Author: Robbie Paras

Better Nutrition and Women’s Empowerment through Small-Scale Farming

There is widespread belief that small-scale farming is the sustainable and equitable solution to solving the crises of hunger and poverty in developing countries. For an international development course last semester, I reviewed Roger Thurow’s The Last Hunger Season, a journalistic account of how small-scale farming improved the lives of four farmers in rural villages in western Kenya. One Acre Fund, one of the leading NGOs working to support smallholder farmers, was also prominently featured in the book. Even corporations like Walmart recognize that individual farmers are a significant part of its supply chain strategy and recently announced that...

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Strengthening Women’s Economic Entrepreneurship in Mongolia

While Mongolia has made considerable progress on key gender-related indicators under the Millennium Development Goals,[1] significant gender disparities remain in labor markets and the business sector. Women are underrepresented in the country’s high-growth industries, in managerial positions, and have limited participation in formal entrepreneurial activities. From a cultural perspective, women are also still viewed as shouldering the “double burden” of earning an income and managing domestic responsibilities.[2] This summer, I am working with The Asia Foundation, an international development organization with programs in economic development, women’s empowerment, governance and law, environment, and regional cooperation in 18 countries across Asia. In...

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