Sunday, January 5, 2014

A Transformative Standalone Gender Goal?

Greetings from a sleepy pousada in the countryside of the Brazilian state of Goiás, about four hours from Brasília. While I may be far away from the community of CSW Fellows in North Carolina, it seems fitting to update you all on my topic from an international location.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have a keen interest in the Post-2015 agenda, how the lessons of the MDGs will inform future progress, and how gender is being included therein. Alongside my mentors at WomenNC, I spent a lot of time trying to find an organization working in the community that is also publishing on the Post-2015 agenda. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most North Carolina NGOs are far too preoccupied with preventing domestic abuse, advocating for women at the state legislature, and tackling a myriad other challenges to spent the majority of their time considering this topic. How was I to find and develop a partnership?

Reflecting further, I decided to look at my topic from a more holistic perspective cognizant of my interests and previous work. Of course, as with so many things in life, the answer lay not in the swirling depth of the unknown, but rather in front of my nose.

In the summer of 2011, I interned with IntraHealth International--a local North Carolina NGO that sprang forth from a global health initiative of the UNC School of Medicine. Since then, IntraHealth has completed projects in more than 90 countries, focused specifically on the challenges health workers face in empowering their communities. An entire unit of the organization is dedicated to gender equality. Luckily, while completing my internship in Bamako, Mali, I was also able to connect with many of the gender experts working at IntraHealth. These selfsame experts have expressed much enthusiasm at partnering with me to complete this work and help showcase some of the wonderful work IntraHealth is doing for women all over the world.

My upcoming challenges include determining how to integrate all three levels of the project (local, national, and international) coherently into a final report, while still highlighting the Post-2015 Agenda. Perhaps the proposed transformative standalone gender goal is a good lens from which to approach these topics?

If you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments below--

Até mais!



  1. Max,
    Several members of the WomenNC Board have been having a similar conversation about a stand-alone goal for women's equality, while considering joining as a partner of HKonJ in North Carolina. HKonJ has led efforts for racial equality, adequate funding for education, etc.--all of which impacts women and girls, but without a specific part of its 14-point agenda, including a stand alone goal on women's equality. Perhaps, HKonJ would be a good local organization for you to review, as WomenNC considers joining their advocacy efforts, which most recently included the Moral Monday rallies. How and to what extent does HKonJ advance the cause of women's equality, and would that effort improve with a stand-alone goal, as part of their 14-point agenda? What would/should be the role of WomenNC with HKonJ?
    Lois Nixon, WNC Board Member

  2. Max,
    Thanks for your post. We talked about this last week but I think it will be helpful if you dig deeper on what kind of impact Intrahealth is making locally, nationally, and internationally (even though it is not explicitly mentioned or articulated in their mission). Keep up the good work!