Blog: Tanager celebrates International Women’s Day 2022 and recommits to gender & social inclusion
International Women’s Day 2022 is an opportunity for development professionals to reflect and improve upon our approaches to gender equality and social inclusion. It is also a celebration of the women in our programs and organization who work tirelessly towards better gender outcomes for their communities. At Tanager progress towards gender equality is not a stand-alone issue – this work is cross cutting and integrated into everything we do, from internal policies to external interventions.
On International Women’s Day 2022, Tanager celebrated by bringing our teams and project participants together for a day of learning and collaboration. In Burkina Faso, this celebration was organized by the CLE Burkina program – a Tanager-led effort to galvanize the entrepreneurial landscape in Burkina Faso. The country of Burkina Faso experienced political upheaval over the last year, making it even more essential that the rights of women and girls are supported in Tanager’s work during this crisis.
The event, entitled The Gender Café, brought Tanager’s experts and partners in Burkina together for a day of discussion on gender-sensitive techniques, challenges, and accomplishments. The discussion was lively and informative, and the team used this gathering as an opportunity to create a series of videos explaining core principles and challenges in our gender work, such as access to credit, access to entrepreneurial support, and the importance of engaging the private sector.
In India, International Women’s Day 2022 took a celebratory tone, with groups of women farmers in our programs coming together for a day of solidarity and learning. Tanager’s work in India is a great example of how to integrate gender work into programs that are focused on smallholder farming. Economic outcomes and gender outcomes are intrinsically interconnected, and so too must our economic and gender approaches be integrated. Within our smallholder farmer work, Tanager helps women open bank accounts, improves access to leadership positions within Farmer Producer Organizations, sensitizes in men and women in rural communities on the importance of women’s economic agency, and help women farmers improve their own approaches to farming. More than a hand gesture, the women in our programs are working – with Tanager’s assistance – to truly break the bias in their own communities.
The theme of integrating gender work within other interventions is a focus of the IGNITE program. IGNITE works with Africa-based non-profits, businesses, and government entities to improve their approaches to nutrition and gender sensitive agriculture, both in their internal priorities and their external work. Although not specifically related to International Women’s Day 2022, the team in Kenya recently hosted a gathering for the program’s Local Service Providers to improve approaches to gender-sensitive agriculture (along with nutrition-sensitive agriculture, the other focus of the program). IGNITE stands out in Tanager’s portfolio – it is a way for us to not only create change on farms or in communities, but to leverage the footprint of other organizations to improve outcomes for the communities they work in.
International Women’s Day 2022 is also a moment for Tanager as an organization to recommit itself to gender and social inclusion. To demonstrate that commitment, and to ensure that we stay on mission, Tanager joined with over 100 other international development organizations in signing the CREED pledge. CREED, which stands for The Coalition for Racial & Ethnic Equity in Development, is a “pledge to advance racial and ethnic diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging within our own organizations’ policies, systems and culture in keeping with attainable and measurable goals…” We are proud to lend our support to this effort and to commit Tanager to breaking the bias in our hiring, our internal culture, and our work.
International Women’s Day 2022 was a great celebration, but we must never think this work is limited to one day, or one gathering. Every day, from India to across the African continent and beyond, Tanager will work to improve economic and social outcomes for women.