Gender Evaluation Methodology (GEM): Is your project really improving women’s lives?

Working since 2002, GEM has provided groups working on improving the lives of women and children with ways to evaluate the effectiveness of their initiatives. In Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin American, GEM has assisted organizations which are working  to change gender power relations and help women fully participate in economic development while providing them with means to care for their families and themselves. See the video below and get more documentation at their web site.

Bravo, GEM!

Gender Evaluation Methodology (GEM)

By LC for APCNews

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 08 February 2012

The APC has been refining its Gender Evaluation Metholodolgy (GEM) since it was first elaborated in 2001. GEM can help you determine whether your project or initiative is really improving the lives of women and promoting positive change in the community you are working in.

Visit GEM’s new site, where you can find basic information about this innovative methodology and the team behind it, tips and answers to frequent questions, read about lessons learnt, stories of change it produced and even download guides and other materials.


More on baby gender selection and discounts

Sometimes people may wonder how librarians find the information they do.  It’s genetic. My profs in Library school called it having an I-gene. But that I-gene can really lead to some strange travels, one of which I had today.

June 22, 2009 Web excursion:

Went back to (sociology site of great interest), went to their blogs section and found a blog posting on an issue I had blogged about recently — Baby gender control. So I clicked:

At the end of the article, I learned a new term:

“By the way, on a discursive note, sex selection is called “family balancing” by some clinics. What an excellent example of re-framing!”

Love learning new terms. 🙂

So, I searched Google for “family balancing”

19,000 results the first of which was


Okay, I’ll bite.  After all there’s a money back Gender Guarantee. 🙂

Is this a hoax site? As seen on TV? BBBOnLine? Looks a bit hokey to me but I decide to plod on.

Wow! Lots of different kits for baby boy and baby girl making. What would my old granny have said? Then I hit the jackpot:

Found a 15% Discount if I went to and searched on GenSelect. So I did…

Of course, I didn’t tell you about trying to decide which kind of Mommy I am — classic, trendy, retro, or princess.

Oh my, I am glad I don’t have to debate all these choices.

Drizzle drazzle drozzle drone… Time for this one to go home.

2008 Socially Conscious Gift Giving

Updated for 2008! See also the update for 2009!

If you’d like to be a more socially conscious consumer, here are some organizations, some local, some online, where you can purchase gifts while making a difference in the lives of real people. These suggestions come from two of our UConn professors who teach and embody the ideals of these organizations. The sites are listed alphabetically! No order intended. If you have some other suggestions, please add them via a comment to this blog. And pass these on to your friends and family!

A Greater Gift from SERRV:

A Greater Gift is a program of SERRV International, a nonprofit alternative trade and development organization. Our mission is to promote the social and economic progress of people in developing regions of the world by marketing their products in a just and direct manner. Our goal is to alleviate poverty and empower low-income people through trade, training and other forms of capacity building as they work to improve their lives. SERRV has worked to assist artisans and farmers for more than 55 years through the following:

  • Marketing their handcrafts and food products in a just and direct manner.
  • Educating consumers in the United States about economic justice and other cultures.
  • Providing development assistance to low-income craftspeople through their community-based organizations.

SERRV International was one of the first alternative trade organizations in the world and was a founding member of the International Fair Trade Association (IFAT). We offer our artisan and farmer partners up to 50% advance payment on orders. This advance helps them to purchase raw materials and have a more regular income so they can avoid high interest rates from borrowing locally.

CoOp America


About Co-op America Co-op America is a not-for-profit membership organization founded in 1982. Our mission is to harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. Our Vision We work for a world where all people have enough, where all communities are healthy and safe, and where the bounty of the Earth is preserved for all the generations to come.

CREA: Center for Reflection, Education and Action (based in Hartford):

“Believing that the earth is home to all, CREA facilitates analysis of human, social and economic policies from the perspective of their effects on human lives, beginning with the lives of people who are poor.”

Dean’s Beans (fair trade coffee):

We only purchase beans from small farmers and cooperatives, largely made up of indigenous peoples working hard to maintain their culture and lifestyles in a hostile world. We do not buy beans from large estates and farms. We’ve been there, and have seen the conditions of chronic poverty and malnutrition within which these farms produce those other coffees. Look in your kitchen – do you know where your beans come from? Each player in our cycle of production and distribution, from the farmer to the consumer, participates in socially just and environmentally responsible trade. We hope that all other coffee companies will follow our lead. We are proud to be a founding member of Cooperative Coffees, Inc., the first roaster’s cooperative created to buy direct, Fair Trade coffee from farmer coops, and make it available to any small roaster who wants to participate in the Fair Trade movement. We are also active members of the Fair Trade Federation, an international organization of dedicated Fair Traders (no poseurs allowed).

Global Exchange

Why Fair Trade? Our consumer spending choices affect people’s lives around the world. The products we enjoy are often made in conditions that harm workers, communities and the environment. But increasingly consumers are demanding more humane, more environmentally sensitive products. In today’s world economy, where profits rule and small-scale producers are left out of the bargaining process, farmers, craft producers, and other workers are often left without resources or hope for their future. Fair Trade helps exploited producers escape from this cycle and gives them a way to maintain their traditional lifestyles with dignity.

Heifer International

Heifer’s Mission to End Hunger Heifer envisions… A world of communities living together in peace and equitably sharing the resources of a healthy planet. Heifer’s mission is… To work with communities to end hunger and poverty and to care for the earth. Heifer’s strategy is… To “pass on the gift.” As people share their animals’ offspring with others – along with their knowledge, resources, and skills – an expanding network of hope, dignity, and self-reliance is created that reaches around the globe. Heifer’s History This simple idea of giving families a source of food rather than short-term relief caught on and has continued for over 60 years. Today, millions of families in 128 countries have been given the gifts of self-reliance and hope. Read more about Heifer’s History.

Ithaca Fine Chocolates New Listing for 2008

FAIR TRADE Ithaca Fine Chocolates is proud to be the first U.S. chocolate company to offer fair trade certified chocolates, and we continue to offer ONLY organic and fair trade certified chocolates. Our cocoa beans are carefully selected from the El Ceibo Cocoa Coop in Bolivia. Fair trade fosters self-reliance in small-scale cocoa farmers, which effectively raises their living standards. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT The cocoa beans used in Art Bars are cultivated using sustainable, shade-grown, organic practices that help to protect the health of the earth’s ecosystem. The outer wrapper, art cards, display boxes and gift boxes are all made from recycled paper.

NOVICA New Listing for 2008

Mission We want to give artists and artisans around the world a global platform to express their true artistic talents and to spur their creativity. And, we want to provide you with access to unique, hard-to-find items at great values that only the Internet infrastructure can allow. At the deepest essence of our philosophy, we want to create a bridge between you and the many talented artisans across the globe. We want you to know about who you’re buying from. We want you to feel that attachment to the product and to the hands that created it. In the spirit of the Internet, let us bring you together. NOVICA. The World is Your Market.

10,000 Villages

Our Principles of Operation At Ten Thousand Villages we add our own principles of operation to the IFAT key principles of fair trade:

  1. We honor the value of seeking to bring justice and hope to the poor.
  2. We trade with artisan groups who pay fair wages and demonstrate concern for their members’ welfare.
  3. We provide consistent purchases, advances and prompt final payments to artisans.
  4. We increase market share in North America for fairly traded handicrafts.
  5. We market quality products that are crafted by underemployed artisans.
  6. We build sustainable operations using a variety of sales channels, including a network of stores with a common identity.
  7. We choose handicrafts that reflect and reinforce rich cultural traditions, that are environmentally sensitive and which appeal to North American consumers.
  8. We encourage North American customers to learn about fair trade and to appreciate artisans’ cultural heritage and life circumstances with joy and respect.
  9. We use resources carefully and value volunteers who work in our North American operations.

Save the Children Holiday Gift Catalog New Listing for 2008

With 75 years of history and more than 41 million children and 25 million adults benefiting from our programs, Save the Children has built a name that children and communities can trust. It is because of our commitment to children that Save the Children is ranked high among other non-profit organizations. For the sixth year in a row, Charity Navigator has awarded Save the Children its highest four-star rating, reflecting the agency’s continued high standards in financial management. Save the Children also stands out in Charity Navigator’s list of “Best Charities Everyone’s Heard Of.”

Tropical Salvage Old wood. New use. Positive change. New Listing for 2008

Tropical Salvage practices a simple business model. We salvage old deconstruction and rediscovered wood and put it to new imaginative use. In doing so, we contribute to positive economic, social and environmental change. Old wood, new use, positive change. The disappearance of old-growth tropical forests in the developing world is largely influenced by the developed world’s demand for exotic wood products, its demand for wood pulp to supply industrial paper production, and its demand for industrial commodity quantities of agricultural products whose cultivation converts biologically diverse ecosystems into vast monoculture plantations. Salvaged wood provides all the same benefits, without the high environmental costs. Tropical Salvage offers a conduit to access accurate information about logging industry practices in southeast Asia and an opportunity to buy responsibly, thereby choosing reform of needlessly destructive policies and practices.

Fair Trade Federation Fair Trade Federation

Bitch’s fate is in your hands | Bitch Magazine

One of the feminist world’s best magazines is in trouble financially. If you are a fan or think you would be, consider taking a look at this really great magazine, perhaps subscribing, or holding a bake sale (just kidding…)  But I really enjoy this mag and have contributed and subscribed for several years. Think about it.

Bitch’s fate is in your hands | Bitch Magazine

Rutgers University Libraries: Global and Transnational Women’s Activism

Great guide!

Global Women’s Activism: Selected Sites from Rutgers University.

Transnational as well as country specific sites, organized by continent. Contains documents, publications, statistics, and much more from Women’s Activists around the world.

Very fine collection. Many thanks to Kayo Denda, Women’s Studies Librarian at Rutgers.

Independent Women’s Forum: Conservative Feminism?

Dear Readers,

I apologize for the long absence.

March is National Women’s History Month (which started out as NWH Week) and I’m preparing a web site of resources which will be linked from the News section on the Library main page. More about that in another post.

However, this has made me take a whirlwind tour of places I’ve never gone before on the ‘net and found a curious site: Independent Women’s Forum .

I say curious as the wrapper seems to say all the things we’d expect to see. For instance, it uses as its motto/slogan, “All issues are women’s issues.” Sounds good.

Then it has its mission as:

The Independent Women’s Forum is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and educational institution. Founded in 1992, IWF focuses on issues of concern to women, men, and families. Our mission is to rebuild civil society by advancing economic liberty, personal responsibility, and political freedom. IWF builds support for a greater respect for limited government, equality under the law, property rights, free markets, strong families, and a powerful and effective national defense and foreign policy. IWF is home to some of the nation’s most influential scholars—women who are committed to promoting and defending economic opportunity and political freedom.

So now my sensors are beginning to sound off. Continue reading

» Students and Wikipedia post from Educational Origami

Wikipedia’s been getting a lot of press lately. Positive press. It’s actually a great opportunity to bring in those skills we are trying to develop in all our students: evaluate and corroborate information before you accept it as your own (or as simply valid or true or complete) and do this by using other types of information sources like newspapers, books, journal articles, etc. A healthy skepticism — where did you get that data??– is critical in a world of so much information at every turn.

Here’s an interesting post:

» Students and Wikipedia

Speaking directly to educators, the poster explains:

So what should we do.

  • We should teach our students to validate their information sources. Not to accept it as fact until its validated by a number of reputable information sources.
  • We should accept that wikipedia is a useful and powerful source that is often more up to date than traditional sources by its very nature and design. But also accept the limitations inherent in its design that mean there is potential for abuse
  • Encourage our students to move beyond just wikipedia and googling as a the only information source and look at other sources including:
    • Journals
    • Newspapers
    • libraries
    • Books, Textbooks
    • encyclopedias
    • Television and streamed media
    • Blogs
    • email
    • Primary information sources like interviewing experts

Lets not be blinded either way by wikipedia, but accept it warts and all, but teach our students what we must teach them, to VALIDATE their information sources.

Think of the possibilities. Challenge your students to use lots of information sources AND to verify their information. Leave the proof to the student. Now that’s engaging them.

Media That Matters Film Festival: Short Films that Inspire Action

Media That Matters Film Festival: Short Films that Inspire Action

Need a good short film to get discussion started in your class? Check out these great little gems from independent producers and film makers.   Streaming right into your class on the Web. — great research site! Mainstreaming Gender Equality

About “Siyanda is an on-line database of gender and development materials from around the world. It is also an interactive space where gender practitioners can share ideas, experiences and resources.”

Here’s an example of the kinds of resources there:
Title: Islamic Feminism Revisited
Author: Badran, M.
Publication Date: February 2006
Publisher : Al-Ahram Weekly
Summary Source: Author
Summary :Islamic Feminism is defined as a feminist discourse and practice that derives its understanding and mandate from the Qur’an. It seeks rights and justice within the framework of gender equality for women and men. Islamic Feminism has taken on the two-fold task of exposing and eradicating patriarchal ideas and practices, which are often described as Islamic, and to recuperate Islam’s core idea of gender equality (indivisible from human equality). Islamic Feminism continues to be widely embraced by proponents of gender justice and social justice. … Continue reading

UN CSW 51st session Blog

Live on the scene reports from the UN 51st session — see the blog Women UNlimited.

Read the original post by Patricia Daniel, Women, violence and empowerment: the world we live in from openDemocracy .

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