1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Blogs and Think Pieces by Keyword - Humanitarian assistance

  • Two Steps Forward, One Step Back? Taking Stock of Progress on Gender Equality since the Beijing Platform for Action (26 Nov 2015) | Andrea Kaufmann, Valeria Esquivel
    The 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action marked an important moment for gender equality. However, in the decades since then the achievements are under threat or may even be rolled back. The concluding piece in the UNRISD Think Piece Series “Let’s Talk about Women’s Rights: 20 Years after the Beijing Platform for Action” brings together some of the main strands of argument covered by 16 feminist thinkers reflecting on the advancements and challenges in gender equality since 1995. Although there have been some successes—the creation and improvement of legal frameworks for the defence of women’s rights, and progress in efforts to combat violence against women—there are still impediments: rigid gender stereotypes in society and institutions, a lack of funding for activism, and conservative forces coupled with a lack of political will to work for further progress. The need to realize women’s rights is now more urgent than ever.
  • Gender Praxis in Emergencies: 20 Years after Beijing (2 Apr 2015) | Anu Pillay
    This think piece offers a brief scan of the humanitarian response environment since the Beijing conference of 1995, within which gender practitioners have been striving to integrate gender concerns. It succinctly reviews the background against which gender mainstreaming entered the humanitarian sector, bringing with it the promise to integrate and mainstream gender concerns into the response to emergencies created by armed conflict or natural disasters. However, looking back on the past 20 years, it shows how gender mainstreaming has emerged as a strategy which is sometimes practiced in a way that is counter-productive to its goal of transforming gender inequality. It takes a look at the way that gender transformative issues of voice, choice, safety and accountability seem to be stuck in the humanitarian-development divide and how resilience is being viewed as the ‘new kid on the block’ which will bridge that divide. The author asks whether gender praxis, as the embodiment of a commitment to human well-being, could be employed to interrogate the relationship between the vision of gender equality and the strategy for its achievement, and whether gender could be flagged as the unifying factor that already straddles the humanitarian-development divide?
  • Sustainable Agricultural Innovation Systems (SAIS) for Food Security and Environmental Protection (17 Jun 2012) | Christina Bodouroglou, Diana Alarcón
    The twin perils of global food insecurity and environmental degradation necessitate expanding resources and fostering innovation in agriculture to accelerate food production in a sustainable manner, while also supporting poverty reduction. Achieving this will require increased recognition of the centrality of small-scale farming, short-term humanitarian action, and longer term policies for sustainable agricultural innovation systems (SAIS).