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MEDA focuses on reducing barriers to economic inclusion for excluded populations, especially women, youth and rural populations. We work with diverse partners, particularly the private sector, to create sustainable market access for our end clients.

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International Women's Day Series
Sep
29

Changing constraining gender norms in northern Nigeria

GALS training in northern Nigeria

 

In Bauchi state, northeastern Nigeria, some businesswomen operate their small businesses in an environment where social and gender norms value domestic and care work for women over business activities.

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Sep
23

Impacts of COVID-19 on women and youth at MEDA: Learning from our projects

Woman entrepreneur in Jordan #GenderEqualityWeek

 

There is a threat to the gains made on furthering gender equality around the world - the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

We have written about the global consequences of the novel coronavirus on communities experiencing oppression where the socio-economic effects have laid bare the fissures in our social safety nets and market systems, but have since taken the opportunity to learn more about the localized effects on gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) in MEDA’s programming.

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Sep
21

Measuring impact: How MEDA measures progress on gender equality within households

Gender Equality Week Jordan

 

MEDA’s Jordan Valley Links (JVL) project has been using Gender Progress Markers (GPMs) as a measurement tool, supplementing its other monitoring and evaluation techniques, to thoughtfully and deliberately observe the changes in social and gender dynamics affecting women and men in their families and local communities. These markers help us move beyond numbers and quantitative data; they let us look at how attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors related to gender progress changes over the life of a project.

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Sep
18

The truth about the global gender wage gap

young professional - international pay equity day

 

At age 15 I got my first job as a cashier at a Farmer’s Market. One day, after working there for about two years, I overheard a new hire, a boy, make a comment about how much money he made. I was shocked. He made a dollar more than me an hour for the same job and with less experience. Even as a teenager, I knew this was wrong, and promptly put in my two-week notice. Over the years, I’ve heard countless personal stories similar to my own, and this gender wage gap isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, the 2020 Global Gender Gap Report, which looks at gender gaps in economic participation, education, health and politics, revealed that gender parity will not be attained for 99.5 years.

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Jun
16

Responding to crisis and building resilience: A look at one microfinance institution’s response during a global pandemic

JVLblog1

 

With the COVID 19 crisis erupting globally, financial institutions have been forced to quickly respond and rethink how they can offer quality services to their clients who are now faced with unemployment and stacking debt.

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Jun
01

Visiting Queen Elizabeth Scholar sees how social and cultural change is possible with proper program design, dialogue & measurement

Nigeria WAY

 

My love for social science research is not new. Growing up as a girl in a rural village in East Africa, I witnessed and experienced the impact of gender inequality on my life and the lives of my friends.

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Jun
01

How table banking has paved the way for innovation and economic empowerment for women in Kenya

Kenya Equator4

 

Table banking is an economic loaning system derived from the principals of Muhammad Yunus‘s practice of microfinancing which was catalyzed in Bangladesh and is based primarily on trust.

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May
21

Gender equality and social inclusion in a COVID-19 world

COVID and Gender Equality

 

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds around the world at varying speeds and levels of intensity, one thing has become clear - the socio-economic effects are felt very differently by women and men, and by minority and excluded populations.

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Oct
09

Want to invest in social change? There's a way to do that

Photo of MEDA-supported business owner in Tanzania
 
Impact investment approaches have become increasingly sophisticated, targeting very specific improvements, such as increased gender equality and environmental protection.  Gender lens investment, or GLI, can promote greater gender equality by increasing capital for women-run businesses and supporting enterprises that want to create more gender-equitable workplaces. Green finance can incentivize the adoption of energy efficient technologies or practices.
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Sep
25

The reality of sexual harassment in the workplace: a reflection on Women Deliver 2019

White woman protesting with sign that says,

To mark Canada's second Gender Equality Week, MEDA is highlighting important issues and voices around women’s empowerment and gender equality in the area of economic development. This is the second installment of our #EveryoneBenefits blog series. This blog is written by MEDA Project Coordinator, Allison Nafziger on the reality of sexual harassment in the workplace and what MEDA's doing to ensure its staff and clients are trained and protected.

In June I attended Women Deliver 2019. Heralded as “the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women,” this conference had a lot to say about the theme of sexual harassment and gender-based violence.

The #metoo movement incited an important conversation about sexual harassment in different areas of society; from street-level harassment to board rooms. However, consensus among the general public about what sexual harassment is, how prevalent it is, who it impacts and, perhaps most importantly, what institutions can do about it has not been discussed. This is a lost opportunity.

In this blog, I’d like to explore these questions, drawing on discussions at Women Deliver as well as MEDA’s work in the area of gender equality and social inclusion.

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Sep
13

What tofu can teach us about trade wars

Nigeria WAY - Lami

Vegetarians take note! MEDA’s work in Nigeria is promoting better business for those growing plant-powered protein. One such power protein is the mighty soybean.

Farming is complicated; the farmer must manage pests, work in variable weather and an ever-changing climate. They often to have finance their own crop production and sometimes face economic and land barriers. Moreover, being profitable in a global economy can be difficult.

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Aug
30

Clean technology saves money. Here's how

Client in Jordan

The Jordan Valley Links (JVL) project aims to improve the entrepreneurial and business acumen of women and youth and reduce both market and socio-cultural barriers to their entry for enterprise development. The project provides access to finance and works in food processing; community-based tourism, and clean technologies, ensuring these sectors strive for environmentally sustainability and gender-responsive practices.

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Aug
01

Clean technology ambassadors are changing Jordanian communities

Ahmad NahnoushAhmad Nahnoush

Ahmad Nahnoush is a 27-year-old geology engineer, community mobiliser and ambassador for teaching families and communities on how to integrate clean technologies into their everyday lives. Clean technology is simply any process, product or service that reduces negative environmental impacts through energy efficiency improvements, resource sustainability or environmental protection practices.

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Jun
26

Sharing the joy of composting: Earth Day at the Canadian Embassy in Jordan

Jordan Valley Links staffAnwar, the author, Anwar’s daughter, and Eithar (Access to Finance Specialist) at the event

The Jordan Valley Links (JVL) project aims to improve the entrepreneurial and business acumen of women and youth and reduce both market and socio-cultural barriers to their entry for enterprise development. The project works in access to finance, food processing; community-based tourism, and clean technologies, ensuring all these sectors strive for environmentally sustainability and gender-responsive practices.

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May
27

Putting technology into the hands of women

GROW Ghana

Women in northern Ghana have limited access to agricultural technology and are forced to do most of their farming activities manually, from clearing land to planting, harvesting and processing. This limits their agricultural productivity in multiple ways. Women can only cultivate as much land as they can clear, and since they rarely have title deed to the property, they are frequently forced to move to new plots of land every few years, as their now-improved fields are taken over by male farmers. Traditional planting, scattering seeds by hand, results in low yields, and manual harvesting and processing results in products of inferior quality, which fetch lower prices at market. In addition, farming manually is extremely time- and labour-intensive.

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May
27

Is 'gender' just a buzzword?

Gender and Tanzania

*Trigger warning - domestic violence*

The past few months I have had gender equality and women’s rights on my mind. As a proud feminist, this is not unusual for me, however, something has been gnawing at me recently. It began with International Women’s Day March 8th, and several corresponding events around the day. It is clear that gender equality is a hot topic for NGOs, government, businesses and society. For many, this seemingly elusive, yet ever present term ‘gender’ seems to pop up everywhere these days, to the chagrin and skepticism of some.

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May
10

Imagine having only 0.1% of your country covered by forests – and those forests are under threat

Forests in Jordan

Forests are vulnerable and can easily be taken for granted in countries like Canada that are rich in this natural resource. In Jordan, a country experiencing the impact of climate change and deforestation through desertification, only 0.1% of its land is covered by forests. Forests are considered a novelty in Jordan; every year, thousands of tourists visit the country’s forests.

However, Jordan’s forests are under threat. As temperatures soar, drought and desertification are encroaching on the country’s forest reserves. This is in addition to the urban pressures brought on by population growth, urban sprawl and lack of awareness about environmental challenges.

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Mar
07

Avoiding the Motherhood Penalty in the Jordan Valley

motherhood penalty photo 1What gender-based constraints do women face when accessing training or skills upgrading opportunities? Do training invitations indicate inclusiveness of all women, especially those pregnant, breastfeeding or with children?

The motherhood penalty is often defined as the price women pay for raising a family. In North America, it is focused on systematic disadvantages in pay, hiring, and perceived sense of competence of women with children, as compared to men with the same qualifications.1

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Jan
02

Supporting Your Local Staff with Their Next Challenge

training in Ghana with EQWIP3Tindana, an EQWiP Hub Training Coordinator explaining how to write a professional CV and cover letter at the Wa GROW office

“Today was a really good day.” Those were my exact thoughts while I left the MEDA office on a sunny Wednesday in September after we had finished an afternoon-long training on interview skills facilitated by a team of local trainers from EQWiP Hub Ghana (Educational Quality Work Improvement Program). The Tamale EQWiP Hub is one of 18 dynamic youth innovation spaces located around the world. These spaces connect youth – where they are – with the skills they need to succeed in the workplace and to innovate entrepreneurial ideas.

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Dec
24

GROW Intern Spotlight: Farida Latif

intern farida2

At MEDA's GROW (Greater Rural Opportunities for Women) project office in Tamale, Ghana, we understand the importance of practical teaching opportunities, which is why both the Tamale and Wa GROW offices host local interns throughout the year. Since January of 2018, the Tamale GROW office has had the pleasure of hosting a Monitoring & Evaluation intern, Farida Latif. Farida is a student completing a post graduate diploma in Community Development. As part of her curriculum at the Trent-In-Ghana Program offered at the University of Cape Coast, Farida was required to complete a 3-month mandatory internship with a non-government organization. Farida had a list of a dozen organizations to choose from and decided to apply to three organizations in the Northern Region. The two organizations she heard back from were MEDA and CARE International. She decided to proceed with the opportunity at MEDA.

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