“Women are key to the development challenge,” says Strategies for Promoting Gender Equity in Developing Countries
, but “gender mainstreaming has been associated with more failures than gains.” Detailing findings from an April 2007 conference
co-sponsored by the Wilson Center and the Inter-American Foundation
, the report calls for a redesigned approach operating on multiple fronts. Blogging about the report, About.com’s Linda Lowen dubs the gap between women and men in developing countries a “Grand Canyon-like divide”
compared to the “crack in the sidewalk” faced by Western women.
A Council on Foreign Relations backgrounder on Angola
—now Africa’s leading oil producer—tackles the familiar paradox of extreme poverty in resource-rich countries. Burdened by “an opaque financial system rife with corruption,” Angola’s leaky coffers are filling up with Chinese currency. As Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos put it, “China needs natural resources, and Angola wants development.” FastCompany.com’s “Special Report: China In Africa”
criticizes the overwhelming Chinese presence in Africa: “The sub-Sahara is now the scene of one of the most sweeping, bare-knuckled, and ingenious resource grabs the world has ever seen.”
In Scientific American’s “Facing the Freshwater Crisis,” Peter Rogers writes that the demands of increasing population, along with increasingly frequent droughts due to climate change, signal rough waters ahead, and calls for major infrastructure investments to prevent catastrophe. Closer to home, Circle of Blue reports on a new era of water scarcity in the United States, and director Jim Thebaut’s documentary “Running Dry: The American Southwest” takes a look at the hard-hit region.
Pastoralists are socially marginalized in many countries, making them highly vulnerable to climate change despite their well-developed ability to adapt to changing conditions, reports the International Institute for Environment and Development in “Browsing on fences: Pastoral land rights, livelihoods and adaptation to climate change.” The paper notes that the “high rate of development intervention failure” has worsened the situation, and calls for giving pastoralists “a wider range of resources, agro-ecological as well as socio-economic,” to protect them.