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  1. Research

    Caring in a changing climate: Centering care work in climate action

    The global care crisis is being exacerbated by the global climate emergency, with interlocking impacts that threaten lives and livelihoods in all parts of the world. These impacts are particularly severe among rural livelihoods in low-income countries. Climate change intensifies the work involved in caring for people, animals, plants, and places. It reduces the availability and quality of public services in marginalized communities and directly compounds the unfair distribution of unpaid care work that sustains gender inequality.

    Yet the intersections of climate change and care work have been overlooked in the development literature. Strategies for climate mitigation and adaptation have paid relatively little attention to how care work is affected by climate impacts, nor have they considered whether interventions improve or intensify the situation of carers. Instead, when designing “gender-sensitive” climate actions, the focus has been largely on women’s economic empowerment as opposed to alleviating or transforming existing distributions of care work.

    The aim of this report is to fill a knowledge gap by examining the points of interaction between climate change impacts and the amount, distribution, and conditions of unpaid care work. We focus on care workers rather than those who are cared for, while stressing the relational nature of care and acknowledging that carers too require care.

    The Research Brief is a concise (18pg) version of the (129pg) report.

    Two events were organized around the launch of this work, both at sixty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66). You can find the recordings linked below. Please note that the recordings are only available in the native language of the speakers (overwhelmingly English). We apologize for the oversight.

  2. Research

    Analysing European Union Institutions’ Flows for Total Official Support for Sustainable Development (TOSSD)

    This report analyses the first round of Total Official Support for Sustainable Development (TOSSD) data from European Union (EU) Institutions.

    The EU is a key stakeholder in the development of TOSSD, as Co-Chair of the International TOSSD Task Force, and in the promotion of this as an essential metric in the implementation of Agenda 2030. It is our hope that this paper’s detailed examination of the scope of what has been reported by the EU Institutions identifies trends and issues arising from the first reporting round for TOSSD, which can be addressed going forward.

    It is timely to acknowledge the level of transparency in the proceedings of the TOSSD Task Force, which has been open to comments and suggestions since its inception, and has recently seated CSO representatives as observers. This transparency has put into practical effect the notion that data validation can, to some extent, be entrusted to third parties provided that the relevant information is available to all interested stakeholders on a timely basis.

    Good norms, such as good reporting instructions, can help steer the development agenda in the right direction for the benefit of the communities of the Global South.

  3. Research

    Carbon pricing: A primer for Oxfam

    Carbon pricing is not a new phenomenon. Backed by widespread consensus in the economic literature that it is the single most-effective policy for addressing climate change, it has been the staple policy priority of many environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Yet carbon pricing has seen limited uptake. Efforts to price carbon have failed in a multitude of contexts. Where they have passed, in most cases, prices have been set too low or covered too little of the economy to effectively address the challenge posed by climate change. As a result, climate advocates have come to question carbon pricing as a primary policy approach. In this context, this paper is not intended to provide novel insights into carbon pricing, nor is it intended to motivate for or against an immediate campaign priority at Oxfam. Rather, this review of carbon pricing is intended to provide a technical background on the topic, considering the concerns that are of greatest salience to Oxfam. The specific aims of the paper are to support Oxfam staff in their deliberation on whether, when, and how to engage on carbon pricing initiatives, as questions around this policy approach shift over the next 20 years. It is anticipated that such reflection would also be useful to a number of organizations whose concerns are similar to Oxfam’s.

  4. Research

    Gender-Responsive Budgeting in Agriculture in Ethiopia

    The gender division of labor in Ethiopia hinders women smallholders’ efforts to improve productivity to close the gap with men’s farms. There is substantial evidence that where women have access to the same inputs and training as men, they can close that gap.

    The government’s national development plan identifies agriculture as the main driver of rapid and inclusive growth. The plan seeks to increase women’s participation in agriculture to 50 percent of all participants. But this can only happen with proper implementation of gender-responsive budgeting (GRB).

    Ethiopia has ratified a number of international conventions and agreements on women’s rights that have guided development of national laws and policies. Nonetheless, the national budgetary process is not yet gender responsive, and the country faces other challenges. Low awareness of gender issues, limited technical skill in mainstreaming gender issues and GRB, lack of adequate resources, and poor enforcement mechanisms are major constraints.

    A majority of women do not participate in decision-making or express their needs during public meetings because of sociocultural barriers that elevate the role of males. Women are usually not invited to meetings and discussions that concern them, under the assumption that men can convey any relevant messages. But information does not consistently get passed to women farmers owing to the erroneous perception that “women do not farm.” Women’s low levels of literacy and limited exposure to information and support by development practitioners also contribute to the problem. As a result, women are often unable to exercise their rights during program design and implementation.

    If agriculture is to lead inclusive development, gender and rural development policies need updating. In addition, achieving high-quality agricultural public spending will require a conducive policy environment and a budget process that promotes the participation and well-being of women and girls as well as men and boys.

  5. Research

    Gender-Responsive Budgeting in Tanzania

    The Constitution and laws of the United Republic of Tanzania require the use of gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) to promote gender-balanced and integrated national economic plans. It is at the village level where community budget needs are identified, though women’s needs are often marginalized. Although women are best at articulating their needs, their voices are seldom raised owing to limited representation. Government budgets typically sideline the needs of small-scale female farmers for access to land, markets, credit, and extension services, especially compared with male farmers. Instead, budgets designed to address general farmers’ needs, such as markets and loans for inputs and storage for surplus harvests, are directed primarily to farmers who grow strategic crops, who are mainly men.

    Tanzania provides for a separate budget facility for women and youth, and although most interviewees from the grassroots and the government consider this as evidence of a gender budget, it reflects a limited knowledge of GRB. Some projects supported by nongovernmental organizations and civil society organizations reflect women’s and men’s diverse needs, a feature that government budgeting should emulate.

    Communities need to be empowered to challenge constraints to their participation in decision making on budgets related to their priority needs. Citizens must be involved in all phases of the budget process and cycle. Government officials and institutions must be provided with adequate GRB knowledge and skills so they can use available democratic systems and structures to empower communities to engage in GRB.

  6. Research

    Risk Factors for Gender-based Violence: The Case of Indian Agriculture

    The present study documents the incidence of domestic and workplace violence among Indian female agricultural workers, and the factors that put these women at risk of violence. Multiple years of nationally representative domestic violence data are analyzed, for the first time focusing on agricultural laborers. This analysis is supplemented by a summary of case studies on working conditions for female tea plantation workers, who form the bulk of hired female agricultural labor in India, focusing on factors that enable workplace violence in this setting. Taken together, the results suggest that, in the case of female agricultural laborers in India, there is significant overlap in the factors that put women at risk of domestic violence and the factors that seem to facilitate workplace violence.

    Among the most important findings, we observe that women whose families have a history of domestic violence, and women whose partners drink frequently, are about 20 percent more likely to be survivors of domestic violence themselves. Importantly, women who are employed are more likely to be survivors of domestic violence, especially women who are employed in commercial plantations, which further confirms the need to look at domestic and workplace violence in connection with each other.

    The review of existing evidence on workplace violence on tea plantations reveals that the extreme and unequal plantation hierarchies, migrant status of the workers, and lack of other job opportunities for female tea pluckers all contribute to a setting where workplace violence is normalized. As with domestic violence, accounts suggest that alcohol consumption aggravates the problem.

    This research is novel in that it makes the connection between domestic and workplace violence explicit. It argues that, in this setting, these issues should be studied in tandem. We also hope to raise broader awareness about the key link between workplace and domestic violence, and the prevalence of abuse within the household.

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