Violence against women: changing attitudes and laws

Around the world women and men are taking part in 16 days of activism to eliminate violence against women. Cat Meredith examines Oxfam’s approach to changing attitudes and laws, from UN conference halls to village committees. A quick scan of the headlines shows that violence against women and girls (VAWG) is depressingly widespread: one in 10 women in Britain have been forced to have sex against …

Violence against women in India, behind the data

On the International Day of Eliminating Violence Against Women, Ranjana Das from Oxfam India explores official crime statistics to see if there is still a culture of impunity for violence against women in India. The Delhi gang-rape case of last December 2012 shocked the world and became a turning point in the prolonged history of violence against women and girls …

Is a woman’s place on the battlefield?

Editor Caroline Sweetman introduces the latest issue of the Gender & Development journal, which looks at gender, conflict and violence through the lens of feminism.  Is a woman’s place on the battlefield? And if she’s there fighting alongside the men, is this progress? Last week I asked this question of students on Oxford Brookes University’s Master’s course in Development and …

After Haiyan: Getting the response right

We have all been shocked by Typhoon Haiyan. Here, Mark Goldring, Oxfam’s Chief Executive, reflects on the challenge of responding effectively and preparing for the future, in the Philippines and beyond.  It is only three years since the world was shocked by Haiti’s earthquake and Pakistan’s terrible floods. In 2010 both governments and private donors responded with massive generosity. In the …

Dear Oxfam, an evaluator writes…

This week we have been highlighting the lessons from the five-year Raising Her Voice programme. Here, we post an open letter to Oxfam from the evaluator who assessed the programme at key points and the impact she saw. Recently I was asked which piece of work I was most proud of.  Without hesitation I said the midterm and final evaluations …

Unpaid carers of the world, unite!

Unpaid care work is the major human rights issue that has too often gone unnoticed on the development agenda. Naomi Hossain, guest blogger from IDS, explains what needs to change. Reality TV sometimes has a better grasp on the realities of social inequality than development. In 2012, The Week the Women Went followed a South Carolina community for a week. The premise: …

Call to action: ending violence against women in emergencies

Today, governments, UN agencies, and NGOs are gathering in London to pledge action to address violence against women and girls in emergencies. Caroline Green asks, what is this all about? What’s the connection between violence, gender and emergencies? And what needs to happen? Gender-based violence (GBV) covers any physical, mental, or social abuse committed on the basis of the victim’s …

When women get together great things are possible – lessons from Raising Her Voice

For five years Raising Her Voice worked in 17 countries to promote women’s participation and influence in decision making. Here Emily Brown, programme coordinator, shares her lessons as we launch the final programme evaluation and summary. ‘A few years back when I visited their villages, these women used to hide their faces when I asked them to say something. Now, within …

Living wage: what happens when companies put well-being before profits

As Oxfam celebrates becoming a living wage employer, Oxfam GB’s ethical trade manager Rachel Wilshaw explains what a living wage means for Oxfam – and why it is so desperately needed by workers in developing countries and the UK alike. For Oxfam, there is nothing more material to our mission to overcome poverty than people being able to earn a …

Who you gonna call? Partnerships in emergency response

From local groups to international tech, Nigel Timmins, Oxfam GB’s Deputy Humanitarian Director, emphasises the importance of making all kinds of partnerships work in humanitarian responses. There’s a lot of dogma in the humanitarian sector. Some feel that local partner organisations are the only legitimate actors in response to a crisis whilst others take the view that by definition, local …