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Oxfam International United for a more equitable world Presented by Sara Henneberger, Deputy Director of Advocacy and Communications at Oxfam America October 10, 2006
What is Oxfam? ¡ Oxfam International is an NGO comprised of 12 Oxfam affiliates working with over 3, 200 partners in 100 countries to reduce poverty and social injustice. ¡ The 12 Oxfam organizations are based in: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Quebec, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Ireland, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, and the U. S. Oxfam Int’l is based in Oxford, England, with branch offices in Washington, D. C. , New York, Brussels, and Geneva.
History of Oxfam ¡ ¡ Oxfam Int’l was founded in 1995 by a group of NGOs who wanted to reduce poverty worldwide. The name “Oxfam” comes from the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief, founded in Great Britain during WWII. This group campaigned to have grain ships sent through the allied naval blockade to provide relief for women and children in Greece.
Oxfam’s Mission Statement ¡ Oxfam works toward a world where people can live with dignity, have their basic needs met, be respected, and have the ability to control their own lives. Oxfam is committed to long-term development, emergency, research, and campaign work in order to create a more equitable world. l l Economic and social justice are crucial to sustainable development. Equity should have the same priority as economic growth.
Oxfam’s Four Areas of Work ¡ Development Programs Oxfam works on long-term development programs to eradicate poverty. These programs focus largely on education, gender, HIV/AIDS, and human rights. ¡ Emergency Work Oxfam works in humanitarian disaster or emergency situations and is internationally recognized for its expertise in water and sanitation. ¡ Research and Lobbying ¡ Campaigning Oxfam focuses on campaigns for fair trade, arms control, and universal health care and education.
Rights-Based Approach ¡ Oxfam takes a rights-based approach to its work. It believes that people living in poverty should have the right to: l l l Sustainable livelihood Basic social services Life and security Be heard An identity
Where Oxfam Works ¡ Oxfam works in 11 regions of the world: Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean; South America; Central and East Africa; Horn of Africa; Southern Africa; West Africa; East Asia; South Asia; Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union; Middle East; Pacific Islands.
Where Oxfam Works Source: Oxfam International
Governance Oxfam International is governed by a Board comprised of the 12 Chairs and 12 Directors that lead each Oxfam affiliate. ¡ Six of the Chairs and three of the Directors are women. ¡ At Oxfam America, Janet Mc. Kinley serves as the Chair, and Raymond Offenheiser as the Director. ¡
Funding ¡ ¡ Oxfam is entirely dependent upon donations. In 2004 -2005, its program expenditures totaled $528 million, with over 62% ($328. 81) going to programs in Africa and Asia.
Funding Program expenditures by region, 2004 -2005 Region $ Total % Total Africa $202. 05 M 38. 26% Asia $126. 76 M 24. 01% Central America, Mexico, and Caribbean $47. 48 M 8. 99% South America $42. 35 M 7. 81% Middle East $20. 59 M 3. 90% Eastern Europe and former Soviet Union $17. 62 M 3. 34% Pacific Islands $2. 18 M 0. 41% $70. 10 M (13. 28%) went to Global North and domestic programs.
Strategic Aims ¡ Oxfam develops and funds programs based upon its five strategic aims, which coincide with the five rights it believes all people living in poverty should have. Many of these aims have specific gender components.
Strategic Aim 1 ¡ The right to a sustainable livelihood l l l Food and income security Control over natural resources Access to secure paid employment Safe working conditions Labor rights Ability to participate in and benefit from markets
Gender in Strategic Aim 1 The right to a sustainable livelihood ¡ Increasing women’s participation in the labor force is a major focus of this strategic aim. Oxfam programs work to eliminate barriers to women’s employment and to challenge beliefs about men and women’s household roles.
Strategic Aim 2 ¡ The right to basic social services l l l Health care, including reproductive health and vaccinations Clean water Education and job training Oxfam campaigns for public financing of these services and for debt relief.
Gender in Strategic Aim 2 The right to basic social services ¡ Education for girls and women is a major component of this strategic aim. Oxfam views female access to education and literacy as a high priority. It promotes investment in educational infrastructure, teacher quality, parental participation and curricula development.
Strategic Aim 3 ¡ The right to life and security l l Access to food, medical supplies, and security during times of armed conflict or natural disasters A reduction in the number of people who suffer personal or community violence, forced displacement, or armed conflict
Gender in Strategic Aim 3 The right to life and security ¡ The protection of women and children during conflict situations is a major focus of work for Oxfam. It strives to put poor women into leadership roles as mediators, peace builders, and humanitarian responders.
Strategic Aim 4 ¡ The right to be heard and have social and political citizenship l l l Civil and political rights as a way to reduce poverty Empowerment of poor and excluded people Protection under international agreements relating to economic, social, civil, and political rights
Gender in Strategic Aim 4 The right to be heard ¡ As part of this strategic aim, Oxfam helps create and/or bolster citizen’s advocacy groups, including women’s organizations. It is a primary goal of Oxfam to strengthen the capacities of groups who are excluded on the basis of identity, including women, indigenous groups, and disabled people.
Strategic Aim 5 ¡ The right to an identity: gender and diversity l l Equal rights and status regardless of gender, ethnic, or cultural status Protection under CEDAW Reduction of domestic violence Legal ramifications for violence against women
Gender in Strategic Aim 5 The right to an identity ¡ This aim requires Oxfam to take gender and diversity into account within each of its other aims, and as separate strategies. ¡ Oxfam is committed to helping integrate gender equity into public policy in all of its partner countries and organizations, and to countering gender violence. ¡ It is also focused on helping nations establish and enforce labor and occupational health standards for women and minorities, decriminalize prostitution, and prosecute human traffickers.
Funding of Strategic Aims Program expenditure by strategic aim Strategic Aim U. S. $ % Total Life and security $188. 84 M 35. 76% Livelihoods $144. 83 M 27. 43% Right to be heard $82. 23 M 15. 57% Social services $73. 28 M 13. 88% Identity $27. 50 M 5. 21% Non-aligned $11. 34 M 2. 15%
Oxfam’s Policy on Gender Equality ¡ Gender mainstreaming is one of Oxfam’s corporate policies. Both women and men are consulted and their different needs considered in the design and implementation of all programs to ensure that they benefit equally. Programs are designed to promote a fairer balance of power between women and men at the household, local, national, and international levels. ¡ Oxfam has a written gender equality policy that is distributed to its staff and volunteers, who are expected to help promote it.
Oxfam’s Policy on Gender Equality Principles and Goals ¡ ¡ ¡ Gender equality is key to overcoming poverty and suffering. Oxfam will work with both women and men to address the beliefs that create gender-related poverty. Women and girls will be empowered through all aspects of Oxfam programs. Programs that raise the status of women will be given priority. Oxfam’s internal practices will reflect its commitment to gender equality.
Oxfam’s Policy on Gender Equality Ongoing Strategies ¡ ¡ Oxfam tries to ensure full participation by women in all of its programs. It promotes women’s rights as human rights. It works with women and men separately and together to have a more lasting impact on gender-related beliefs and behavior. All partnerships and alliances with NGOs and countries are assessed on the basis of their commitment to gender equality.
Oxfam’s Policy on Gender Equality Strategies ¡ ¡ Gender awareness and understanding are used as criterion for recruitment of Oxfam staff and volunteers. Managers encourage all Oxfam staff to share best practices on gender equality. Gender training is made available to staff and volunteers. Managers of all divisions report on measurable objectives and actions relating to gender equality. Within Oxfam, family friendly work policies are encouraged.
Promoting equality in Uganda ¡ ¡ ¡ Oxfam began working northern Uganda in 1986, when an internal conflict between the government and a rebel group had just begun. In 2002, the situation deteriorated badly and over 95% of the rural population of the Kitgum District (250, 000 people) moved into 18 under-served camps. Since then, much of Oxfam’s work has involved installing water tanks, digging latrines, and building shelters. The program has employed unskilled, semi-skilled, and skilled laborers, masons, mechanics, etc.
Promoting equality in Uganda ¡ Great care was taken by Oxfam to ensure that it did not exclusively hire men. Through its own affirmative action policy, 30% of all jobs have been filled by women. In 2004, Oxfam mandated that the private construction companies with which is work must also ensure that 30% of their laborers are women. ¡ Follow-up visits by Oxfam to construction sites verified that women were being paid the same as men and were being given the opportunity to work on and learn all the various construction tasks. Several sites provided space and shade for the women’s children.
Promoting job equality in Uganda ¡ Safety in the camps is crucial, and Oxfam set new standards with its policy of recruiting and training women to be security guards and drivers. Since 2004, four other agencies in Kitgum followed its example. ¡ By training women to be fully qualified drivers, Oxfam is increasing women’s earning potential once they are no longer living in the camps. This policy has also helped challenge local beliefs about what jobs are appropriate for women.
Education in Egypt ¡ Oxfam works with an in-country partner on an education program for women in the Minia area of Upper Egypt. More than 3. 5 million people live in the region. Fifty percent of the women are illiterate; 67% in rural areas. Cultural and economic restraints prevent many families from sending their daughters to school. ¡ With it’s partner agency, Oxfam developed a three -year action plan focused on improving women’s economic and social position, with literacy as a means to achieving that goal.
Education in Egypt ¡ Since 2005, Oxfam has started 40 literacy classes in 12 communities. Eight hundred women are enrolled in classes of 20 students ages 14 to 50. It has provided books, furniture, blackboards, and other educational materials. It has set up libraries at three sites. ¡ Class coordinators from the community are selected and trained. They help with the classes and with monthly meetings where women talk about how to integrate what they are learning into real life.
Education in Egypt ¡ Once women complete the nine-month course, they are eligible for a government -issued literacy certificate, which can improve their employment options. ¡ As part of the literacy program, women are taught about their rights and how to obtain their birth certificates and ID cards, both of which are necessary for opening a bank account and registering to vote.
Oxfam’s Gender Strategy at Work ¡ Many of Oxfam’s projects, whether development or emergency focused, utilize an empowerment approach that trains women with marketable skills. There is a clear mandate to include a significant number of women at all levels of operations for Oxfam projects, and to establish programs exclusively for women. Oxfam regularly sets and enforces gender equality standards for its partner agencies and volunteers.
Challenges ¡ Oxfam Int’l is committed to increasing the number of Oxfam affiliates in the Global South. One way it is working on this goal is by giving nations “observer” status until they are ready to be full members. One current observer member is Mexico. ¡ Oxfam recognizes that their programs sometimes benefit the strongest women, while overlooking the poorest. It has also found that older women tend to participate more in Oxfam projects and to benefit more than young women. ¡ Oxfam has received some backlash from communities for its “favoritism” of women and its enforced affirmative action programs within local agencies and businesses. Men are sometimes hostile toward Oxfam projects because they feel left out