Today is International Women's Day. A day originating from women's strikes against poor working conditions in the textile industry, some 100 years ago. Since then, a lot has improved for women but, unfortunately, men and women obviously still don’t have equal rights. In 1949, Simone de Beauvoir already warned that ‘women’s rights will never be vested. You have to stay vigilant your whole life’. Recent developments such as the tightening of abortion laws in some countries confirm this view and show that even in the ‘free West’ women’s rights are still far from self-evident.
It can be hard to establish small-scale adaptation projects in developing countries, because governments, development banks and donors generally prefer to finance larger initiatives. Of course, a single large project is more visible and easier to manage than ten small ones. But it is extremely important that the very small-scale initiatives, which are based on the knowledge and needs of local communities, are supported. How can we ensure that these - often very effective - local projects find their way to the appropriate funds and vice versa?
Between January 12th and 20th, Both ENDS colleague Marie José van der Werff ten Bosch accompanied Chris Reij (CIS, VU University Amsterdam) to the south of Niger, to see with her own eyes what Chris has been advocating for many years now: farmers have turned this dry part of the Sahel green.
On Friday, the long awaited policy note by Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag was published. The note was the outcome of a process of consultation, scientific analysis and much discussion within and outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We searched for the spirit underlying it: What trends does this minister consolidate and deepen? What is new? Are those new aspects a superficial change of discourse or a genuine break with the past? On what issues is the paper silent and what do those silences tell us?