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WASHINGTON, March 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today ACDI/VOCA marks its commitment to gender equity and women's empowerment with International Women's Day events in Washington, D.C., and countries around the world.
Women are essential to economic growth in developing countries, and investments in women often return multiple dividends for families and communities. Yet in both developed and developing countries, women face inequities that can impede their ability to earn a living and better their lives. Taken as a whole, gender disadvantage and discrimination can depress entire societies.
For these reasons, ACDI/VOCA takes special measures to integrate and engage women in its 76 projects in 36 countries. It recently launched a gender policy that elevates this commitment and codifies an approach. ACDI/VOCA has 30 gender specialists around the globe that help programs take practical actions to implement the policy supporting women's empowerment and promoting gender equity.
Award for Advancing Gender Equity
ACDI/VOCA's Award for Advancing Gender Equity recognizes exceptional gender initiatives within the organization. This year's awardees are Fatimati M'Bare from Burkina Faso for showing leadership; Amit Singh from India for his innovation in piloting e-learning for women farmers; and Elizabeth Temu from Tanzania for generating community support for gender equity.
"Our annual Award for Advancing Gender Equity is unique to ACDI/VOCA and one of my favorite initiatives. The award recognizes that gender integration is the work of many people," said Lindsey Jones, ACDI/VOCA's global gender advisor. "And this year, in honor of our 50th anniversary, we are excited to recognize a special category of individuals who have pushed the gender agenda forward at ACDI/VOCA for multiple decades."
Recipients are George Dalire from the Philippines, Ruth Campbell from headquarters and Shoira Sadykova from Tajikistan, who is general director of ACDI/VOCA's affiliated financial institution MDO Arvand. All of these awardees have shown sustained commitment to gender throughout their years with ACDI/VOCA.
International Women's Day Events Worldwide
ACDI/VOCA programs worldwide are holding International Women's Day events to highlight the past year's work, celebrate and launch initiatives.
In Colombia, ACDI/VOCA's Afro-Colombian and Indigenous program will present the city of Quibdo's first-ever gender equity policy.Since November, over 800 women have participated in workshops and information sessions to support the creation of the policy, along with the mayor of Quibdo and the newly appointed secretary of gender equality.
The Agribusiness Systems International Sunhara India project, working to strengthen the role of women farmers, recently held a women farmer fair in Pratapgarh, India. Nearly 2,500 women and over 500 men attended the fair to learn new technologies and link to market opportunities. On March 8, more than 20 groups of women farmers working with the project are joining together to reflect on progress and collaborate on next steps.
In Iraq, in collaboration with three local NGOs, ACDI/VOCA is holding an event with government officials on eliminating violence against women and engaging women in elections.
For International Women's Day, ACDIVOCA Paraguay is publicly presenting the ACDI/VOCA gender policy to promote equitable approaches.
In Liberia, program participants are organizing regional events under the national theme, "preventing violence against women and girls; sustaining nation building."
"We celebrate International Women's Day and commit ourselves to gender equity in our programs that empower both women and men to build vibrant, healthy communities worldwide," said Lindsey Jones.