The female food heroes of Indonesia – part 2

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  HELP SAVE LIVES Right now Oxfam is responding to emergencies around the world, including the recent earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia. Donate now Oxfam Australia’s Juan Martorana – blogging from Indonesia Sixty-five per cent of Indonesia’s food is imported, including its main staple, rice. Over a series of events around Jakarta, the seven female […]

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Photo: Rodrigo Ordonez/Oxfam

The female food heroes of Indonesia – part 3

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  HELP SAVE LIVES Right now Oxfam is responding to emergencies around the world, including the recent earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia. Donate now Oxfam Australia’s Juan Martorana – blogging from Indonesia Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 4 So what have I learnt so far in Jakarta? Surprise, surprise: there is no one solution […]

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The female food heroes of Indonesia – part 1

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  HELP SAVE LIVES Right now Oxfam is responding to emergencies around the world, including the recent earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia. Donate now Oxfam Australia’s Juan Martorana – blogging from Indonesia How does a country with almost half the population living on less than $2 per day feed itself? I don’t know yet, but […]

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Women leading change

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On the weekend I was lucky enough to spend an inspiring afternoon with an impressive cohort of women from some of Melbourne’s migrant and diaspora communities. They came from far-flung places like Afghanistan, South Sudan, Liberia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Israel and Iran – and they were meeting to share experiences and views on the role of […]

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Seeds in women’s hands

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Seeds are the first link in the food chain. Yet women seed breeders are invisible in the industrial model of food production and in intellectual property regimes. The roots of food and gender justice lie in keeping seeds in women’s hands and recognizing women’s knowledge of biodiversity. Health and nutrition begin with food, and food […]

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Folders of interviewees at the RSS office, South Africa. Photo: Matthew Willman/OxfamAUS

Keeping them safe: building a community

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In part 2 of her interview, Yasmin tells us more about RSS’s work with refugee women, supporting them as they rebuild their confidence and find a place in their new communities.

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Kids absorbed in their colouring-in class at a home-based childcare centre, Durban. Photo: Gcina Ndwalane/OxfamAUS

Keeping them safe: how home crèches help

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So where did this genius idea to train refugee women in South Africa to run their own home-based creches come about? Oxfam partner Refugee Social Services. In this blog post, their director tells the story.

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Photo: Holly Pickett/Oxfam

West Africa food crisis: a powerful bond

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Oxfam America’s Elizabeth Stevens and Holly Pickett noticed a powerful force at work in this emergency when they were in Senegal recently: the bond between mothers and children.

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Rekha Chandrakant Khandagale at work. Photo: Bipasha Majumder/OxfamIndia

A better life for Pune waste pickers

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Collecting other people’s rubbish and selling it for recycling is a way of life for many women in the Indian city of Pune. Rekha’s story reveals the immense challenges Pune’s waste pickers face on a daily basis – and how they’re fighting to improve their lives.

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First national conference on women’s rights to land in Sierra Leone

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by Oxfam intern Jarrod Strauch Sierra Leone has held its first ever national conference on women’s property and land rights, bringing together over 160 participants to develop new strategies in fighting the denial of basic rights to Sierra Leone’s women. The conference, held between 6-8 June at the YWCA of Sierra Leone, brought together 100 […]

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Challenging the Hunger Myths

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Almost one billion people on our planet go to bed hungry every night. That’s close to one in every seven people, all around the world – but why does so much hunger exist in a world where others have plenty?

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Sundaradevi holds two of her chickens. Photo: Tom Greenwood/OxfamAUS

Stopping hunger in Sri Lanka: Sundaradevi’s story (part 2)

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She survived the floods and stayed strong when her husband left her. She got her land back after her father-in-law mortgaged it, and now she provides for her family by growing SRI rice and breeding chickens. Little wonder that Sundaradevi feels “both strong and confident” these days. Interview by Marion Reid Can you describe your […]

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Stopping hunger in Sri Lanka: Sundaradevi’s story (part 1)

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This week, we introduce you to Alagaiah Sundaradevi, a single mother from the village of Dimbulagala. Unlike Chandrani and Indrani, Sundaradevi isn’t a home gardener (yet). Instead, she’s stopping hunger through SRI rice farming — an organic method of rice-growing that produces higher yields than the traditional method and is more resistant to flood and […]

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Photo: Timothy Herbert/OxfamAUS

Working women with families

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Another friend of mine recently became a single parent. Her baby is less than a year old, but her husband deserted both of them. To get by as a single mother she works full time at the footwear factory.

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Photo: OxfamAUS

Working around the clock

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I’m aware that because I work the night shift the condition of my body isn’t great—I’m unfit, easily tired and frequently sick…If there were something I could wish for, it would be that the factory provides something to help us improve our nutrition, so that I can stay healthy while working night shift.

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Photo: OxfamAUS

Dengue Fever

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Before I fell ill, I hadn’t been feeling well enough to work for two or three days. But I still went to work because I wouldn’t be able to get sick leave without a certificate from the factory clinic.

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Sharing the basics

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This is the sort of pump which is generally used in rental house areas, including my family’s home. This single pump is used by about 10 different rental houses (20-30 people). Because of the large amount of people using it sometimes the water comes up murky.

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Mum: Making the most of it

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Since the start of the fasting month my mother has been selling clothing to her friends at her factory. She purchases the clothes from outlets and makes a profit of between 5,000-10,000 Rupiah per item (60 cents to $1.15). From past experience my mother has sold at least 50 pieces. If only she had a bit more start-up capital, I’m sure she could get more clothing to sell.

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Just Scraping By: Everyday life around my home

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As a worker on a low wage, sometimes I get scared when I imagine my future. I worry that when I am elderly my own situation won’t be that different from my neighbours. Even in their old age they have to work very hard just to scrape by.

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All about weddings

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I recently attended a friend’s wedding ceremony. The couple come from different ethnic backgrounds, which made this ceremony quite unique. The bride and groom had to change into four different outfits to pay their respects to each of the parents. They wore Sundanese dress (orange), Javanese dress (green), Lampung and Sumatra dress. In this photo the couple wears an Arabic costume and they are reading prayers from al-Qur’ān.

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Independence Day Celebrations

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It has become a custom for Indonesians to commemorate Independence Day by holding competitions. This year the factory also held competitions for the workers inside its grounds. The competitions included panjat pinang (pole climbing) and a singing competition.

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A month of fasting begins

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Wednesday was the first day of Ramadan – the Islamic month of fasting. For the next forty days I will fast from dawn till dusk. You may wonder whether fasting affects my ability to concentrate at work. Actually I’ve been doing it since I was young so I don’t have any difficulties; I’m already used to fasting at work.

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Changing the status quo for women workers

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Last year I had the opportunity to join in some leadership training conducted by the NGO Kapal Perempuan. I learnt many new things from the training, but as just one example, something that really impressed on me was the way that we perceive the differences between women and men. It’s not true to say that only men can be described as “providers”. But in the past this is an assumption that I had always accepted.

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United: we stand a chance!

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Today I want to talk a bit about why unions are important for workers like me. I became a member of my union because it pays attention to the situation of workers and their rights, as well as their obligations. I also feel that I’ve been able to learn many things since participating in union activities. For example, I’ve learnt that once the company has made a regulation on our rights it can’t just take those rights away again or erase them.

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