Building a Different World of Work for Women and Girls

By Gregory Adams, Locus

Women and girls provide much of the labor and talent that makes our communities work. But they routinely don’t get the pay, opportunities or esteem that men do. International Women’s Day forces us to pay special attention to the variety of challenges that women and girls face, particularly in the world of work. As we celebrate the unique and various contributions of women and girls to our communities, we also reflect on how we should be doing more every day to help women and girls claim their rights and reach their goals.

Rosalina, 29, works in the “Turkmenbashi Tekstil Kompleksi” – the biggest textile factory in Central Asia. The new technologies used at the factory are said to be environmentally friendly and constitute no danger to the health of the population. Over 3 thousand people, 95 percent women, work in the textile factory. Photo Credit: Daro Sulakauri/ADB

This year, the theme of International Women’s Day is “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030,” that explores how much we ask of the women and girls in our society, and how we often fail to fairly value them for their labor and talent. We’ve asked a number of Locus members to consider these issues, and share how they are grappling with gender and livelihoods in their work.

John Coonrod of The Hunger Project asks us to consider the “time poverty” that women face, and explore how our better development approaches can actually save women time by helping them solve multiple challenges at once.

Tricia Petruney of FHI 360 urges us to draw from our own experience and knowledge to address complex challenges faced by women and girls around the world. She argues that, rather than treating women and girls as laundry lists of challenges, we should seek to design and implement programs that treat women as girls as individuals with complex lives, ideas and ambitions.

Karina Weinstein of FXB explores how the FXBVillages approach helps women tackle a variety of obstacles, to achieve the goals they define themselves.

Finally, we’d like to hear from you: what are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in trying to design or implement programs with a gender-sensitive approach? Please sound off in the Locus community of practice forum!