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    Voices of rights-holders

    We celebrate the diverse voices and rightsholders who were agents of change pushing for gender inclusion in renewable energy, transparency in the extractives sector, dignified work for women in the horticultural sector, and healthy and affordable diets for low-income populations.

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    Frustrations lead to new beginnings

    “It was clear to me that there was a need for such an institution in Tanzania,” says Ludovick Utouh, founder of WAJIBU – Institute of Public Accountability. Amongst others, WAJIBU informs and mobilizes public opinion about accountability in the collection and use of public resources by duty bearers and elected officials. 

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    When the Kenyan government contracts private companies to deliver public goods, services and infrastructure, money in the millions just evaporates. Most of it disappears into the deep pockets of the lucky few. Misty procurement deals allow certain entrepreneurs to make huge profits, while Kenyan citizens rarely see the fruits of their hard-earned tax money. We […]

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    A women’s burden

    All these years Helena had been inhaling smoke while cooking on an open fire. So something had to change. And it did. In 2012 Helena and her husband made a decision that transformed their lives.

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    How do you get governments, producers, retailers, certifiers and civil society to step up efforts together towards a living wage in the agri-food sector? You organize “The Only Way is Up!” – the first major European conference on living wages organized in seven years.

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    Sexual harassment is prevalent in the floriculture industry in East and Southern Africa. Women are hired to do the lowest-paid jobs, whereas men often fulfil supervisory or managerial roles. This imbalance of power, combined with wages too low to earn a decent living, leads to many sexual harassment incidents.

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    Reflecting on five years of Citizen Agency

    In a country plagued by corruption, how can you prevent another toxic mining spill? Is it possible to end malnutrition without listening to everyone’s ideas, mothers’ as well as ministers’? Or, propel women’s development when their needs are mere footnotes in energy policy planning? For this, you need to partner with courageous and determined civil society organizations.

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    Why art is important to Hivos

    Freedom of expression is the hallmark of democracy. It is a sign of societies where citizens are free to openly debate and contribute to a myriad of issues affecting their day-to-day lives. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights lists it as a fundamental human right.

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    “A Ugandan girl is always judged by whether she would make a good wife, not a potential member of the workforce,” says Leah Eryenyu, a professional feminist who’s fighting to improve the rights of women in the flower sector. “With a living wage women could flourish and take well-considered decisions about their lives.”