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Community development

MCD promotes gender equality and strengthens the linkages among shrimp farming group members in Ca Mau via GALS-WEMAN tools

31. 01. 2018 Community development

On December 19-20, 2017, at Cai Bat cooperative, Cai Nuoc district, Ca Mau province, MCD in coordination with Oxfam and CECEM organized the workshop on strengthening cooperative group linkages and gender mainstreaming via GALS/WEMAN tools (Gender Action Learning System/GALS) and (Women’s Empowerment Mainstreaming And Networking WEMAN) for about 40 people, including married couples and cooperative members. The activity aimed to enhance women’s rights, make them more confident in showing their opinion so that they can take part in community activities and improve their role in family. This is the process of reviewing and strengthening the linkages among shrimp farming group members, especially women, opportunities to participate, share, and enhance empowerment at individual, household and group levels, contributing to sustainable livelihood development and well-being.

Through  group discussion activities, female and male cooperative members shared opportunities and challenges, as well as jointly developed action plans to strengthen linkages and solidarity in their groups. Challenges of weak linkages were mainly reported due to fact that households did not have a chance to inform, discuss and come up with agreement on the ways and plans of shrimp stocking. They did not exchange and communicate well in the process of shrimp farming, purchasing or trading. Especially, the participation of women in developing shrimp farming group was restricted and therefore not yet recognized.

During discussion, cooperative management board and members committed to exchange information to every household, carry out solution for simultaneous shrimp stocking and harvesting accordingly to agreed timeline, as well as to share information about technical trainings from group leaders to members through the  sub-groups channels to meet their needs. The management board will actively inform members, leaders about the shrimp stocking schedule. Additionally, the cooperative will make deals with suppliers of shrimp post larvae or feed to reduce costs by signing contracts between inputs suppliers and the cooperative. Besides, the cooperative code of conduct was also discussed and developed consisting regulations related to shrimp farming group activities, meeting method and promoting members, especially women, to give opinions.

The next plan will include activities such as consolidating the core group, documenting lessons learned, implementing gender action plans, strengthening group linkages, and establishing a female livelihood group to empower women in improved household economic opportunities. As proposed by female members, there will be female representation in the cooperative management board to ensure gender equality, the most suitable candidate will be selected basing on unified criteria.


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