Australia is dealing with the reaction to comments made by a breakfast TV show host, David Koch, who called on women to breastfeed “anywhere, anytime…discreetly”. The reaction from breastfeeding advocates has been loud and clear – back off. This incident highlights how powerful social norms can be and that who claims the norm is as important as the norm itself. Here’s an interesting way to look at the debate:
Photo credits: Left – Splash; Right – ©UNICEF_NYHQ2011-1635_Giacomo Pirozzi
AusAID has launched a new initiative, the Empowering Indonesian Women for Poverty Reduction (MAMPU), that aims to improve the lives of up to 3 million poor women. The program has been designed to build and strengthen gender networks and coalitions in five thematic areas:
- Improving women’s access to government social protection programs
- Increasing women’s access to jobs and removing workplace discrimination
- Improving conditions for women’s overseas labour migration
- Strengthening women’s leadership for better maternal and reproductive health
- Strengthening women’s leadership to reduce violence against women.
The first phase of the program is expected to commence in February 2013 and will run for three and a half years. The proposed implementing service provider will support the program by managing the resourcing, oversight, administration and monitoring of activities across the program. This will include the recruitment of key personnel, the delivery of technical assistance and capacity development across all components, administering and overseeing the provision of grants, and coordinating activities with the program partners.
Posted in Ideas, Opportunities
Tagged AusAID, Australia, gender, health, Indonesia, labor, maternal, reproductive, violence, welfare, women
Michelle Araea and Elva Churem were among the first students of the Australia Pacific Technical College when classes began in Port Moresby in 2007. Photo: Rocky Roe / AusAID
According to Devex, AusAID has a new strategy to enable the agency to develop an enabling environment for businesses in its partner countries — including Indonesia, Cambodia and the Philippines — one that could create jobs and reduce poverty.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Bob Carr unveiled the Australian Agency for International Development’s Private Sector Development Strategy at a business forum in Canberra on Aug. 21. The strategy aims to create opportunities for people in developing countries to “exit poverty” and includes interventions Australia plans to pursue in the different country settings: fragile states, Pacific island developing countries, and low- and middle-income countries.
According to the strategy, a growing private sector is the the engine of economic growth as it is fundamental to moving people out of poverty. Ultimately, people exit poverty when they find work. Even where people are not employed directly in the private sector, taxes collected from business and individuals can be used to fund public services and social safety nets. AusAID plans to increase engagement with the business community, both in Australia and in partner countries. This new strategy provides an opportunity to develop a higher level partnership with AusAID in countries where companies have a current or planned presence.
announced that around three million women would be assisted with jobs, family planning and increased protection against domestic violence as part of a new $60m aid program in Indonesia, including in rural and remote populations.
The Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Bob Carr,
“Indonesia continues to make strong progress in women’s rights, education and jobs,” Senator Carr said. ”Nearly half of all school students are girls, and more women than men are enrolled in universities. But there’s more to be done, especially in rural and eastern Indonesia where female literacy, income and reproductive health are poor.”
Senator Carr also announced that Australia would provide up to $100 million over five years to help build Indonesia’s research capacity and study the impact of development assistance in alleviating poverty. The funding is designed to give Indonesia extra intellectual firepower to lift millions more people out of poverty. Examples of research could include promoting policies to ensure all children get vaccinated and women have access to midwives during childbirth.
Posted in Opportunities, Resources
Tagged AusAID, Australia, child, community, family, government, health, immunisation, Indonesia, maternal, poverty, violence
More than 85 per cent of reefs in Asia’s “Coral Triangle” are directly threatened by human activities such as coastal development, pollution and overfishing, a new report warns. Launched at the International Coral Reef Symposium in Cairns, it urged greater efforts to reduce destructive fishing, harmful tourism practices and run-off from land.
“When these threats are combined with recent coral bleaching, prompted by rising ocean temperatures, the percent of reefs rated as threatened increases to more than 90 percent,” the report said. The World Resources Institute produced the report in close collaboration with the USAID-funded Coral Triangle Support Partnership (CTSP).
Asia’s Coral Triangle covers Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, The Solomon Islands,and East Timor and contains nearly 30 per cent of the world’s reefs and more than 3,000 species of fish. More than 130 million people living in the region rely on reef ecosystems for food, employment, and revenue from tourism. Low awareness among local communities and tourists of the connection between individual behaviours and damage to coral reefs means that programs to address these are needed.