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Jamaican youth: taking on gender stereotypes to address sexual violence

Jonna Lundwall's picture

In Jamaica, widespread violence constitutes a serious development challenge that affects men and women across generations. Young men and women are particularly at risk of experiencing violence, albeit in different forms and for different reasons

Without empowered women, there is no future for rural areas

Francisco Obreque's picture
Also available in: Español
A beneficiary family from the commmunity of San José del Paredón (in Chuquisaca, Bolivia) celebrates the new irrigation system.
A beneficiary family from the commmunity of San José del Paredón in Bolivia celebrates the new irrigation system. Photo: Gabriela Orozco / World Bank. 

“When the company let us down, we only imposed a fine. We must be firm with companies and with vendors, otherwise they fail to fulfill their end. This is how to move the project forward”. This testimony impressed me a lot when I heard it from an indigenous woman in Bolivia, who was proud to be part of the steering committee and defend the interests of the community in the project.

Bolivia has a terrific success story to tell about encouraging rural women to take the lead in their communities and organizations and lift themselves and their families out of poverty.

Part of the #Youthbiz movement? Share your story!

Valerie Lorena's picture
Also available in: Español

Also available in: Français | العربية

A boat trip from Port Elizabeth to Kingstown, in the Caribbean country of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, is a one-hour trip that locals take several times a day. It was during one of these journeys that the boat of Kamara Jerome, a young Vincentian fisherman, ran out of gas six miles from Bequia City in what is termed locally as the "Bequia Channel." While waiting for help with strong wind gusts and the sun on his head, the idea of developing a boat that would run with wind and solar energy was born. Soon after, the idea became a prototype; a boat using green technology was on the water making 20-year-old Jerome a winner of international innovation competitions and a role model to other Caribbean youth. 
In Mexico, young engineer Daniel Gomez runs a multimillion bio-diesel company originally conceived as a research project for his high school chemistry class. Gomez and his partners - Guillermo Colunga, Antonio Lopez, and Mauricio Pareja - founded SOLBEN (Solutions in bio-energy in Spanish) in their early twenties. 
Although Daniel and Kamara have different educational backgrounds, they do share one important skill, the ability to identify a problem, develop an innovative solution, and take it to the market. In other words, being an entrepreneur, an alternative to be economically active, that seems to work and not only for a few.

Communities stand up to gender-based violence in Honduras and Guatemala

Jennifer McCleary-Sills's picture
Also available in: Español

“Despite all the work that we have been doing, the number of women reporting domestic violence cases has been increasing,” one of the participants in a workshop of the Safer Municipalities project said, expressing his frustration.  The Safer Municipalities project is an initiative of the Government of Honduras aimed at preventing violence nationwide.  He added, “There must be something missing in the services and referral system we offer for domestic violence in the Municipal Office for Women.”

As the facilitators of the workshop discussion, we replied that quite the opposite was true:  an increase in the reporting of domestic violence cases is a positive sign that there is growing confidence in local institutions and a result of the Municipal Office’s efforts.  The challenge, we explained, is to address the causes of violence to better support prevention efforts and improve services and response systems.

In Latin America, Hard Hats and Tools are no longer only for Men

Maria Margarita Nunez's picture
Also available in: Español

Women that have joined road maintenance has increased significantly.

While driving around rural areas of Puno in Peru, Caaguazú in Paraguay or Granada in Nicaragua, do not be surprised to see women lifting rocks from the roads and using shovels and picks alongside men.  In fact, in the past 15 years, the number of women that have joined organizations in charge of routine road maintenance in Latin America has increased significantly and with this their life conditions have improved dramatically.

La jeune fille qui a construit sa propre maison : « Je n'ai pas à demander à quelqu'un d’autre de le faire pour moi »

Kamilah Morain's picture
Also available in: English

En Haïti, le recrutement de jeunes femmes pour les former à ce qui a toujours été perçu comme des métiers majoritairement masculins est une tâche difficile. Notre équipe a découvert que, si de nombreuses familles voulaient profiter de l'occasion qu’offrait la formation pour éduquer leurs filles, elles étaient hésitantes parce que la formation offerte était dans des rôles non traditionnels.

En effet, ces étudiantes allaient apprendre des professions attribuées à des ouvriers/artisans tels que la maçonnerie, la menuiserie, la manœuvre d’engins lourds, la plomberie et le câblage électrique. Les pères et surtout les mères se sont farouchement opposés à ce que leurs filles exercent ce type de métier, mais pour des raisons différentes.

Chez les pères c’était souvent la même question qui revenait : «Pourquoi vous ne leur apprenez pas à faire quelque chose de plus respectable, plus adapté pour une fille, à être secrétaire, ou travailler dans un hôpital ?". Quant aux mères, la principale raison du refus était la crainte pour la sécurité de leurs filles, de peur qu’elles puissent devenir des cibles faciles pour des hommes sans scrupules, au sein de professions à domination clairement masculines.

The girl that built her own house: “I don’t have to ask someone else to do it for me”

Kamilah Morain's picture
Also available in: Français

In Haiti, recruiting young women to train for what has traditionally been perceived as predominantly masculine disciplines is a challenging task. Our team discovered that many families wanted to take advantage of an opportunity to educate their daughters, yet they were hesitant because the training being offered was in non-traditional roles.

These female students were going to learn professions attributed to tradesmen such as masonry, carpentry, heavy machinery maneuvering, plumbing and electrical wiring. Fathers and especially mothers were fiercely opposed to having their daughters do this type of work but for different reasons.

Fathers often asked the question: “Why you don’t teach them to do something more respectable, more suited for a girl, to be a secretary, or work in a hospital?” Mothers countered the idea with safety concerns, afraid that their daughters could become easy targets for unscrupulous men in what are clearly male dominated professions.

Bringing Down Gender Barriers: Testimony of a Colombian Bus Driver

Isabelle Schaefer's picture
Also available in: Español

When I met Juliette Cadavid, I was immediately impressed with her energy and her smile. I was in Pereira, in the coffee zone of Colombia, filming a video on the mass transportation system of the city, Megabus, supported by a World Bank project.

But when Juliette told me her story, how she was the only woman to drive one of the larger buses (articulados) of the Megabus system (she says there are two more women driving smaller buses), how her career in the public transportation world started and how she carried on with faith and work till she landed a job in an urban transportation system, I told myself that this was a story I wanted to share.

With her urge to achieve her goals, she reminded me of the documentary Girl Rising, and how women face challenges in a world of men, but with the hope that they can overcome them.

As World Bank reports show, women have been key to poverty reduction in Latin America: more than 70 million of them joined the labor force in the last 20 years, and their income, on its own, has reduced extreme poverty by 30%. But there are still many barriers and inequalities concerning the type of work, or salary.

Juliette is one of these women who have been able to overcome challenges and stereotypes, and has managed to make her dream come true.

Listen to her story:

Bringing Down Gender Barriers: Testimony of a Colombian Bus Driver




Is organic food more expensive to produce? Fact or fiction

Mary L. González's picture
Also available in: Español

My work with small-hold cocoa farmers in Nicaragua has taught me that it is not true that organic production is more expensive, complicated to learn and unsustainable.
The Sustainable Agroforestry Cocoa Production Project (COCOA-RAAN) was implemented within the Autonomous Region of the North Atlantic, the largest in Nicaragua, with a budget of just US$ 1.9 million.  

Colombia: the cup of coffee that changed the life of a whole community

Willem Janssen's picture

También disponible en español

Last Friday was International Women’s Day, but before adding to the general celebratory messages in cyberspace, I would like to tell you about a specific case that truly deserves to be celebrated.

If you are reading this blog while drinking coffee or after a coffee break, this story has to do with you.