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Our blog is open to all of Global Washington’s members to contribute. We value a diversity of opinions on a broad range of subjects of interest to the global health and development community.

Blog article submissions should be around 800-900 words. Photos, graphs, videos and other art that supports the main themes are strongly encouraged.

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How Men and Masculinities Affects Women’s Workforce Participation

By Urvashi Gandhi, Director – Global Advocacy, Breakthrough India

A very big question looming in front of us in India is why, despite the economic boom unleashed by economic reforms, women have been dropping out of the workforce in huge numbers? India has one of the lowest female labor force participation rates among the emerging market economies and developing nations. While slightly more women work in India than in Pakistan (27 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively), Pakistan’s female labor-force participation rate is on the rise — while India’s is deteriorating. The proportion of women working in Bangladesh is three times higher than that of India, which ranks last among BRICS countries.

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Global data shows that no country in the world has achieved equality in unpaid care work or paid equality between men and women. When we are talking about the decreasing number of women’s participation in the formal workforce, there is also a need to talk about the role of men in creating a supportive environment that enables women’s participation in the formal workforce. This support by men and other members of the society is needed not just at the workplace, but also at homes and in communities. Currently the conversation is either totally missing or is being done in a very ad-hoc/reactive manner. Read More

Microcredit Can Be a Life-Changer – But It Isn’t for Everyone

By Heather Targosz, Marketing & Communications Manager, Upaya

One person in every 10 is living in extreme poverty today, earning less than $1.90 per day. This figure has dropped significantly from 35% in 1990, but the issue remains a top priority of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Eradicating poverty (SDG 1) means finding more innovative, cost effective and scalable ways of reaching the last 10%.

Arguably, one of the more effective solutions to alleviating poverty in the past several decades has been microcredit, in which very small loans are extended to impoverished individuals. Microcredit has proven extremely effective in helping individuals, oftentimes women, become entrepreneurs. Given a microloan, a woman might be able to open a fruit stall at the market or sell handcrafted jewelry out of her home. When used properly, the potential of microcredit is remarkable and life-changing for those in poverty. But not everyone is a fit for microcredit. Read More

Nos Vamos: A New Photography Exhibit Explores Migration, Showcasing Work from Independent Media in Central America

by Olga Vnodchenko

SIF brings the harsh reality of Central America to the city of Seattle through a photo exhibit and a conversation with independent journalists in Central America to reflect on the migration crisis in the region.

You are Salvadoran. Your name is Dani, you are 13 years old and your life is in danger. The MS-13 gang accuses you of being an informant for Barrio 18, its rival gang. Both criminal groups were born in the United States 30 years before your time. Now they control your country. You are innocent but you leave. Maybe there are two things that are worth more in the North: the dollar and your life.

You are Nicaraguan. Your name is Leslie, but your nickname is Managua, like the capital of the country where you no longer live. You are with your wife and your daughter in a migrant center in Costa Rica. You had to flee for protesting in the barricades against the repression of Daniel Ortega, a president who no longer represents you. You were targeted by a brutal paramilitary operation. You do not live in your country because political dissidence kills. Perhaps it’s best to never return. Read More