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Social norms refer to the shared expectations held by a given community. They are often held in place by social approval or rewards for conformity, and by disapproval or sanctions for transgressions. Understanding how and why social norms hold sway can provide a powerful means for understanding the gendered division of work that prevails in many communities and inform strategies aimed at promoting change. This report summarizes the main findings from the qualitative research conducted in August 2017 to support on the identification of the main social norms related to unpaid care and domestic work in rural communities in four districts in Zimbabwe. The research served to identify who the leaders are that communities look up to in order to validate social norms change. It helped to identify nascent opportunities for changes in the gendered division of labour, and what the implications are of the findings for planning and practice in addressing inequalities on unpaid care and domestic work.
Care work is essential for personal wellbeing, a healthy society and a functioning economy. But across the world, it is overwhelmingly done by women, which restricts their opportunities. Policy makers rarely recognize the public responsibility for facilitating unpaid care and domestic work through investments in infrastructure and care services.
In 2017, Oxfam's Women's Economic Empowerment and Care (WE-Care) initiative conducted a Household Care Survey (HCS), collecting data in the Philippines, Uganda and Zimbabwe, to inform the design of public policies and local development programmes. The study tests which infrastructure, equipment and other factors influence care-work patterns. It finds that access to improved water sources is associated with reduced hours of care work, and household equipment facilitates men's participation in care. It also finds that heavy workloads related to long hours of unpaid care can impact women's health and well-being. Perceptions of care work, community expectations and fear of sanctions for deviating from social norms play an essential part in maintaining the gendered division of care work.
The report presents recommendations for government and private sector decision-makers, development practitioners and researchers in the area of women's economic empowerment on how they can contribute to facilitate the recognition, reduction and redistribution of unpaid care work.
Fiscal policy can be a powerful tool for governments to help achieve a 'human economy', if these policies are designed to address gender inequalities and the gender biases in current macroeconomic thinking. This report uses the case of one element of fiscal policy - public spending - to demonstrate how such policy design could help achieve gender equality and improve human development outcomes in developing countries.
The report identifies unpaid care and domestic work as a key area where fiscal policy has a significant impact on gender equality. Using data from Oxfam's 2017 Household Care Survey in Uganda and Zimbabwe, the report explores the impact on adults' and children's/adolescents' time use of access to improved water sources, electricity, healthcare and childcare. It also considers secondary impacts on measures of well-being and women's empowerment, including women's health and decision making.
This report examines the second phase of Oxfam's Women's Economic Empowerment and Care (We-Care) programme. The first phase focused on building evidence for influencing policy change on women's heavy and unequal unpaid care work in six countries. The second phase of the programme seeks to continue deepening the evidence base; strengthen influencing capacity on unpaid care; develop and test new strategies, resources and approaches; and capture and share learning with the development sector on effective influencing.
The report also includes progress reports from three countries in which the programme is active: Uganda, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia.
Climate change is putting increasing stress on the livelihoods of people living in the world's drylands. Smallholder irrigation has long been seen as a means of improving food security in areas with unpredictable rainfall, and is now being promoted as part of climate change adaptation strategies. The Ruti Irrigation Scheme in Zimbabwe was begun by Oxfam in 2009 with these objectives in mind.
This report examines the findings of two evaluations of the project and shows that the irrigation scheme has had more significant social and economic impacts than those measured by a quantitative study alone. However, the positive impacts for wellbeing have not been as extensive as originally hoped - having been affected by extreme weather events and the decision to reserve scarce water for use by sugar estates further downstream.
This suggests that while smallholder irrigation schemes can provide important local benefits, these are threatened not only by the usual difficulties associated with their implementation, but also by the greater challenges posed by climate change and the resource conflicts that are being exacerbated as a result. These are problems which require significant changes in policy and practice at catchment-wide, national, and international levels.
By analysing the approaches governments and donors are taking, we highlight ways in which progress is being made, and we call on decision-makers to shift mindsets, change ways of working, and invest now in effective integration to improve child health.
Building on last year's The missing ingredients report, this report highlights why WASH is essential for nutrition, and how this integration could be strengthened. Through an analysis of nutrition and WASH plans and policies in ten countries, we identify gaps and ways of working. The report highlights where there has been effective integration at the policy level and how improvements can be made. It also includes an analysis of donor initiatives and to what extent WASH has been incorporated in nutrition investments.
Global Handwashing Partnership;
2016 was a big year in hand hygiene! This summary outlines key themes and findings from 59 peer-reviewed handwashing-related research papers published in 2016, relevant to low and middle-income countries, around 1) the benefits of handwashing with soap, 2) handwashing compliance, 3) approaches to handwashing behavior, 4) determinants of handwashing with soap, and 5) handwashing hardware efficacy.
Zimbabwean smallholder farmers consider seed security to be an issue of national security. For them, access to the right seeds at the right time, and for the right price, is critical to being able to produce enough food to eat in the face of growing climate disruption. Farmer seed systems and community seed banks provide an important safety net for cash-strapped, vulnerable people. They also help small-scale farmers manage climate risk. Supporting them is an adaptation opportunity that is currently being missed.
In order to address 'heavy' and 'unequal' care work and to raise the profile of care as a cross-cutting development issue, Oxfam and its partners implemented a baseline Household Care Survey (HCS) in five countries in which the WE-Care project was active. In November/December 2015, a revised version of the HCS was carried out in these same communities. As a follow-up survey, the 2015 HCS monitored change and impact from the project's interventions and gathered evidence on 'what works' to address care work in specific contexts. The aim is to generate evidence that helps local organizations address problematic aspects of care work, contributing to women's ability to participate, lead and benefit from development initiatives. This evidence is then used to develop project interventions that recognize, reduce and redistribute existing unpaid care work within the household, the immediate community (civil society), the market (private sector) and the state authority (central and local governments).
The eradication of poverty and injustice depends on women's equal enjoyment of their human rights. Oxfam has invested significantly in women's economic leadership, and affirms that economic empowerment requires parallel progress in women's political, social and personal empowerment. Women's control over their own time and labour is increasingly recognized as a precondition for, and component of, empowerment. To address the issue of unpaid care work, in 2014 Oxfam initiated a three-year programme, 'Women's Economic Empowerment and Care: Evidence for Influencing (WE-Care)'. The first phase of the WE-Care programme built on Oxfam's previous experience with Rapid Care Analysis methodologies in livelihoods programmes. The programme aimed to complement and strengthen Oxfam's initiatives on women's leadership and livelihoods by building evidence for influencing change on care, while also providing the development sector with methods and knowledge to strengthen future advocacy on women's economic empowerment and care work.
Open Society Foundations;
Stigma, criminal laws, and punitive policing practices harm sex workers, including their health. In response, a growing number of authorities across the world have called for the decriminalization of sex work and support to sex worker–led organizations. However, the way sex worker groups engage with law enforcement, health providers, and their own communities to address these concerns has received much less attention.
The six case studies presented in this publication—in Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, South Africa, and Zimbabwe—offer a look at real-life sex worker–led programming that has reduced police abuse, health risks, and other adverse impacts of bad laws and law enforcement on sex workers.
This evaluation is presented as part of the Effectiveness Review Series 2013/14, selected for review under the livelihoods thematic area. This report documents the findings of a quasi-experimental evaluation carried out in November 2013 that sought to assess the impact of the activities of the Food Security and Livelihood Programme in Zimbabwe.
The project's overall objective was to contribute to the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger amongst the poor and vulnerable in Midlands and Masvingo provinces. It aimed to do this by enhancing livelihood options for households from selected communities in 15 wards across three districts in these provinces. The project aimed to directly benefit up to 24,500 people across the three target districts through three key interventions: summer agricultural inputs together with conservation agriculture training; small livestock support; and development of communal market garden linkages. The project activities were implemented from 2010 to 2014 by Oxfam in conjunction with two local partner organisations - Batanai HIV & AIDS Service Organisation (BHASO) and Midlands Aids Caring Organisation (MACO). Read more about the Oxfam Effectiveness Reviews.