been a staff at various levels up to the office of Acting Registrar from 1985 to 1989 of the state-operated Cooperative Development Agency (CDA). The Author is currently the Deputy Secretary General of the Liberia National Federation of Cooperative Society. He has contributed immensely to the establishment and sustainability of scores of cooperative societies in Bong, Lofa and Nimba Counties.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more


Round-up: Bees joy, young Blues crush Arsenal, Cech latest, Jose warning


first_imgJota was Brentford’s heroBrentford are celebrating a dramatic victory against Fulham in the west London derby at Griffin Park.Jota scored a late winner as Brentford came from behind to beat their neighbours.Bees boss Mark Warburton hailed his players after the game, while Fulham manager Kit Symons admitted he was “gutted”.Chelsea and QPR are both in action on Saturday. The Blues are 1/4 to continue their winning run by beating West Brom, while Rangers are 4/1 to win at Newcastle.Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas is set to undergo fitness test to see if he can start for Jose Mourinho’s side, while Ramires has been passed fit to play despite an ongoing injury concern.Blues youngster Nathan Ake has been sidelined by a hamstring problem but on a brighter note for Chelsea, their Under-18s beat Arsenal 3-0.Cech has been tipped to moveAmid speculation that Arsenal and AC Milan want to sign Chelsea’s Petr Cech, Mourinho has insisted that no approach has been made for the goalkeeper.Mourinho has also warned that his team still have some work to do if they are to seal their place in the knockout stage of the Champions League and avoid ending up in the Europa League.Meanwhile, QPR boss Harry Redknapp has said he has no regrets about turning down the chance to take over as Newcastle manager in 2008, while he was at Portsmouth.In boxing, local rivals George Groves and James DeGale have weighed in ahead of their respective fights in Liverpool.And in handball, Ruislip Eagles are set to begin their European campaign. They face Belgian side HC Vise in the EHF Challenge Cup on Saturday.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more


Industry Interview: CW Costume Designer Catherine Ashton


first_imgWe had a conversation with costume designer Catherine Ashton about her approach to each character — from color to texture to how emotion influences style.PremiumBeat: Irene Sharaff, the costume designer of West Side Story, said she approaches design like a painting: everything in blocks of color. Do you have your own “first way in” when you are beginning a new project?Catherine Ashton: I approach design like one big tapestry. Each character is unique in how they look. Every character has a distinct personality, and it is that personality that determines how they are dressed. Once they become alive to me, my characters then mingle and intertwine with each other but are bonded together by one single thread, which holds them together throughout the storyline.Life in a Year (CW).PB: The feature film, Life in a Year, deals with a 17-year-old boy who finds out his girlfriend is dying. How much of your design approach is focused on who they are vs. what the characters are going through?CA: It was a mixture of both. For example, Jaden Smith (Daryn) who plays the 17-year-old boyfriend, starts off crisp and clean. But as his relationship with Cara Delevingne (Isabelle) grows, his look changes. He isn’t thinking about what he is going to wear next because his whole purpose now is to give his dying girlfriend a full life, with what little time she has.Cara Delevingne is a brilliant actress and takes a methodical approach to her characters, and that is why I relied heavily on her input when dressing her character. There is a scene in the movie wherein Cara/Isabelle is standing in a very pale yellow slip, her head shaven. It is in this scene the audience really gets the full glimpse of how fragile Isabelle is — and how fragile life is. For this scene, Cara had her head shaven, and she wanted the palest, loose-fitting slip to show how cancer had ravaged her character’s body.In the Dark (CW).PB: You’ve worked robustly in television. The new series In the Dark revolves around a blind, young woman. How did you develop her fashion sense? Did you feel any obligation to address the false narrative that a visually impaired character wouldn’t care about her looks?CA: I feel no matter who you are, everyone has a sense of pride when it comes to their appearance. Some may be more relaxed than others, but as a whole, we all matter to ourselves. On In The Dark, I had the pleasure to work with Calle Walton, who plays Chloe. Calle — in real life — is visually impaired. Calle was very helpful to me when dressing her character because she explained to me how she shops for herself. During our fittings, Calle would always ask me what color the item was. Together, we would feel the shape of the clothing style, and then I would explain how it would fit her. I tried to buy clothing for Calle/Chloe that had texture to it, so she could feel the fabric and get a sense of the garment and its movement. I used this same approach when dressing Murphy. I looked for clothing that was cozy and had details for her to feel.Beauty and the Beast (CW).PB: Both Covert Affairs and Beauty and the Beast are action-driven and have a very practical-yet-sleek-and-sexy look to the characters. What was involved in conceptualizing the look of each show?CA: I was very much involved in conceptualizing the looks of these shows. Both shows had a lot of stunts, so the costumes had to be designed to look fashionable and sexy, and be able to endure the many stunts.PB: Any genre on your bucket list to design?CA: I love what I do so much, so any show that I get to design, and any character looks I get to create, is an honor. But If I had to make a choice, it would be the ’60s. I feel it would be so much fun to do.Cover image via In the Dark (CW).Looking for more industry interviews? Check these out.Industry Interview: “Whiplash” Production Designer Melanie JonesInterview: “My Dinner with Herve” Composer David NorlandThe Universal Language of Music: Interview with Composer Jacob YoffeeIndustry Insights: Behind the Scenes with Editor Nena ErbMake Your Documentaries Matter with Awe-Inspiring Materiallast_img read more


Security Minister announces measures to combat crime and violence


first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppKingston, Jamaica, January 3, 2017 – National Security Minister, Hon. Robert Montague, has announced a raft of measures to combat crime and violence and to improve the effectiveness of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) for 2017.  Speaking at the JCF’s annual devotional exercise at the Police Commissioner’s Office, Old Hope Road, in St. Andrew, on January 3, Mr. Montague informed that among the measures will be the splitting of the St. James Police Division “to bring to bear more resources on the problems in St. James”. He further announced the arrival of two naval ships on January 21 from the Netherlands for the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard, to patrol the seas in order to secure the nation’s borders.   A surveillance plane will also arrive later this year, which will provide additional protection and security for Jamaica’s borders to prevent the trafficking of guns and ammunition. Meanwhile, Mr. Montague noted that 40 rank-and-file members of the JCF will be travelling to Cuba for training with dogs that have been acquired.  The National Security Minister pointed out that 200 more vehicles will be added to the JCF fleet in order to enable every police station to respond appropriately to various occurrences. “We’re going to be expanding the closed-circuit television (CCTV) network. We have four towns with CCTV cameras and we’ll be expanding this into New Kingston,” the Minister said.   “Private persons with CCTV will also be able to send their footage to the police. We’re going to do facial recognition, geofencing and license-plate reading. We’re going to be investing heavily in the intelligence network to lead the operations of the Force,” continued Mr. Montague.  Regarding legislation, he noted that several changes were coming to the Bail, Firearm and Fingerprint Acts.   “The Firearm Act is special to me. The message must be clearly sent that when you take up a gun, you are going to spend a long time behind bars,” he emphasized.  Attention is also to be given to praedial larceny, and motorcyclists’ helmets will be required to bear a registration number. Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Novelette Grant, said the members of the JCF must value themselves and the service they give.   She encouraged them to partner with citizens to rid the country of crime and violence. In his New Year’s Message to the nation, Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, said the Government is prepared to use the full force of the law to address the crime problem, as it is the greatest threat to the country’s economic independence.   He urged persons to report crimes, noting that “information is the best weapon against criminals”. The annual devotional exercise was held under the theme ‘Our Journey…with Christ’. center_img Photo Credit: JamaicaObserverlast_img read more