Week 14

Part A

Some of the policies put forth to close the gap in gender equality have been a good start. One organization has focused their efforts no closing the gap– the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly. In 1948, their initial policy in 1948 was more of a general statement– but now, the idea of promoting an ethical stance for the idea that human rights is a “legitimate concern for all cultures”.

Also, The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1979 aka the “Bill of Rights for Women”

the goals are quite simple, they essentially strive for:

  • abolishing sex-discriminating laws
  • establishing public institutions to prevent anti-women laws

Although a treaty like this exists, the gap is still prevalent. In the work force, and also in the US– despite what people may think of the US having an “equal system”

There’s a long way to go, but with more and more places adopting the UN treaty, there can be a movement toward equal working opportunities

Part B

After reading Women, Work, and the Economy– the article specifically pointed out the ways that women can affect the economy in a positive way:

  • There’s evidence that when women are able to develop their full labor market
    potential, there can be significant macroeconomic gains.
  • There are better opportunities for women to earn and control income could contribute to
    broader economic development in developing economies, example) through higher levels of school enrollment for girls.
  • Having equal access to inputs would raise the productivity of female-owned companies.
  • The employment of women on an equal basis would allow companies to make better use of the available talent pool, with potential growth implications.

Perhaps the most challenging thing for women is their inability to break the gender stereotype. This causes them to fall a few steps behind rather than being viewed as members of society who can be valued members of the workforce. The idea of women only serving as household figures is detrimental to any progress in the job market– the male mindset must change in order to create sustainable gender equality.

The video above is about the women of Chad, and how the local business has had a positive effect in their community. Ive come to notice that women are more likely to invest their earnings back into the community which helps in generating economy. So, to me it’s a shame when women are not at the forefront of their community’s economy– it’s the best way to get women involved in the workforce so they can pay it forward to their respective villages, communities, towns, etc.

Week 13

Eve Ensler’s Ted Talk

In her talk, Eve Ensler, the writer/creator of the Vagina Monologues, talks about, empowering young women to overcome societies obstacles

providing knowledge gives power

To me, educating women is an extremely important discussion to have in this day and age. Providing education to young women is vital for a country to prosper economically. Once women are educated and skilled, they can contribute in the workforce and the economy. The small change could lead to progress for women in social areas as well, and they can be respected as skilled workers and not put down.

Malawi and other African Countries

Source: Huffingtonpost.com

Let Girl’s Lead is a foundation in founded by Denise Dunning. They focus on leadership and advocating for social change.

“Let Girls Lead invests in leaders and organizations working to improve girls’ lives, enabling them to take their innovative strategies to scale. The UN Foundation’s evaluation of our work demonstrated we have improved the health, education, livelihoods, and rights of 3 million girls.”

LGL’s impacts include:

  • Reducing child marriage in Malawi by empowering girls to advocate with village chiefs, and a national campaign increasing the legal age of marriage.
  • Lowering teen pregnancy and youth HIV infection rates in Honduras by improving young people’s access to education and health services.
  • Guaranteeing protection of girls’ health, education, and welfare in Liberia through passage and implementation of the national Children’s Law.
  • Building a global network of over 100 leaders and organizations to advocate “girl-friendly” laws, policies, and funding.

Let Girls Lead uses education as a way to address and combat issues that are prevalent in African countries such as rape, violence, sex trafficking, HIV/AIDS, and the mistreatment of women. Again, I agree with “knowledge gives power”-because having the knowledge about these issues can be the first and biggest step in prevention from it happening. Giving women the opportunity and the power to know about what is going on around them is the best way to go about these issues holistically.

Week 12

In her Gayle Lemmon’s TED X talk, she mainly focused on the fact that money is power. For many women, money could mean security, opportunity, and other positive associations with the word that are normally overlooked. Lemmon speaks of changing the narrative of women from being the victim, to instead allowing women to flourish financially and not be marginalized.

According to the Equal Rights Organization

“Women in male-dominated industries and those who are marginalized by race, poverty, immigration status, and/or sexual orientation often confront multiple barriers to equal opportunity and fair treatment at work.”

This foundation came up with a list of reasons why women are marginalized within the workforce and ways to combat their disadvantage:
1. Seeking equal opportunity and redress for women facing sexual harassment on the job.
2. Eliminating hiring and promotion barriers for women, including in male-dominated fields.
3. Seeking wage justice and equal pay and promotion opportunities for women workers.
4. Facilitating re-entry into the workforce for formally incarcerated women.

While there has been progress in a number of countries concerning narrowing the gender gap, disparities still continue. Women haven’t met equality with men on such measures as educational success, wages, political empowerment and economic contribution.

The majority of achieved progress has been established in developed nations-whereas developing regions of the world continue to be significantly marginalized and undervalued.

A major reason why gender gaps still exist amongst us is that in the past—leadership has supported the belief that men make better leaders than women in all aspects of life this is still common today. While it is true that female leaders have emerged in the past few decades, it’s still something to digest for some people. In Sub-Saharan Africa, we see that societies still strongly believe that men lead and the women follow.

After reading about Women and Economic Development—Microfinancing sounds like it has given many women and others in poverty the opportunity for the start to a new life (or to begin the life that many never could because of financial constraints). However, as Moyo would tell us, this could be seen as a form of aid. On the flip side, microfinancing appears to help many learn how to become self-sufficient; while learning to pay back loans and etc. Lemmon provides clear examples within her TED X talk that women have become more self-sufficient because of micro-loans. Lemmon also said women are also starting other businesses despite the barriers against them.

Lemmon however, said that moving beyond the word “microfinancing” is extremely important for women’s self-confidence and growth. I think that microfinancing is a good start, as long as the money is paid back once such women are established. Growing out of microfinancing is important for the economy, and for the women to continue to flourish. Lemmon said the solution is to see the potential in emerging women, and to invest in women’s economic potential. This is about global growth and global employment, just as Lemmon said. However, this is also a battle about culture, and changing the mindset of many in order to get people to believe in the bigger possibilities of women. Lemmon said, “When we change the way we see ourselves, others will follow.”

Nigeria

According to the women’s history website:

“Over 85 percent of Ethiopian women reside in rural areas, where peasant families are engaged primarily in subsistence agriculture. Rural women are integrated into the rural economy, which is basically labor intensive and which exacts a heavy physical toll on all, including children.”

This means that less women are in the actual workforce, giving them jobs in urban areas with lower wage. Not only is this wage discrepancy an issue in SSA, it’s an issue around the world.

The website also said:

About 40 percent of employed women in urban areas worked in the service sector, mainly in hotels, restaurants, and bars, according to a 1976 government survey. Employment in production and related areas (such as textiles and food processing) accounted for 25 percent of the female work force, followed by sales, which accounted for about 11 percent. The survey also showed that women factory workers in Addis Ababa earned about a quarter of the wages men earned for the same type of work.

Source: Slidesharecdn.com

Week 11

source: juhudikilimo.com

According to Grameen’s website, it has developed technology, like mobile based solutions, and access to financial services in order to “improve the livelihoods of the region’s poor.”

One of the examples that is listed on the Grameen website is Ghana.

Grameen said it has been working with the Ghana Health Service since 2008. They said that they’ve mostly been working in rural communities in order to increase “antenatal and neonatal” care in Ghana. The Ghana Mobile Technology for Community Health (MOTECH Ghana) was founded/developed in 2009 (through the Bill&Melinda Gates Foundation) –In many of her talks, Moyo talks about how funding should come from other sources, she even mentions Bill Gates.

The technology, appears to be more advanced than what America utilizes for maternal health education and care. Also, the patient database of uploaded patient records has been quite controversial for some time within America, however it is being utilized within Ghana.

Another country listed on the Grameen website is Kenya.

Kenya is also using mobile technology within the country in order to deal with finances. The website reads, “In Kenya, we are using mobile technology to improve access to financial services and information on agriculture.” Meaning, while pairing with Farm Concern International (FCI) and with support from USAID, Grameen Foundation is in the process of developing an “integrated and mobile-enabled system to help smallholder maize farmers.”

The technology or system, would help farmers properly store and manage their crops. It also allows farmers the ability to link to a financial institution, and connect with markets for final sale when prices rebound. Financial services and information would also be available pertaining to farmers managing their crops. This technology, and with the investment fund of The Fairtrade Access Fund, allows farmers to improve their profitability–Commonly known as what Moyo continually refers to as developing the Kenyan economy by relying on the country itself and not aid.

Source: first2board.com

KIVA

Kiva is a website that is helping with the financial sector of things is Kiva.org. Kiva, is based around micro-financing, and helps small business thrive. Kiva identifies microfinance as, “A general term to describe financial services to low-income individuals or to those who do not have access to typical banking services.” The idea is to lift low-income individuals out of poverty by giving those individuals access to financial services. For example, SMEP, a microfinance bank is a nationwide licensed banking institution.

Source: Smep.org

The banking institution has partnered with Kiva in order to increase income generating activities among low income entrepreneurs, improve the business management skills of its clients and create an economically sustainable credit program. “The primary goal of SMEP is to improve the standard of living of economically poor and marginalized entrepreneurs by providing access to credit and other services that can stimulate economic growth.”

source: img.youtube.com

Moyo suggests that in order to establish what some bank models have already done and will continue to do, that there are three interlinked stages to go through:

1. The first is to develop an economic plan

2. The second, enforcing rules of prudence and to not live beyond its means

3. The third, the strengthening of institutions.

Moyo said the only thing that is now lacking is political will. Sachs’ proposal is obviously different, because Moyo’s suggestion, as we have discussed many times before, wants to completely remove the dependence on aid in order to foster innovation.

Moyo said, “Isn’t it more likely that in a world freed of aid, economic life for the majority of Africans might actually improve, that corruption would fall, entrepreneurs would rise, and Africa’s growth engine would start chugging” (145).

In Sangu Delle’s Ted Talk: I thought It was particularly fresh perspective on the economy in African countries– there are such polar-opposite stereotypes about the people in African Countries. Either they need aid or they need to start up a business- this talk broke that stereotype down and addressed the reality of the economy. Some people are looking for a job, and it’s that simple.

In Andrew Mwenda’s Ted Talk: I thought this was an informative talk, especially on the basis of framework of the economies in Africa. Again, the stereotypes that many people have about the economies of poor African countries are shallow perspectives. Mwenda discusses the details that have set up the countries for failure.

Week 8: Part 1

Before Jeffrey D. Sachs lists off within his book, “The End of Poverty,” which countries have a poverty reduction plan established (PRS), he explains which kind of countries should receive help. His solution is:

“Perhaps the most important action that rich countries can take in those circumstances is to help the well-governed neighbors of such countries to prove that there is help available for those that are organized politically to help themselves” (269).

He backs his statement and says, “well-governed countries get far too little [help]” (269). Sachs says he thinksreaches his raising the taxes of the more rich people would supply countries in need to establish a PRS.

“To organize country-level work, each low-income country should adopt a poverty reduction strategy (PRS) specifically designed to meet the Millennium Development Goals” (270).

Source: ebooks-strategy.com

Sachs explains that the existing poverty reduction strategies will not meet the criteria to achieve the MDG’s. However, Sachs does list 5 countries that have reached a status of “notable quality in Africa.” These countries are:

  • Ghana’s Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS)
  • Ethiopia’s Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction Program (SDPRP)
  • Kenya’s Economic Recovery Strategy for Wealth and Employment Creation (ERS)
  • Senegal’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) **(my assigned country)
  • Uganda’s Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP)”

UGANDA

According to The World Bank, President of the Republic of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni wrote that PEAP has been successful, but there needs to be more improvement:

A list of some of the challenges:

(a) to consolidate a national security, deal with the consequences of con oct, and improve regional equity

(b) to restore sustainable growth in the incomes of the poor

(c) to build strong social and economic infrastructure

(d) to enhance human development

(e) to use public resources more efficiently.”

According to Museveni, the challenges listed above is what Uganda would like to focus on. What suprised me was that during the 1990’s poverty fell dramatically within Uganda, and it was not until the 2000’s that income poverty rose, and continued to rise from that point on– this information can’t be found in MDG outlines, but only within the PEAP.

GHANA

According to The World Bank, Ghana’s GPRS, in 2003, “reflected a policy framework that was directed primarily towards the attainment of the anti-poverty objectives of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).” However, presently, the updated version of GPRS from 2005 plans to shift the strategic focus.

“The central goal of the new policy is to accelerate the growth of the economy so that Ghana can achieve middle-income status within a measurable planning period.”

Source: Telegraph.co.uk

Ghana’s and Uganda’s GPRS and PEAP match with what Dambisa Moyo has written within her book, “Dead Aid.” Unlike Sachs, Moyo, thinks that more aid should not be given and that the economy has to be strong in order for the country to be successfull.

Moyo discusses possible capital solutions within her book, such as bonds. Moyo wrote, “Monies raised by bonds could, however, also be used to fund governments’ day-to-day (current) expenditures such as on the military, civil service and trade imbalances” (77).

On the other hand,  Moyo also wrote that once countries mature, some “may choose to reduce the number of bonds they issue in the international market in favour of domestic bond issues or relying on domestic savings and tax” (82).

This means that sometimes countries leave willingly, and sometimes they are forced out. Moyo provides two examples; South Africa and Argentina. South Africa declined its issuance of international bonds and thus its position in the “J.P. Morgan EMBI league table fell and eventually it was dropped” (82).

Moyo also wrote that analyzing the financial strategy of Sub-Saharan Africa can be done by looking at credit ratings. Moyo wrote, “their credit rating determines which investors a borrower gets to see and the cost of borrowing” (83).

Ultimately, “assessing a potential borrower’s ability (mainly the country’s likely future income path based on economic and social factors) and willingness (essentially a political assessment) to repay any debt.”

Moyo also suggested securitizing a bond issue to mitigate risk and reduce the cost of borrowing (96). Moyo explains that this process is “The process of ringfencing, or setting aside, specific cashflows to pay off a debt obligation.”

Source: un.org

The MDG’s are overall goals, for example, for countries like Sub-Saharan African countries. Moyo explains in the conclusion of her chapter that when Sachs estimated the money needed to meet the MDG’s, he required a doubling of aid for each country. Moyo said Ghana was seen as the country that did not wish to maintain the status quo by beginning to not rely heavily on aid.

Week 8 part 2

Moyo in her chapter explains foreign direct investment into Africa, or for countries in general for that matter. Moyo wrote that FDI is not nearly at the capacity of what it should be able to supply. Moyo explains that this is due to the fact that Africa’s labour does not appeal to other more rich countries (99). Moyo uses the example of the Japanese car markets investing in Eastern Europe because of cheap labour costs.

“Yet Africa, which should be on this basis be the prime target for FDI, continues to be broadly ignored,” Moyo wrote (99).

Moyo poses the question as to why, “…given Africa’s level of development, is it that most of the capital flows have by-passed the most needy of continents” (99).

Since the writing of Sachs’ and Moyo’s books, global flows of FDI have, according to the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in London, “there are a number of notable trends characterizing the changing nature of private capital flows to Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).” For example, “Inward foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to SSA increased from less than US$ 15 billion in 2001 to about US$ 37 billion in 2011.” This data was based on the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD data).

ODI also proposes that FDI is not all that is needed, instead, “…capital flows beyond FDI will also be important for SSA over 2012-13 and into the future.” ODI wrote that significant bond activity specifically in Zambia or equity inflows in Nigeria are two examples of improvement beyond FDI. ODI does warn that, “Although this will affect the more developed SSA countries more than SSA fragile states which will continue to rely on official development assistance (ODA), and increasingly FDI, for some time.”

Moyo said that in order for a country to receive an FDI the labor costs are low, opportunity to invest is high, investable and it is still promising even as the home to some of the poorest countries in the world:

The point that ODI makes about FDI ties back into Moyo’s theory that giving more “aid” will not do any good for a developing country. Which is interesting when Moyo is encouraging Africa to become a more dependent FDI country. She wrote, “…as home to some of the poorest countries in the world, Africa should be FDI’s natural suitor” (99).

Week 6: Senegal and Mali

According to their website, the Consolidated Appeals process (known as CAP) is “a programme cycle for aid organisations to plan, coordinate, fund, implement, and monitor their response to disasters and emergencies, in consultation with governments.”

Source: Reliefweb.int

The UN Overview of Global Humanitarian Action at Mid-Year handbook indicates the following:

2013: There was an expansion of “CAP” in Mali, due to political tension between natives, international people, and rebel forces

2013: Many children under 5 who were at risk of hunger along with almost 130,000 Senegalese people were helped through humanitarian efforts during the time they were enduring hunger. Senegal is considered a non-CAP country, but this crisis called for funding.

GNI

According to INVESTOPEDIA,:

DEFINITION OF ‘GROSS NATIONAL INCOME (GNI)’

The sum of a nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) plus net income received from overseas. Gross national income (GNI) is defined as the sum of value added by all producers who are residents in a nation, plus any product taxes (minus subsidies) not included in output, plus income received from abroad such as employee compensation and property income. GNI measures income received by a country both domestically and from overseas. In this respect, GNI is quite similar to Gross National Product (GNP), which measures output from the citizens and companies of a particular nation, regardless of whether they are located within its boundaries or overseas.

According to the World Bank, the GNI of:

Mali: $23,584,594,402.

Senegal: $31,289,425,706.

Source: Kingthinkstudio.com

OXFAM

When Oxfam calls for developed countries to meet financial commitments of 0.7% of GNI as ODA:

  • Oxfam is asking developed nations to donate 0.7% of their GNI to third world countries. This will give those countries the ability to improve the economic status in their country.

According to the World Bank:

Mali received $1,001,300,000 in ODA “Official Developmental Assistance” in 2012

and Senegal received $1,080,180,000

Source: USAID

US AID

Mali was funded $127.2 million in foreign aid from agencies including the DOS, USAID, MCC, the Treasury, DoD, the Peace Corps, USADF, USDA, IAF, and HHS.

Benefits went to:

  • humanitarian efforts
  • economy
  • health aid

Senegal was funded $227.6 million in foreign aid, Majority was given by US Aid, and the rest by MCC.

Benefits went to:

  • Economy
  • health development

Policy Coherence for Development (PCD)

The Policy Coherence for Development is related to MDGS because it’s a way to include different facors such as economy, environment, government, social issues to help develop a sustainable country. They use analytical methods to determine what’s right and wrong for countries, as well as protecting political engagements, by ensuring ODA is being carried out. The PCD works to improve countries that donate and countries who receive donations.