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Bridging the digital gender gap – Episode 41

In the run-up to International Women’s Day, we explore the impact of the digital gender gap. Our first guest is IFAD's Ndaya Beltchika, followed by an indigenous activist from Colombia, an expert in female empowerment in Samoa and a researcher on food sovereignty from the Lakota tribe.

We also hear from IFAD’s Ron Hartman on the ever-changing donor landscape, before checking in on Max Cotton and his voyage of self-sufficiency. We end with a new episode from our Bangladesh climate change series.

Episode content

Ndaya Beltchika on International Women’s Day

Ndaya Beltchika

IFAD’s Lead Technical Specialist for Gender and Social Inclusion, Ndaya Beltchika, celebrate International Women’s Day and talks about the importance of innovation and technological change in the fight to achieve gender equality.

Ron Hartman on IFAD’s replenishment and updates from the Global Donor Platform

Ron Hartman

Ron Hartman is IFAD’s Director of Global Engagement, Partnerships, and Resource Mobilization. He’s also IFAD’s board member at the Global Donor Platform, which aims to tackle global poverty and hunger by developing agriculture, reshaping food systems, and investing in rural communities.

More on IFAD’s gender portfolio

More from Ndaya Beltchika, who tell us about IFAD’s involvement and contributions to gender equality in agriculture and rural communities.

Dayana Dokera Domico on the battle for equality and sustainability

Indigenous activist Dayana Dokera Domico

Dayana Dokera Domico is an indigenous activist from Colombia. She tells us about the role of indigenous communities – especially the youth and women – in the fight for a more sustainable future. Dayana has been nominated as a young indigenous activist for indigenous rights by the UN.

Self-reliance through agri-business in Samoa

Shelley Burich, activist, vanilla farmer, entrepreneur

Shelley Burich is a community organizer, female empowerment professional and an e-commerce entrepreneur. She is also the only commercial vanilla farmer in all of Samoa. She is passionate about IFAD’s support of women across the island, helping them to become self-reliant through agri-business.

Elsie DuBray on the importance of food sovereignty

Elsie DuBray

Elsie DuBray is an activist and researcher from the indigenous Lakota tribe and a student at Stanford University. Her lifelong research has centred around food sovereignty and the connection between buffalo and the health of the Lakota people.

What is IFAD doing to promote gender equality?

In our final chat with Ndaya Beltchika, she stresses the importance of technology and education in removing gender barriers and transforming the lives of women and girls. 

Ndaya explains what IFAD is doing to help. To find out more about our work for gender equality in rural communities, visit https://www.ifad.org/gender.

Max Cotton: how one man became self-sufficient

Max Cotton in England

Last year Max Cotton changed his life. From parliament correspondent – and former colleague of your podcast host, Brian Thomson – to a self-sufficient farmer in rural southwest England. He sustains himself solely with what he grows, except for tap water and salt. If you’re curious, follow his You Tube Channel: No Milk Today.

Women take the wheel in Bangladesh

Qasa Alom in Bangladesh

Reporter Qasa Alom follows up on an IFAD project that offers driving lessons to young rural women in Bangladesh and helps them develop their careers as drivers.

For more from Bangladesh, check out Qasa Alom’s YouTube channel: QasaVision.

Summing up

Many thanks to our producer here in Rome Francesco Manetti and the rest of the team – including our reporters Ian Smith and Carolyn Sillau Herrera. Our hosts were Michelle Tang and Brian Thomson.

Remember, we want to hear from you – what do you think about our stories and the issues raised and who do you want us to be talking to. Get in touch at podcasts@ifad.org. You can also email us voice or text messages and we’ll be happy to play them out in our next episode.

You may subscribe to this podcast via your favourite podcast platform and find more stories at https://www.ifad.org/en/web/latest/podcasts.

Next month’s episode will be all about innovation. And once again, we’ll be trying to be Good for You, Good for the Planet, and Good for the Farmers.


You might like to read and listen to some of our past episodes:

  • In episode 38 we looked at biodiversity and farming
  • Episode 39 we heard from IFAD’s President Alvaro Lario.
  • Episode 40 we focused on the Indigenous People's Forum.