Deputy Administrator for USAID Don Steinberg provided a keynote address in which he spoke about the agency’s efforts to integrate gender policy across all programs. Acknowledging the changing landscape—with the creation of UN Women and recent commitments from President Obama and Secretary Clinton— and the growing awareness of the consequences for excluding women and girls from society, Steinberg said this was a time for action. Some of the action steps USAID has taken include: requiring a gender impact statement on all projects, mandatory training, a code of conduct for trafficking, and the creation of two senior positions for gender empowerment. After listing these steps, Steinberg said the agency is committed to making sure these gains “deepen and are irreversible” adding, “These are non-negotiable requirements for lasting peace and stability—not pet rocks in a rucksack.”
MFAN is thrilled to kick off a blog series on the reform aspects of Feed the Future. The first post in the series is from Mannik Sakayan, Senior Policy Analyst at Bread for the World. Be sure to check back in the coming weeks as we feature posts from World Food Program USA, ActionAid, the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa, and the German Marshall Fund.
As we approach the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day next week, Heather Coleman of Oxfam America writes about how she is inspired and humbled by the actions women and men are taking across the country to raise awareness about climate change, hunger, and other injustices facing women in poor countries.
Tuesday, March 8 marks the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, but MFAN Partner Women Thrive Worldwide is drawing attention to the importance of women’s empowerment a few days early. Tomorrow morning they will have their 3rd annual International Women’s Day breakfast as the community takes stock of the progress made in agricultural development and food security and explores important questions for charting a path forward for gender equality.
“The United States provides foreign assistance because it serves our interests. Helping countries become more democratic, more stable, more capable of defending themselves and better at pulling themselves out of poverty is just as important for us, our national security and our economic prosperity as it is for them.”