Empowering Women Doesn't Mean Disempowering Men, with Landesa's Tim Hanstad

Empowerment is not a zero-sum venture, says Landesa CEO Tim Hanstad. Educating the world about this fact will open the door for reform.

Tim Hanstad: The majority of poor people in the world are women and girls. In developing countries, where the single largest occupation for women is agriculture, and increasingly in Africa and Asia in particular, women are doing the bulk of the farming yet women are almost always locked out of ownership over the most important asset… land. So it's extremely important that we pay attention to who within the household holds legal rights. The ugly truth is is that it is mostly men who are holding women back. Men dominate the policy arena, men dominate the decision making at the community level, at the household level, and we have to address the misconception that empowering women means you're disempowering men. That's a myth. It's a misconception. Empowering one empowers all. Empowering women empowers men, children, families and ultimately the entire society.

Women's economic empowerment is, it's not a women's issue, it's a societal issue. If we're going to address some of the largest challenges we have, poverty, food security, we're going to have to empower women. They have been underutilized as social and economic change agents; they are the ones doing much, if not the bulk of the farming so their relationship to land and to other productive resources is critically important. So the way that we have gone about trying to fight against I would say the opposition is to get men to understand two things: one, it doesn't disempower men, and two, it's a societal issue, and that if you want to address this societal issue you just have to empower women in the society.

One of the lessons learned for us is that when appealing to men about the importance of empowering women is that we often find more success appealing to them in the interest of their daughters rather than their wives. Most fathers do want the best for their daughters. When you appeal to them in the interest of their daughters they find it I think somehow less threatening than appealing to them in their interest of their wives.

Even in the most patriarchal societies, men understand that women are entrusted to do some of the most important work, that is caring for children, raising children. So you can often appeal to them from where they are coming from. I mean trying to shove some Western notions of equality down the throats of people who see it as threatening isn't always the most effective way, but if you appeal to them in terms of what is the best for your community, what is the best for your broader society, what is the best for your families, you often can address that resistance.

Directed / Produced by Jonathan Fowler, Elizabeth Rodd, and Dillon Fitton

 

Throughout the developing world, "and increasingly in Africa and Asia in particular," the single largest occupation for women is agriculture. Yet although they're doing much of the work, women and girls (who make up the majority of poor people on the planet) are restricted from actually owning the land they work.


That's where Landesa comes in. Formerly the Rural Development Institute, Landesa is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping the world's poor obtain land property. Tim Hanstad, Landesa's president and CEO, discusses the importance of empowering women.

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Scientists study tattooed corpses, find pigment in lymph nodes

It turns out, that tattoo ink can travel throughout your body and settle in lymph nodes.

17th August 1973: An American tattoo artist working on a client's shoulder. (Photo by F. Roy Kemp/BIPs/Getty Images)
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In the slightly macabre experiment to find out where tattoo ink travels to in the body, French and German researchers recently used synchrotron X-ray fluorescence in four "inked" human cadavers — as well as one without. The results of their 2017 study? Some of the tattoo ink apparently settled in lymph nodes.


Image from the study.

As the authors explain in the study — they hail from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment — it would have been unethical to test this on live animals since those creatures would not be able to give permission to be tattooed.

Because of the prevalence of tattoos these days, the researchers wanted to find out if the ink could be harmful in some way.

"The increasing prevalence of tattoos provoked safety concerns with respect to particle distribution and effects inside the human body," they write.

It works like this: Since lymph nodes filter lymph, which is the fluid that carries white blood cells throughout the body in an effort to fight infections that are encountered, that is where some of the ink particles collect.

Image by authors of the study.

Titanium dioxide appears to be the thing that travels. It's a white tattoo ink pigment that's mixed with other colors all the time to control shades.

The study's authors will keep working on this in the meantime.

“In future experiments we will also look into the pigment and heavy metal burden of other, more distant internal organs and tissues in order to track any possible bio-distribution of tattoo ink ingredients throughout the body. The outcome of these investigations not only will be helpful in the assessment of the health risks associated with tattooing but also in the judgment of other exposures such as, e.g., the entrance of TiO2 nanoparticles present in cosmetics at the site of damaged skin."

Why are so many objects in space shaped like discs?

It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?

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  • Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
  • Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
  • Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.